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Show Stopping Flower Beds

As fall approaches, the itch to get new colorful plants in the ground may be upon us. While the nurseries will start having full colorful annuals and perennials trucked in daily, there are a few things we should consider before planning out our winter garden. Here are a few ideas to help you achieve a show-stopping flower bed.

  • Timing is critical; planting too early may be stressful to winter annuals, leading to diseases and potentially death. Discuss ideal planting times with your nurseryman.
  • Garden prep is important: Add 3-4” of organic material or garden soil to help create a moist, fertile growing environment. Till 8-12” into garden.
  • Select plants that are large enough to plant yet have not become root bound (matted or circling roots around root ball.)
  • Ideally, look for plants with a good number of flower buds which have not yet opened.
  • Look outside your comfort zone: delphinium, hollyhock, poppies and bulbs can make nice complements to the traditional flowers used in beds.
  • Perennials can make great options in bed including salvia varieties, roses and even grasses.
  • Don’t shy away from flowerless plants; colorful foliage can add texture and interest to your flowerbeds. Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is a great option!
  • Get wild with the ‘Sunfinity’ sunflower which provides season-long flowers for floral arrangements.
  • Dianthus is often underused but available in many varieties with season-long white, pink and purple flowers for 14-20” in height.
  • Besides the traditional Geranium, there are some varieties with showy foliage to add another dimension in your show-stopping bed.

It is best to wait until temperatures are consistently below 100 degrees to help reduce heat and transplant stress. Water plants daily for the first few days after planting and then water according to weather conditions at your site. Soil should not dry out below 1” but should not ever be soggy or saturated. Be creative with your design, break a few rules- no one is judging for planting an orange next to a pink.

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