We have just come through one of the most brilliant blooming seasons in recent history. This spring was amazing.There was a little too much rain but the temperatures were as close to normal as we have seen in quite a while. Customers have been bringing us pictures of the amazing color show, and piling in the car for a Sunday drive, to take in the “magic of spring”, was not out of the question.
The abundance of blooms this spring has sparked a renewed enthusiasm to improve landscaping, or for some, to start a new garden. There are several things that are important to know before expanding your garden or starting new. As always, you can count on us to give you the best advice and recommend the best products to help achieve your goal. Your success will depend on knowing these 3 basic things.
- Sun or shade. How many hours of sun does your garden get? In many areas in the Mid South, our landscape receives little or no sun during the late spring through summer. Planting sun loving plants in this environment will not produce the results you are expecting.
- Water. Does your garden area stay wet? Is it under irrigation? Will your gutter system flood your beds where you are planting? Fixing water issues before you plant can keep your garden looking beautiful throughout the season.
- Soil. As I mentioned in the last article, we have very heavy clay soil here. Amending your soil before you plant to improve drainage, and continuing to add organic material to your garden will improve the health and appearance of you landscaping. Soil pH for some plants is critical for overall health. Bring us a soil sample and we can test and make recommendations to change the pH or your soil, or what to plant to match the pH in that specific area.
Over the last couple of years, there has been an increased interest in planting specific plants to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and in some cases bees. The controversy over the disappearance of the honey still rages on. However, the one point the experts agree on, is that the natural food source for the honeybee is rapidly disappearing. We can help restore this critical food source by planting or not killing off plants like clover and dandelions. Adding plants like Lavender, Geraniums, Zinnias, Alyssum, and herbs such as Thyme, Sage, and Cilantro will not only provide food for honeybees, but will also increase the bee population, which in turn, will increase pollination of other desired plants.
Planting to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden will not only add brilliant color to your landscape, but also will provide an endless source of entertainment, not to mention a feeling of satisfaction knowing that you are giving back to Mother Nature. We carry a wide variety of plants to specifically attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Note: plants listed below, as well as other selections, are subject to seasonal availability.
Butterflies:Mint, Parsley, Bronze Fennel, Buckeye, Buddleia (butterfly bush), Viburnum, Yarrow, Wormwood, Milkweed, AsclepiasTuberosa ( Milkweed host plant for Monarch), Coneflower, Lantana, Lobelia Cardinalis, Bee balm, Passion Flower, Black eyed Susan, Pincushion Flower, Veronica, Verbena, and Zinnia.
Hummingbird Mint, Althea, Columbine, Asclepias Tuberosa, Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Canna Lily, Day Lily, Coral Bells, Hibiscus, Hosta, Lobelia Cardinalis, Liatris, Monarda, Penstemon, Phlox, Mexican Bush Sage, Million Bells, Cleome, Petunia, Pineapple Sage, and Mandevilla.
Stop by the garden center and we will be happy to show you all the specific varieties to plant in your garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. We are always here to assist you. Remember, plants that are heavy bloomers, are heavy feeders. For best results, feed with Espoma Plant-Tone,Flower-Tone, or Rose-Tone.