I've loved flowers since I can remember. While cut flowers are nice, I admit I get more enjoyment out of watching flowers bloom and grow in a flower bed or flower garden. I'm no expert at flower gardening -- I am learning as I go.
In my flower beds, located on the south and east sides of our house, I grow my favorite perennial flowers and plants -- roses, irises, tulips, daffodils, jonquils, peonies, purple cone flowers, black-eyed Susans, mouse-eared coreopsis, hydrangeas, tiger lilies, daylilies, pincushion flowers, creeping flox, sedum and hostas, I have a couple more, but I'm not really sure what they are called – as I said, I am learning.
In addition to perennials, I also plant quite a few annuals in my flower beds including impatiens, asters, celosia and dianthus. I have a couple more, but I can't remember what they are called. In addition to the flower beds, I have four hanging baskets of flowers and two big flower pots on my front porch and one on my deck. I planted all of them with geraniums, petunias, silver verbena, spike plants and variegated vinca vinces. I also have two hanging baskets of impatiens on my deck.
When my tulips around a bird bath in the backyard die, I plan to clip off the dead leaves and plant some more annuals. I haven't quite decided which annuals to plant there yet because it will be the second week of June before I can cut back the tulips. My default annual is impatiens. I love growing impatiens because, if they get plenty of water, they really get big and look beautiful and get lots of oohs and aaahs, even from my sons who think my flowers, for the most part, are large waste of time.
Last summer, my impatiens looked pretty pathetic due to the lack of rain from May through July and then the end of August through the middle of October. Even though we watered every day or every other day, the summer's heat and lack of rain really took a toll on them and on me. My husband helps me with watering and weeding. After weeding or watering the flowerbeds, he often refers to my flowers as "all your damn flowers." By July last summer I was calling them "all my damn flowers," too and wondering why I had so many.
I was thinking of not growing impatiens this year but then I reasoned with all the rain we've been having this spring, the chances of back-to-back drought years is not too likely. A good call since we're getting rain as I write this and more rain is in the forecast for the coming week.
If you're not really sure how to grow flowers, my best advice is to grow what you like and start small. Gardening involves weed control. We use Preen but we still have plenty of weeds to pull. Talk to someone you know who grows flowers and ask them what works for them. Try to minimize the number of perennials you have to buy at local garden stores. Find a friend or relative who will share some perennials with you. It's always fun to buy a few perennials each year, but establish a budget and stick to it. In a few short years your flowers will multiply and your flower garden will fill in and in no time you will be sharing perennials with your friends and family.
It's spring! The main thing is to get out there and grow something! You might be surprised how well your garden turns out and how beautiful your flowers are.