Remember the almost magical feeling of your grandmother’s garden, bursting with loads of colorful, fragrant blooms and magnificent foliage? There was always something going on in the floral garden; and nearly every plant had a specific purpose, whether it was for the kitchen, treating ailments, or keeping up appearances.
Gardeners of the past created beautiful landscapes with many of the same plants commonly seen today. Heirloom plants are quite hardy, and many of these vintage flowers have managed to survive on their own throughout centuries, while others have been cultivated into more modern varieties. Nonetheless, these old-time favorites are worth remembering so why not rediscover the past by incorporating some old-fashioned beauties into your own garden.
The Italian Bellflower is one of the best of all summer-flowering trailing plants. For generations it has been grown on windowsills and sideboards, its long grey-green stems tumbling down the side of the pot. During the summer these stems bear a profusion of small star-shaped flowers.
The blooms are clustered at the tips of the stems, and one of the secrets of success for prolonging the display is to remove the flowers once they have faded. Campanulas are no problem – all you have to provide are bright and fairly cool conditions and a compost which is kept moist throughout the growing season. Once flowering is over, cut back the stems and keep cool and fairly dry during the winter rest period.
Fuchsias occur in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes. There are hundreds of named varieties of F. hybrida, with the familiar bell-shaped flowers hanging from the stems. These blooms may be single, semi-double or double, with colour combinations of white, pink, red or purple. A collection of these hybrids can provide blooms from spring to fall, and some experts regard the Fuchsia as the most satisfactory of all flowering house outdoor plants.
Unfortunately nearly all of the outdoor plants bought for home decoration or as gifts are consigned to the dustbin once flowering stops and the leaves begin to fall. It is, however, quite easy to overwinter the plant in a cool room.
The petunia can make a beautiful addition to the sunny garden. They range in height from 12 to 15 inches tall and come in a large variety of single and bicolor plants. Their bright shades of blue, purple, pink, white, red and yellow will bloom all summer.
Petunias make wonderful bedding plants and when planted in large numbers provide a delicious, unforgettable fragrance. They can be used for borders and in mass plantings in the garden. They are also wonderful for use in a hanging basket, patio container, or window box where they will cascade down with a tidal wave of color. Although mostly used as annuals, petunias are considered a tender perennial and can be used as houseplants in a sunny window or in a greenhouse in the winter.
Window boxes are a charming feature for any home. You can make the most of these miniature gardens by choosing the right flowers. To pick the right plants, you must consider the climate of your location, the amount of sunlight the window boxes get, and the amount of care you are willing to give the plants. You also want to make sure that you choose plants that will not grow tall enough to obscure the view through the window. Be sure to pick plants that will grow no more than twelve inches tall.
Planting annuals will allow you to have different flowers each year, if you wish. You may even change flowers with the seasons. Several good annuals to plant are petunias, nasturtiums, marigolds, impatiens, and snapdragons. Pansies and flowering kale will provide color in winter.
Bees are important to pollinate our crops, and because many of our pollinators are now scarce, we are totally dependent on the honey bee to do this job. So what is pollination? Well it starts when a bee crawls around plants and enters the blossom this is when the honey bee is dusted with pollen.
The bee will fly over to another blossom with the pollen in its hair, and when it lands, the pollen falls onto this blossoms stigma. Bearing in mind other insects pollinate crops too, but without the pollination from the honey bee there would be one third less crops in the world than there is now.