Beauty is not the only thing that a winter flower garden can offer to humans. Sometimes, they change our perspective on life. The colors and smells effect our human brain in a positive way. They are known to boost our mood and reduce stress. Moreover, the act of planting inspires us with a sense of responsibility to care and protect our mother earth. If you are thinking about starting you own garden, the first thing to keep in mind is that growing plants depends on three main factors. These are the amount of sunlight, the air temperature and the soil moisture.
Since we moved in to our new home in June, we’ve been planning to add a mini garden in front of our front porch. However, we couldn’t do it because it was summer and in Bakersfield, CA that means extremely HOT. The summers here average around 105 degrees which is way to hot for most transplanting. Now that Fall is here, we’re happy to start another family project. All the things that we needed for the garden were purchased at Home Depot and they have plenty of winter plants for you to choose from. Here are some of the items that we needed for our project:
Topper soil – it is a top dressing and soil amendment for the garden or lawn. It is enriched with starter fertilizer to help plants get the nourishment they need to start growing.
Amend Garden Soil – helps to softens the hard clay soil and reduce soil compaction. It also helps to improve water penetration.
Flowering Plants that grow in the winter season or in cooler climates.
- Snapdragon – An old-fashioned favorite prized for its beautiful flowers. Wonderful for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Outstanding as a cut flower. Great with zinnia, marigold, sweet potato vine and other sun-lovers.
- Sweet Alyssum – White Knight from Proven Winners grows masses of fragrant white blooms that cover green foliage from planting until a hard frost. Very heat and cold tolerant, this award-winner does not require deadheading and is great in landscapes and containers. This lobularia also attracts bees and butterflies.
- Wax Begonia – A tried and true staple in landscape planting, begonias offer color and variety for gardeners. While they prefer shade, they will do well in full sun and like well-drained soils. They make terrific bedding plants because of their uniform size and shape, and can highlight porches, patios and stairways in containers. They bloom from spring through fall and prefers 4 hours or less of sun.
- Marigold – are some of the easiest annuals to grow. They thrive under a wide range of growing conditions. They can handle hot summer days like no other annual. These easy care, no fuss plants can make the most novice gardener look like a pro. They’re great additions to containers and borders or scattered throughout the garden. They’re also planted in vegetable gardens to keep out unhealthy nematodes and aphids
- Dragons Breath – enjoys the heat and sun while displaying an abundance of flower plumes, each as much as 12 in. long. The soft, feathery plumes come in the most outrageous range of near-neon colors. Also called Celosia and holds its color well as a dried flower. It’s a wonderful variety when you need one that thrives in heat and dry conditions. Blooms from midsummer into fall.
Water Soluble All-purpose plant food – provides plant protection when replanting or re-potting. It can use for indoor and outdoor plants. Thus, promotes root growth.
First thing we needed to do was to determine a good area for the garden. We chose an area just in front of the front porch that gets enough afternoon sun. We had to remove the grass from the area, till and amend the soil. We then landscaped the area by making a border out of some old bricks we had laying around and formed a flower bed. We have a tree right next to our new flower bed so we needed to take some of the roots out that were running through the area. We did this by basically just chopping them with an ax and pulling them out by hand. The last stage was to apply a few bags of amend and soil topper. We then planted the flowers that can grow throughout winter.
One thing I like about Home Depot is that their plants have an information tag that provides recommendations for the spacing between the plants, plant height, temperature consideration and best month/s to be planted. Once the re-potting was done, I mixed a tablespoon of plant food to a gallon of water and watered the plants. I did this 4-5 times a gallon just to assure that they will get enough nutrients. Some plants will wilt the following day after re-potting because of three possible reasons. The soil is different from the soil where they were settled; different lighting conditions and the roots are exposed to air for a length of time during the re-potting. To avoid the transplant shock, a water soluble, all-purpose plant food can be added. A dose of this plant food every 1-2 weeks will help the plants to grow bigger and more beautiful compared to unfed plants. You can also use this plant food for your vegetables as well.
Do you have any favorite winter flowers? Let me know how your winter garden experiences in the comment section below. Also spread the word by sharing this post to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. #winterblooms