Flowers provide abundant color and structure to a landscape, and certain types are also grown for their pleasing fragrances. Whether they’re a part of a garden that concentrates on one specific species or a riotous mix of different kinds, they please the senses and quickly draw the eye. With more hybrids than ever now available now, selection can prove to be a gardener’s biggest challenge. But basic knowledge and planning go a long way to help ensure good results.
Consider a flower’s scent, or lack thereof, when choosing which varieties to grow. Certain varieties, such as lilacs and peonies, while attractive to begin with, are often grown primarily for their scent. Scent also influences the type of critters the flowers attract, particularly pollinators that can be drawn to a flower’s fragrance and stay for its nectar. So be on the lookout for bees, butterflies, ants and others that play a crucial part in such symbiotic reproductive relationships. Not all flowers have a wonderful fragrance, however, and some have no smell at all.
Choose a highly visible spot to plant your flowers so that you and your visitors can easily see them when you’re inside and out. Front yards are ideal for flower placement, as are seating areas such as patios and decks. Cornell University notes that most flower species grow best in full sun, so take note of each plant’s light requirements and group them accordingly by cultivating sun worshipers, such as marigolds, in a location that receives at least six hours of daily sun and shade lovers, such as impatiens, in a spot that is partially shaded.
Unless you’re planting flowers that grow best in boggy conditions, plant flowers in soil that drains well. Avoid places where water stands after a heavy rain. Water them consistently, particularly as they are beginning to grow. Cultivate some drought-loving varieties, such as black-eyed Susans, that don’t need much water once they mature. Cut off some flowers for vases and pinch off dead blooms to promote more growth.
Note how large plants will look when they reach full maturity and plant them so that they won’t negatively affect their neighbors. Place the tallest plants to the northernmost back portion of a garden so that they won’t block the sun from smaller flowers. Space each plant far enough away from others so that it has enough room to grow to its fullest width too.
Grow different species of flowers that bloom at different times of the growing season so that you’ll have constant color. Cultivate early spring bloomers, such as daffodils and hyacinths, summer showoffs such as roses and hydrangea bushes, and fall favorites such as chrysanthemums and asters. Have an annual garden that changes each year or rely on perennials and mix annuals in with those. Also consider the foliage of each plant for additional contrast and interest.