As a busy mom, it may be difficult for you to find time to garden as extensively as you'd like. When spring rolls around, however, even moms with the tightest schedules can effectively add a touch of color and style to their outdoor space by filling containers with flowers and placing them in the yard or on patios, porches or decks. There are several options for you to consider when it comes to assembling arrangements which announce that spring has sprung.
1. Containers -- Think Out of the Box
Before you plant the first flower, choose containers that best suit your purpose. Select containers with drainage holes in the bottom, particularly when the containers will be exposed to spring rains. Spring rains can be heavy and water may flood pots without sufficient drainage and ruin carefully constructed arrangements. They don't have to boxy wood planters, although those are good too. Container materials include wood, cement, metal, terracotta and synthetics. Consider the weight of each container if you live in a windy area or think that you may want to move or rearrange the pots during the growing season. Pair big, bold flowers with large, sturdy containers and delicate flowers with smaller, lighter pots to create a pleasing aesthetic for your arrangements.
When selecting spring flowers for your arrangements, choose those that bloom early in the season. Fill planters with flowers such as common snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 8 and displaying showy white flowers or primroses (Primula vulgaris), hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8 , with their soft-yellow blossoms that beckon butterflies. More colorful options include Persian buttercups (Ranunculus asiaticus), hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10 and available in a variety of hues, and pansies (Viola x wittrockiana), hardy in USDA zones 6 to 10 and offering fragrant blossoms from April to June.
3. Accent Greenery
Creating arrangements for planters requires more than simply placing a bunch of flowers randomly into containers. Including additional greenery for a contrasting look adds interest to arrangements. For a frosted appearance that contrasts effectively with the colorful flowers in your arrangements, add the herbaceous perennial dusty miller (Senecio cineraria), hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10. Try using blue fescue (Festuca glauca "Elijah Blue"), hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8, for a touch of purple-tinged greenery.
4. Caring for Container Arrangements
Once you've spent time, effort and money creating beautiful arrangements, it's crucial that you care for them correctly. Check the soil before watering plants. Insert your finger one inch into the soil to check for moisture. When the soil is dry, water the plants. Use a slow-release fertilizer to help plants thrive. Pinch off flower heads as they die in order to encourage new growth. Monitor spring flower arrangements regularly to check for pests and disease.
- University of Illinois Extension: Choosing a Container for Planting
- Fine Gardening: Galanthus nivalis
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Primula vulgaris
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Ranunculus asiaticus
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Viola x wittrockiana
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Senecio cineraria
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue'
- University of Florida: Container Garden Care
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