Flower bed guide– What I like and what I will avoid next season

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This is the first summer I had flower beds complete with flowers in the front and back of my house. When I went to my local greenhouse back in the beginning of June, flowers were mostly picked over but I still had a hard time deciding which ones to buy. I am so indecisive when it comes to a lot of things. I had never bought flowers to plant before so I had a hard time visualizing how my flower bed would look. Even if a flower tag says a flower will grow to be 12 inches tall and you should plant 10 inches apart, for me that means nothing. LOL

Here are a few tips you should know before you buy:

Is the plant an annual or a perennial? An annual will continually bloom throughout the season but will eventually die and a new plant will need to be planted the following year. A perennial, generally, blooms once during a particular time frame but will do so every season. Usually after a few years of growth, it will need to be divided and replanted.

Check plant tags for vital information that include what climates the plants will thrive in, how much water and sun light they need and if they need weekly or biweekly fertilization. If you are buying perennials, look for ones that are guaranteed for 1 year or your money back. Perfect for beginners like me!

Here are the annual flowers I will not buy again:

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Wizard Sun Velvet Red– I think these are great to cover a wide area. They should be planted towards the back of a flower bed because they grow rather tall. When you initially buy them they are typically a single stem with a few leaves and about 6 inches tall. I found them to be a pretty hardy plant with thick stems.  I just didn’t find anything too appealing about these.

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If you do plant these, pay close attention to the little flower buds that grow out of the top. My neighbor is the president of a local flower club and he suggested that the buds should be broke or cut off to prevent the whole plant from dying.

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Marigolds– The bush depicted grew from a single flower. I find marigolds to be hearty as well with thick stems that need lots of room to grow. These should also be planted in the back of flower beds. I had some of these planted in the front but they had overshadowed some other plants I had behind them. They come in different colors. I planted this orange color and a creme one as well. I would not buy these again because I feel like they overpower the flower beds. 

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Maestro– I bought these in a red and creme color and even though I appreciate their unique shape, I don’t like that they are very delicate and the leaves fall off very easily. You can see the leaves on the ground in the photo. 

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Now on to the annuals I would buy again:

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Superbena in Super Iced Cherry– I bought two of these plants and one did not make it but even still I do like these plants. I found the color to be very pleasant to look at. I suggest planting these in the front of a flower bed because they do not grow very tall but they do need space to grow because what they lack in height, they make up for in width. 

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Purple Waves– I lost the flower tag to these plants somewhere along the way. These flowers are low lying but spread out. They take on a vine like quality. I noticed that they were slowly climbing up the lattice work on my porch. I suggest planting these somewhere they can climb. Notice the top, left corner of the photo. The plant is starting to brown. That is because the plant has uprooted from the ground. I have two of these plants and both of done this. So make sure the roots are planted well below ground level and keep an eye on them encase you need to replant.

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Gloria Euphorbia– These are dainty little plants that work prefect around borders because they do not grow very tall or wide. The white works nicely to break up colors from other vibrate plants. These are pretty hardy plants and do not take much finessing. 

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Pumpkin on a stick– This plant cracks me up. I talk smack to it all the time because it has gotten so BIG. I had no idea what to expect from this plant. I wish I had a photo of it when I first received it from my local metro park. They have a wonderful family program where they teach adults and children about how to plant gardens, the importance of honey bees and so on. They gave me this plant during a visit with my church. It was so tiny and fit within a small pot. I knew I was in trouble because one week after I planted it, it doubled in size and it hasn’t stopped yet. The little white buds will develop miniature pumpkins. How cute!

Here are the perennials I recommend buying: 

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Meadow Sage ‘East Friesland’– This is probably most prized plant. I bought it on a clearance cart. It didn’t look to healthy but I was drawn to its color and fragrance. After a few weeks from planting it, I thought I had lost it. I don’t think it had been getting enough water. Now it is flourishing. I like that it requires sun and partial shade too. 

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Sage ‘Heatwave Blaze’– My mom bought several perennials for me for my birthday. This is my favorite one. It has delicate pink flowers buds randomly dispersed on it. It has also spread out a bit. Notice that it also came with a one year guarantee just encase I kill it. My mom knows me so well. hehehe

I plan on adding more flower beds along my fence in the back and on the side of my house. I am just going to do a little each summer, slowing adding here and there and see what develops.

And wow the more I look at these photos, the more embarrassed I get. :p They needed a good soaking of water and a good weeding. I don’t have a green thumb I tell ya but I am working on it!

Just as a warning, no one should put me in charge of watering their plants. I use to clean a doctor’s office. The doctor and the office manager, which was the doctor’s wife, owned a house plant they kept in the waiting room. After cleaning the office for several months, a note had been left for me. This was how the office manager and I communicated with one another. She politely let me know that the plant was REAL and that it indeed needed watering. That was her first mistake. I had no idea how much or how little water I needed to give it. I believe I over watered it and a few weeks later it had been removed from the office but I never heard what happened to it nor was I asked to water anything else. oops!

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