Beautiful blossoms

Beautiful blossoms

Advaita Shyam Sunder gives us a peek into the joy of cultivating a flower garden, and explains how it enhances the beauty of houses.

Nothing can beat the enjoyment and satisfaction of having your own flower garden. Whether you have green thumbs or you just enjoy the tranquil sight of different flowers blooming in your garden, it is high time to start a flower garden. It can give you a soothing and creative experience over time to be shared with your loved ones.
A flower garden enhances your outdoor surroundings in many ways, such as providing you with flowers that can be removed from the plants to create a bouquet or used as an indoor display in a vase.

Proper layout

Zest for gardening is great but can rapidly dry up when the work mounts as it involves flowers. So begin with a small flower bed say 20 sq ft which is room for many plants. You can always increase your planting as your experience grows. You can also do your first flower gardening in a container. Two to three plants can look stunning while sharing a fancy container and give you a sample of what you can expect further.

Making a detailed landscaping plan and digging a flower bed to fit that scheme will help. Either you can plan on paper or simply lay it out right there in your garden. You can use a garden hose on the ground to mark. Just take care if your lawn is adjoining the bed you are digging for flower planting, leaving yourself more access is a good idea.

Choosing a site that gets reasonable sunlight will do for the greatest variety of flower plants. Pick the ones that love exposure to sunlight. But, do note that these plants demand constant watering.

Also, ensure some shade is always available from the relentless afternoon sun, so a flower bed to the east of your building or fence works best. This will give protection from the hot dry winds that usually come from the west.

Flower gardening involves choosing good soil. Though soil can usually be improved, avoid shallow and rocky areas where water stands. A soil test will confirm what nutrients it requires and tell you the fertilisers it needs as well. Start digging as soon as you locate the site of planting. Remove all sod and pieces of grass or weeds that may re-sprout and be a hindrance to your flower gardening. After levelling the bed and breaking up any clods with a rake, add one or more inches of compost or manure if the soil is poor.

Buy the plants or seeds of flowers that you desire. Then plant those seeds according to their directions. Smaller plants go in the front of the bed. Most plants are planted at the same depth. Make the soil firm around them. Since plants grow, while placing them remember to start with extra space. Read the labels and instructions for planting various flower seeds carefully.

Choices aplenty

Getting a variety of flowers for your garden will make it more aesthetic. This is because they bloom at different times and this will keep your garden always bountifully bloomed. If you don’t have many flowers blooming early spring or late summer, stroll around your area and see what is blooming. Go out and buy a few of the ones which are in season, and plant more of them. After doing this several times, you will have flowers almost all year.

Research online on the flowers that appeal to you and whether it is possible to buy and plant them. You need to know how much attention and care they demand. For instance, rose plants need intensive care. If you are willing to spend hours fertilising, weeding and maintaining a rare bloom, the payoff is a garden full of flowers that few others will have. If you have less time but still yearn for beauty, look for ‘easy-care’ flower varieties. Most garden shops will have a selection of flowers that don’t require much more than a spot to grow in, making them a great choice.

A home flower gardener many a time looks for easy maintenance, and his choice of flowers matters. For instance, African Violet (Saintpaulia) flower plants seem to flourish for years. They are favourite choices for planting among many as they don’t require a dormant period. You can also find them in shades of white and red. They are compact and free-flowering. With careful watering, high humidity and bright but not direct sunlight, it is possible to witness several blooms every year.

You can also go for Begonias as they make excellent houseplants, blooming continuously in good conditions. Look for the fibrous rooted types like wax-leafed, angel-wing and hairy-leafed varieties in them. Begonias possess characteristics of a great indoor plant as they are tough and undemanding. There are untold varieties such as the trailing or bushy ones and all manner of foliage Begonias.

Good buy

While buying potted flower plants, in case you don’t have the patience to wait for the seeds to grow into flowering plants, just examine them. Flowers that have brown edges, spots or holes in the bloom are unhealthy and should be avoided. Flowers that have just begin to blossom and vibrant-looking in colour and size are your best bet.
Watering the flower plants thoroughly is essential. Like a good waiter who knows when to serve water to his customers, a good gardener will check whether water is required every now and then. How much you water the plants depends on their need such as the climate, exposure and amount of rain they get.

Always make it a point to cut old blooming parts of the plant. Many plants re-bloom but only if the old ones are pruned and cut. So, support the healthy growth of your plants whenever necessary.

Owning a flower garden can be tedious but it is also rewarding, enriching and interactive. The pleasure of cutting your most beautiful flowers to make a bouquet and presenting it to your loved ones is incomparable.

You can be a florist yourself. Lush foliage and vibrant flowers with their intoxicating scents are hard to say no for a gardener. Don’t forget that your flowers attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, which are a spectacular visual treat.

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