Create A Barrel Of Petunias – Most petunias are half-hardy perennials but they are best grown as annuals, as the plants tend to become leggy and less floriferous in their second year. In their first year, they flower continuously from early summer until fall, but as with most plants that flower for a very long season, it is important to deadhead spent blooms to keep the display going.
Their leaves and stems are covered with downy hairs and the leaves are also quite sticky, so grow them away from heavy pollution or they will gradually become smothered in black dust.
Useful Ground Cover Plants – The best ground cover plants are evergreen. St. John’s wort (Hypericum) can be grown in a shady part of the garden where its bright yellow flowers will grow out of the darkness. Rose of Sharon (Hypericum calycinum) flowers from early summer to early fall. It makes a good specimen plant in non-shady places, too, but if planted in a border it can be invasive.
The periwinkles (Vinca) are excellent at covering the ground but can be invasive too, so plant them in woodland where they will have to struggle a little. Vinca minor grows to only just off the ground. It normally has pale lilac flowers but white and dusky red forms are attractive and slightly less invasive.
Elegant Companions Of Spring Plants – Only a handful of spring bulbs grow to a good size. They include Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum), which flowers in late spring and early summer and likes a shaded or semi-shaded site, and the crown imperials. Grown in three colors – yellow, orange, or deep red – the crown imperials are at their best in mid to late spring in a semi-shady or sunny spot.
While the crown imperials are very imposing, the Solomon’s seal is cool, quiet, and elegant. Both bear their flowers well above ground level, so they look best if they are underplanted with a mound of low-growing plants in complementary colors that flower at the same time.
Decorating Your Garden With Herbs – Most herbs are perennial plants that need six to eight hours of sunlight and well drained soil. Some are annuals and must be replanted every year. Even some annuals like rosemary and lemon verbena become annual in very cold areas of the country unless brought inside during the coldest part of the winter. One of the nicest things about herbs is that most can grow even in small areas with the help of containers.
If you have never cooked with herbs be prepared to have your taste buds awakened. You may want to start with a small herb garden. We suggest beginning with containers.
Climbing Plants – Climbers produce some of the most magnificent floral displays of any plants. They can cover bare walls, fences, trellises and pergolas with sheets of bloom in every color in natures range. Yet even the largest and most rampant takes up an area of ground only the size of its trunk. Because climbers grow up first, then spread out, they actually expand the garden by growing on to otherwise blank walls or other suitable supports, leaving the beds tree for non-climbing plants.
Climbing plants will transform a bare wall and form a beautiful backdrop for your garden. Some climbers cling with suckers or aerial roots and need no support.
Benefits Of Having Spring Perennials – For many, a spring garden just would not be the same without the contribution of perennials, often long-lived plants that provide interest year on year. They encompass many early-flowering plants (usually low-growing) that are delightful with spring bulbs and are good in herbaceous borders. If you have a spring perennial that you like, you can easily take cuttings in the summer; providing extra, free plants. Generally, a young, 10cm (4in) long, non-flowering shoot gives the best results.
After a long winter, you are about to start getting your yard ready for the warm months ahead. A big part of this process is working your flower beds and getting everything planted and ready to go.