July 11, 2018

Gardening: How to Create a Flower Garden (Part 2)


You guys, I did it! I created my very first flower garden and I couldn't feel more proud and accomplished if I tried. ;) Seriously though, this was years and years in the making and I had to make some compromises to get it done this year. I also had to really push my body because I wanted to plant everything myself, which happened to be the same day I went and bought it all. It was definitely a big job, but overall I couldn't be happier at the outcome. Since these photos were taken, we've had a few obstacles, if you follow me on IG then you'll get all the updates. But I digress... Let's start at the beginning, shall we? {Read How to Create a Flower Garden (Part 1)}

1) Stain the garden box: I knew I wanted to stain the garden boxes, but I didn't want to contaminate my soil. Since I had already put the soil in, I opted to just stain the outside of each box to make it look nice, but to also keep the chemicals of the stain out of the flower boxes. I used the same color as my deck and I was done in no time. Easy peasy! 



2) Choose your flowers: OK, so remember when I talked about compromise? In my mind, these boxes were full of very specific flowers: ranunculus, sweet peas, snapdragon, rose trees in the back row, peony & hydrangea bushes on the sides, and about six other types as well. After looking at four different stores over the corse of three months I thought I knew what I wanted and I was ready to shop. I started adding up the prices and holy cow, my dream garden was going to cost me over $500 for just phase one (the first year of planting)! Reality check Lisa...you can not spend that. So, I decided to wing it. Yes, you heard me right, I went to a different store, Home Depot actually, and started filling up my cart with short, medium, and tall plants, bushes, and trees....all on the fly!

I knew I wanted three rows in each side of the garden box, so I had to look for plants that liked full sun, would not overgrow in their areas, and would look pretty at different times of the year. Lots of seeing something I liked, reading the tag, and at times putting pretties down. It also caused me to make snap decisions under pressure as my son would walk on to the next suggestion he was making. Hey, I was pumped he wanted to go with me but it did add to making quicker decisions! Ok, back to the flowers.  

In the end, I ended up spending around $160 for all of my plants. Which when you see the photo below and how much I got, it's actually quite impressive. I will be adding a few of my original "dream garden" flowers/maybe a rose tree in the fall & another garden box to fill for next spring. This is obviously something that will grow with me (patron the pun) over time. 


3) Map it out. As I mentioned before, I wanted three rows on each side (short, medium height, and tall) so I mapped it out. Once all the plants were in, I took a step back and just stared at it. Then I'd move a few things around and repeat. I advise your favorite music to be playing in the background, this helps the process. I mean, look with Mumford & Sons helped me do! ;) Once I loved the layout it was time to plant. 


4) Plant everything, one row at a time. This helps with spacing and allows you to see any issues before they happen. Plus it's organized and if I wanted to stop for the day or take a break, it would be easy to come back to. I, of course, could not stop once I started planting. I was just too excited to see the finished product! 




5) Add a fence to keep rabbits out. Instead of having a crazy high fence, I used wire cutters (this process took forever!) and shortened the height and size. High enough to keep them out, low enough for the flowers to thrive and be easy for me to reach for upkeep and cutting fresh blooms for bouquets. 


6. Give them a boost! I added flower food and will do that once a week the first month, and then once a month until the first frost. You can use miracle grow or any natural alternative, totally up to you. I'm pretty sure the directions say to use it less then that, but wow has my garden been banging since, so I like this was just fine. ;) OK, Now let's talk about the types of flowers, trees, and bushes I added to my flower garden. Since this space is in full sun from sunrise until two hours prior to sunset, I needed to find perennials that would thrive in these conditions. Here is me I found:

Coneflower "PowWow Wild Berry"- Pink/purple in color, attracts Butterflies, blooms midsummer to fall, grows upright, height 20-24". Perfect for the middle row of your flower garden.

Tickseed "Nana"- Yellow in color, blooms spring to summer, hight 6-8". Such a great flower for the front row of your garden. Attracts butterflies! A cute filler flower for pops of yellow in bouquets. 


Elegant Candy Daylily- Ruffled, pink/orange flowers that bloom in midsummer and again later, 18-24" height (within three years). Perfect for the middle row! 


Foxglove 'Dalmatian Rose'- Purple and white in color, grows upright 16-18" (perfect for the back row), early to midsummer blooms, attracts humming birds! These beauties do need a little help so I have placed wood sticks next to the two I have and tied them so they grow strait and not slump over.


Daylily 'Stella Supreme'- Light yellow in color, mid-to late summer blooms, 15" in height (perfect for middle row blooms), attracts hummingbirds! 


Calla Lily- Yellow in color, can get up to 24" in height. Perfect for the middle row and such a beautiful addition to my garden. 


The Knock Out Rose- Cherry red/ bright pink in color, blooms from spring all the way to frost (score!), 3-4' in height which is perfect for back or middle row.


THESE NEXT FEW PHOTOS WERE TAKEN THREE WEEKS LATER. PLANTS ARE MORE LUSH BELOW THEN THEY WERE ON THE DAY THEY WERE PLANTED.

Catmint (walker's low)- Purple and green in color, blooms early spring to summer, 12" in height, great for the middle row. I thought this one would be a cute filler flower. I love that it grows tall & wide, already beautiful!


Spotted Dead Nettle 'White Nancy'- White in color, blooms early to late summer, grows 8" in height, perfect for my front row! I'm sure I'll use these occasionally in bouquets, but honestly I just love it in my garden. It really brightens up my little space.


Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'- Red flowering shrub, blooms late spring to fall, 20' in height, holy cow...I forgot to read this beauty's tag first! OK, hear me out. So my son was with me and we had already chosen everything else. Then he points this one out and I thought it was gorgeous. So, obviously we had to have it! It is thriving in my garden...but alas, can not stay there. I am going to keep it in this beautiful, fertilized, well taken care of area until the fall. Then, this shrub will makes it was to the front of our home landscaping. I really hope it survives the move. It truly is so beautiful! READ YOUR TAGS PEOPLE! (lowers head and shakes it) ;)


Madame Galen Trumpet Vine- Green vines with red orange flowers that bloom in the late summer and fall. Can get up to 15' in height. Attracts butterflies and birds, which I love. I knew I wanted a few trees back here (spaced out down the side of my home of course), so this one with vines really seemed appealing. I love that it will eventually look like a mini weeping willow.


Also not pictured, but in this space as well:

Oriental Lily- Dusty rose in color, blooms early to late summer, 12-36" in height. These fragrant beauties are perfect for the back row of my garden.

Whoops-A-Daisy Dwarf Shasta- White flowers that have a heavy blooming habit. They attract butterflies and are beautiful in summer bouquets. Topping out at 15-18" in height, they are perfect for my second row.


So, that's my garden folks! What do you think? Are any of these flowers ones that you would enjoy in your yard? Do you have any suggestions of types of flowers to add to these? Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today, I hope you make it a great day! xo 

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