By Janice Brown of On the Grow
Are you looking for an easy and inexpensive way to get some color in your garden this year? Try planting a flower garden from seeds.
Here in Texas, there are quite a few flowers that grow well from seeds and pretty much take care of themselves once they come up. Although I’m generally a transplant gal, I do find that there’s nothing quite so satisfying as watching a plant grow from seed. It truly is a spiritual experience and puts you in touch with the miracle that is nature. There’s something about seeing a tiny seed grow into something so much bigger that humbles you.
March – April is a great time to plant some flowers for spring, summer, and fall color. A few Texas favorites that should give any newbie a great experience are Zinnias, Cosmos, Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckias), Marigolds, Bachelor’s Buttons, Angelonias, and Milkweed.
If you have started, or are continuing, a garden journal, review it to see where you’d like to add a little easy color. If you’re starting from scratch, use your journal to plan your beds. What are your favorite colors? Note the height and width each plant will grow so that you know where to place them. Also note the bloom period, to try to get 2-3 types of flowers blooming from spring through fall.
A few of my favorite re-seeders from the list are Zinnias, Cosmos, and Milkweed. Basically, once you get these established you’ll never have to buy seed again because they will drop their own seeds and reward you season after season with more and more flowers. When they start to sprout this year, pay close attention to how the seedlings look, so when they start to grow again on their own, you recognize them and don’t mistake them for weeds. Add a picture or two of the seedlings in your journal.
All of these flowers provide nectar for butterflies so an added treat will be some colorful winged editions to the garden. Black-eyed Susans and Milkweed are particular butterfly favorites, with Milkweed being especially important for the survival of the Monarch butterfly. An important note is to pay attention to whether you are getting native or tropical milkweed. If you opt for tropical Milkweed, just make sure to cut it back in October, so that migrating Monarchs don’t lay eggs on it. They need to lay their eggs in Mexico which is their winter destination and where there is no threat of the caterpillars being killed by freeze.
Don’t forget to check out some bulbs as well. Cannas, Iris, Amaryllis, Hyacinth, Narcissus, Daffodils, and Rain Lilies are all great choices to plant now. The bonus is that these are perennials meaning they will come back from the bulbs year after year.
I truly believe flowers are God’s way of smiling at us! So, add a smile to your garden this year with some new flowers.
On the Grow is a garden coaching service launched by Janice Brown to teach people how to be successful gardeners in the sometimes difficult, Gulf Coast climate. On the Grow provides garden education for the home gardener, children in outdoor classrooms, neighbors in community gardens, and employees in workplace gardens. Whether you want a new idea for a girls’ night out, a new way to engage children in nature, or want to implement a fresh wellness program in your company, On the Grow is here for you. Your coach will take you step by step teaching you the basics, while presenting you with a fresh perspective by helping you experience the healing benefits of gardening. Our mission at On the Grow is to help everyone experience the joy of a garden and build a greater connection to Mother Earth. Connect with One The Grow on Facebook and Twitter!