If you have had problems creating the picture perfect flower garden you saw in a magazine, do not think it is because you have a "black thumb." The problem is probably not you, or the way you care for the plants, but the plants you buy in the first place. When you go to the nursery to pick out the flowers you need, you need to be particular about which ones you buy. Take your time and really look them over. To make sure your garden turns out the way you want, here are a few tips for getting off to a good start.
Types of Plants
When you see a picture of a beautiful garden, it was caught at the height of beauty. Keep in mind that some plants only flower for a short period of time and are then just green plants for the rest of the season. While they might look nice today in the nursery, once you get them home and transplanted they may die back in a week. While annuals may need to be replanted every year, they are the longest bloomers, often lasting the whole season. Perennials will grow again next year without replanting but have a short bloom period. Each flower will have a specific bloom time so you can have color for a long time, just not all the flowers blooming at once. Try to mix both in your flower bed to have a nice, showy garden for the season. Read the tag on each flower to know when it will bloom.
Pests and Disease
Even though the people at the nursery are very good at taking care of the plants, the flowers come in and go out so fast it is possible they miss a problem with them. While perusing the pots you plan on buying, make sure to really look at the plant. Check for any spots or discoloration on the leaves or stem, look in the flowers for bugs, and be sure to look on the underside of the leaves for any signs of damage. Some bugs will burrow into the ground during the day to come out at night and feast on the leaves. If you are not careful, a single plant you take home could cause your whole flower bed to become infested or diseased.
Do not be afraid to ask questions of the nursery personnel. Find out all there is to know about the plants you are buying. It is important that you understand the spacing each plant needs, the amount of sun, and any special soil requirements. You can even take the picture of your ideal garden to a nursery and have them help you get it planted right the first time.