Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Have a Colorful Garden in All Seasons

This is a guest post by the talented young Miss Kate Wilsson. (But you knew that because I don't actually know jack about gardening. I attract guest writers who do, probably by way of pity.) I love that the article is really about color, and I do of course aspire to be a gardener so that I can continue to be a vegetarian when the Zombie Apocalypse happens. Enjoy, and then check out Ecofriend (where Kate writes) for practical eco-tips to better your footprint. Or to garner skills for a post-apocalyptic 2013. Whatever. -Heidi

Creating the illusion of perpetual bloom in the garden throughout all seasons is mostly good planning, part art, part science and good luck along with a little extra labor. There are certain tricks that can be used to fill pockets of colors in the garden during the summer with a little bit of effort. The garden can be transformed into a lush and colorful space by implementing a few helpful tips given below.

1. Deadheading One way of making the flowers re-bloom until the seed sets in is by removing or deadheading spent blossoms. Periodic deadheading will benefit annuals as well as perennials as this will encourage the flowers to re-bloom. Once the seed sets in the flower is spent and will not bloom again. Deadheading can be done by sniping off from the base the entire flower part which is spent. For those flowers with multiple buds, you can cut off from the base just near to the unopened buds.

 2. Shearing Plants that have multiple flower buds can be sheared off once the flowers have all faded by shearing out about 1/3 of the plant. The plants recover quickly and in fact this process rejuvenates the plant by giving it new foliage and new buds. For plants like geraniums and Brunnera, you can shear off the dead leaves and flowers right near the new growth base. They will recover and grow back quickly.

3. Step pruning Pruning perennial plants in step form is a clever way of prolonging the blooms. This can be done by visually dividing a clump of plants into three sections with a front, middle and back. When these plants are about 6 to 8 inches in height; prune by at least 1/3 and 1/2 of the front and center section. Let them grow up to another 6 to 8 inches tall and then prune by 1/3 and 1/2 the front section. This type of pruning will give a step or three levels of successive blooming. According to this pruning, the rear section will bloom first and when it fades out the middle section will bloom. Finally, the front section will bloom to cover the faded previous blooms in the other two levels.

4. Re-seeding Annuals can bloom throughout summer but some annuals do not respond well to deadheading. For annuals such as verbena and cleome bloom and run out before they can set in new buds. To prolong their bloom, they can be re-seeded about 4 weeks after the initial seeding. If you have grown these plants by seedlings then you can seed some at the same time so that the plants that grow from seed will bloom when the seedling blooms fade out.

5. Feeding Plants require feeding as they expend a lot of energy while giving out blooms so your flowering blooms will still require fertilizer boost every 3 to 5 weeks. Super or triple phosphate is excellent to give a kick boost to your plants for boosting bud set and root development as it is a balanced supplement.

6. Mix in colorful foliage By sprinkling your garden with a few hardy shrubs and sprinting annuals, you will never run out of colors in the garden. Plants like the bronze sweet potato vine, sambucus, orange cannas; chartreuse and pale pink and cream Weigela augment and complement the flowers in the garden. These shrub plants have colors of their own and create the perfect illusion of riots of flowers in the garden. You can incorporate these shrubs in your garden so that you never run short of colors.

About The Author: Kate is a blogger by profession. She is fond of writing, travelling and shopping. Recently she bought a White Tv Stand for her living room. These days she is busy writing an article on wave power for her blog Ecofriend.

Heidi's plug: Look! There's a DIY bike generator! This is an obsession of Mr. Bones' and we plan to use it to watch Romero movies as research when Zack* invades.

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1 comment:

  1. I empathize with Demi. I hate that I do, but I do. Aging, when you've not done the internal work meant to combat the culture that shoves youth and beauty down our throats, sucks.