I can still remember my mother’s voice, calling out to me, asking me to go pick a few cucumbers, peppers or jasmine flowers from our garden. This was a task I was always up for. I absolutely loved gardening with my parents, it’s one of my fondest memories. It was one of those things that only the three of us did together, along with watching movies, eating popcorn and lighting a fire in our fireplace during winters. I would stop whatever I was doing and grab a wicker basket, and rush to our backyard where I would walk down the steps of the deck and pretend that I was in my very own secret garden. The joy of picking a vegetable or flower that you planted with your very own hands is truly magical. A baby seed that has grown to its full potential, a fragrance to be savored, a bite to relish. Well, I wanted to recreate some of those memories for my daughters, so I thought it would be a great time to start planting again.
This year, I was determined to take a jab at sprucing up my front lawn, which just looked like it was missing something. We have a nice open porch, the only house on our street with one, and love to use the conversation seating on these cool summer nights. When I began the task, I looked up several articles on gardening for beginners, how to maintain a flower garden and DIY and How-To’s. Here are three simple things that I needed to do to start my very own flower garden.
- Choose a location/area. I knew what I wanted, something simple yet beautiful, inexpensive but at the same time eye-catching and very welcoming. I like the idea of walking up a pathway that is filled with cascading flowers and greenery. So I decided on the front pathway and just along the porch, as well a patch around our mailbox. It’s important to measure and also to know whether or not the area gets shade or sun when picking out your flowers.
- Set a budget. Once I had the measurements of all these patches figured out, I had a better understanding of how many plants I would need. Of course, I am just a beginner so not knowing the cost of different plants/flowers, I went in to several nurseries with questions. I browsed through their inventory, asked the experts and kept working at my budget. It did need tweaking a few times, but in the end I was satisfied.
- Hire some help. Now, this is completely conditional to your needs. In my case, with two babies on my hands, I just didn’t have the time to manually mulch and plant all the purchased plants/shrubs/flowers. I needed the grass removed, and the area to be cleaned out, then mulched and this area required A LOT of mulch. So I hired our landscaper to prepare the flower beds and plant all the flowers in the places I desired. Watering them daily and keeping them alive would be my contribution.
Some additional tips:
- Water your newly planted flowers everyday, except on rainy days. Use Miracle gro once a week to help them grow and stay nourished. If you have hanging pots, ensure that they are getting enough sun if they require it, you can move them into the sun if needed.
- Utilize your local nursery. Sometimes nurseries can seem expensive, but in my experience I found a much better selection and if you ask for some assistance from their shopkeepers, they will help you stay in budget. In the month of July/August, nurseries often put several plants on sale too.
Scroll down to see before and after snaps of our humble garden. I hope you get inspired like I was, and create your own haven. Watching your plants grow and spread is truly magical. My flower garden was really a way for me to get creative and have fun with my daughters. We’d enjoy watering the plants together daily, and talking about all the colors of the flowers, and even spotted a few butterflies. It truly is a way to connect with your child and inspire a love of gardening in them, just like I had with my parents when I was young.