Monday 22 April 2013


I've never been much of a flower gardener ... in my early gardening life, my tiny apartment balconies were dedicated to what little food could be grown (tomatoes, basil, sweet peppers).  When I first had a large yard with a lot of space, I was so new to gardening, I couldn't help but continue the focus on edibles.  There were a couple of recent years when I could have expanded my novice skills in flower gardening, but then someone else was there to do it for me.  So this first year at my new property, with so many other new things to deal with, I will dedicate equal time to the challenge of growing flowers!!  And it's not even all about growing.  It's also about maintaining, and let's be honest, even identifying, what flowers are already planted here.


From what I can tell, the flowers are generally limited to three small bordered garden areas at the front of the house.  I have performed (very) limited maintenance at this point, simply because I'm not sure what plants should be cut back or left as is.


Actually, other than the 3 main bordered gardens, there are some flowers scattered elsehwere, including these daffodils, and these "I-have-no-ideas":


In the meantime, I have plans for many more flowers. There are SO many options:  perennials vs. annuals, tall vs. short, hanging pots, containers, ground cover ... and the colours!  Variations are endless.  Although I haven't finalized all of my ideas, here are a few things on the go (plans and comments are mainly based on internet searches and information on the flower packs: please tell me if I'm out of my mind).

Already on the way:

  • Nasturtiums (annual): Edible flowers (high in vitamin C)!  They can grow tall, but I purchased a "dwarf" variety, so should only get to a foot or so.  They can be grown in the ground or in hanging planters and also deter some veggie pests, so I'll mix it up between planters and around plants;
  • Marigolds (annual): Awesome for deterring pests around many vegetable plants, so I'll be using these as a standard border plant;
  • Cosmos (annual):Cosmos grow to 3-4 feet; these might work well near west wall of the garage, which is too wet in early spring for any perennials;
  • Mammoth Russian sunflowers: they get HUGE!  I'm going to grow them near a patch of pumpkins/squash, as they seem to be good companion plants;
  • Asters - again, container most likely;

Clockwise: Marigolds, Nasties, Mammoth Russian Sunflower, Cosmos

 So those have been seeded so far!

I had also ordered a ridiculous amount of other seeds (annual, unless otherwise noted), most of which I have not yet planted:
  • Ballerina Mix Poppies - probably destined for a container;
  • Sunflower mix - shorter variety, container or border plant;
  • Geraniums - I started these from seed in early winter; they are now 4 inches high; container for sure, would be great if I could overwinter them, but not sure if all varieties work that way;
  • Hollyhock (perennial): I plan to put these along the back (west) wall of the house;
  • Lupins (perennial): I'm just going to dig a new plot somewhere in the middle of the backyard;

And very recent purchases at the local store when I decided to go crazy with more container plants:
  • Snapdragon (mini mix - technically a perennial, but not in northern climates);
  • Zinnia Pumila Mixture (great for cut flowers, container style);
  • Morning Glory (vining plant, I need to find something for it grow against!);
  • Sweet Pea (same as Morning Glory, need something to help it grow upwards);
  • Phlox (another dwarf mix for containers);
  • Nemophilla (sounds dirty, doesn't it?  These "penny black" variety are black with a white edge; again, containers).

So lots of planting left to do and I'll see how my gardening ability extends to flowers this year.  I'll happily (well, maybe unhappily) point out any failures in the hopes of learning from the experience.