With the onset of spring, the gardening bug has struck many across the county. And with that gardening bug comes a few dilemmas, including what to do when planning a flower garden.
According to local gardeners, the main focus should be determining how much time you want to spend taking care of the plants. Secondly, soil preparation is key.
"Lots of compost and lime need to be added to the soil," said Carol Finch. "Come to think of it, you should have a soil test done first, but compost is always good."
The Web site landscaping networx.com suggests that determining an exact scheme is not necessary, but if a plan is put to paper, the layout of the flowerbed, with added plants and shrubbery, should also be included.
"Avoid spending too much time on figuring out the exact placement of the flowers," the Web site adds. "A plan on paper should only help guide you and help you estimate how many flowers will need to be purchased."
Landscapingnetwork.com does recommend creating mixed border flowerbeds rather than planting just perennials. The advantage, it suggests, is that small flowering trees and shrubs join together with the flowers to create a look that lasts throughout the year.
For Ginny Allen, it's imperative to lay out the shape of the flower bed and be sure that it is near a water source.
"Pick plants that like the amount of sun or shade that the flower bed will get," she said. "Pick plants with similar watering needs."
Allen also says to be aware of the height and size of plants at maturity.
"Usually tall plants go in the back and shorter ones in the front," she said. "A small plant in a 4-inch pot may grow 10 feet tall, need staking or become ground cover."
Grouping plants -- three to five of the same variety -- often looks better than single plants of many different varieties.
"Use annuals -- plants that last one year -- for long-term, repeated bloom," said Allen. "Use perennials -- plants that come back for several years -- for shorter term blooms that don't need replanting."
Finally, Allen recommends checking plant requirements.
"Some seeds need the soil to be at least 55 degrees," she said. "Some like cool weather, and others do well in our summer heat."
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