Nothing turns a house into a home quite like a flower garden bursting with colorful blooms. Your garden doesn’t have to be any more work than you want to make it. Many bulbs and perennials will naturalize (which means once they’re planted, they’ll grow like wildflowers) or require very little care aside from summer water in dry locations.
There’s nothing like a flower garden to brighten up a home.
The earliest blooms are often the most welcomed, as after long dreary days of winter, most of us are aching to see fresh flowers and sunshine. Many bulbs begin blooming long before the sun makes an appearance: crocus and snowdrops will poke their brightly colored faces through the last of winter’s snow, while daffodils, grape hyacinths, and early tulips soon follow with large fragrant hyacinths, anemones and late tulips blooming until mid to late spring.
In late spring and early summer, perennials begin to take over the garden. Daylilies (perennials not actually related to lily bulbs) require only minimal water in dry months, and can be planted in spring or fall. Most begin blooming shortly after most bulbs stop, and then continue through mid-summer, though some varieties bloom later or re-bloom until fall.
A flower garden in full bloom is a sight to see.
From late spring to early summer, Asiatic lily bulbs put on a show of abundant, brightly colored blooms. Feathery astilbe and foxglove will brighten shady spots around this time, while peony, iris, lilac, and coneflower are low maintenance and bloom in this transition time between spring and summer.
In mid to late summer, oriental lily bulbs will steal the spotlight in your flower garden — they’re large, showy, brightly colored and highly fragrant bulbs which are extremely hardy and require little care aside from summer water. Other easy-to-grow perennials that will reliably grow throughout the summer are dahlias, dianthus, coreopsis, salvia, and phlox.
Prepare your flower garden for fall blooms.
As summer fades to autumn, your flower garden does not have to fade as well because dianthus, phlox, black-eyed susan, and coneflower will bloom profusely until, or a little past, first frost. Some varieties of iris and daylilies rebloom in fall; some crocus are fall blooming; and, of course, chrysanthemums wait until the season for most flowers is over before they put on their show.
When the frigid winter months set in, depending on your location, your flowers may have to go on hiatus for a short time. In milder climates, cool season flowers such as violets, lenten rose, and cyclamen may bloom happily through the winter, while in the coldest areas, evergreens and winter berry bearing shrubs can still put a little color in your yard.
All of the bulbs and perennials mentioned are low maintenance. As a rule of thumb, if the foliage dies back in late spring (most bulbs and a few perennials), they require no summer water. Later blooming flowers, and those that stay green all summer (most perennials, and a few bulbs), need occasional water in dry months. Always check the growing requirements of any plant before you buy. Make sure your sun/shade conditions and climate zone are appropriate. Enjoy your flower garden!