Winter is finally over and that means it’s time to stop and smell the roses…. but first we must plant the flowers! Okanagan Woman has compiled the following five tips to help you create a garden that you’ll love and so will your neighbours!
1. CREATE A VISION FOR YOUR DREAM GARDEN
Before heading to the local nursery, have an idea of what you want to create. Find photos of your favourite flowers, shrubs and trees then create a vision board or organize your images in a folder to show at the garden centre. This will assist the experts in helping you to create your dream garden.
Here are some important points to consider before heading out;
· How much shade or sunlight does your green space get? Choose plants according to their light requirements.
· Perennials and/or annuals? Annual flowers provide lots of colour but last for only one year. Some perennials can last for many years and provide colour at different times throughout the seasons. Okanagan Woman recommends perennials to look forward to your plants coming back year after year. In the long run, choosing perennials can save you time and money!
· Colour: Do you like the hues of blues and pinks or bright yellows and oranges? Or perhaps you prefer to showcase all the colours of the rainbow in your garden.
· Blooming times: if you’re looking for as much colour in your garden for as long as possible, it`s important to know when your plants will bloom. Don’t forget to ask the experts at the garden centre for the best staging to last through the seasons.
2. OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
Spring is the perfect time to clean your garden and get rid of all the winter debris. You may want to prune shrubs and bushes that survived the cold Okanagan winter. As you’re now in spring cleaning mode, it’s also a good time to clean and sharpen your favourite gardening tools.
3. SOIL REVITALIZATION
Water filters through sandy soil too easily, therefore most plants cannot thrive. Water sits too long in clay soil, the roots of plants cannot penetrate through this wet, dense earth. The ideal soil for most plants is loose, rich, dark soil, full of organic plant matter.
To enrich your soil, add compost or well-rotted manure to your garden beds. You can create your own compost with fruit and vegetable scraps. To start composting, you will need a kitchen green bin and a compost bin in your yard. It’s as easy as that! It`s a good idea to place a layer of brown leaves or soil in the compost bin between compost dumping. This should help keep the smell down and the rodents away. Inexpensive compost accelerator enzymes can also be purchased, just sprinkle periodically into the bin to speed up the decomposition of kitchen scraps into nutrient rich soil.
Adding mulch on top of the soil around your plants, helps the garden retain moisture and it also helps keep weed growth to a minimum.
4. HEAD TO YOUR LOCAL GARDEN CENTRE
Okay, now you’re ready to take your beautifully created vision board or photo file to a garden centre expert. This is the step that is probably the most fun. Grab your trolley and begin strolling through the rows of colourful flowers and beautiful shrubs. Don’t forget to ask for help from the experts. They are full of amazing knowledge and they’re there to help you. Remember, no gardening question is a stupid question.
5. CREATING YOUR VERY OWN GREEN THUMB
The time is finally here, so roll up your sleeves, grab your trowel and start gardening!
Okanagan Woman suggests you may want to plant:
* Pansies – a hardy annual for early spring colour
* Rosebushes - for beautiful summer colour and fragrance
* Lavender - provides colour, fragrance and pollen for bees and butterflies
* Day Lilies – beautiful trumpet shape with long flowing foliage
* Forget-Me-Nots – delicate blue flowers to welcome early spring
* Shrubs - for a hardy green structure that provides a place for birds to perch and play
* Herbs like rosemary, basil, oregano – for use in your own kitchen
* Vegetables – fun to enjoy your very own homegrown produce
* Ferns - a beautiful feathery backdrop for your garden
Happy planting! Be sure to tag Okanagan Woman in your social media gardening pictures