Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Planting a Flower Garden

There's a flower garden in the middle of the backyard that I've struggled with for many years.  Since I don't use any chemicals on the lawn or in the gardens, weeds have been a perennial challenge.  Last year, I began working a bit more on the garden after letting it go for a few years. 

The focus last year was to create pathways throughout the garden by using rocks.  All the rocks were discarded ones that a neighboring farmer no longer wanted (rocks come to the surface of the fields each year and need to be removed before planting begins).  I also added a few rosebushes since they dramatically reduced at a garden center (only $2 per plant). 

This year, I let the perennials grow until the end of May so it was clear what was a flower, weed, and grass.  The first job was weeding the garden and getting rid of all the well-established grass and weeds. 

Lilies and lupines are at the west side of the butterfly garden. 
 The rest is overgrown with weeds and grass. 
After a couple days of weeding, it was ready for planting.

While waiting for the mower to be repaired, the grass grew quite long.  After mowing it, I had too much grass (as my neighbor, who is a farmer, would say, "Are you growing a hay crop there, Ann?").  So, the girls raked the entire front- and backyard, and then brought wheelbarrows of grass to the garden. 

Wheelbarrows rides while hauling grass.
The grass was used to make
pathways in the flower garden.

After laying pathways of newspaper, the girls put the grass on top.  Now, we have well-defined pathways throughout the garden.  This is the first time this has ever been done, and it makes the garden feel more "finished."

The only perennial that is blooming in the garden now is the butterfly weed. So there are pretty purple flowers spread throughout the gardens.  The irises are starting to come out and should be blooming within the week.  They are also purple flowers. 

Sophia planting petunias in the garden.
Behind her to the left are irises; and
over her should (to the right) is a butterfly weed.

What the garden lacked was color at the beginning of the season, so Sophia and I picked out some annuals.  Normally I don't plant annuals since they have to be replanted each year.  However, they were marked down to only $1.38 for a packet of six flowers.  Ten packets was just the right amount of flowers for the garden. 

Olivia planting two varieties of annuals.
She wanted to use the spoon instead of a trowel
because it was easier to use. 

The girls learned how to transplant flowers and were excited to be planting them throughout the garden.  Each one chose different flowers and miniature gardens to plant. 

Sophia planting marigolds and moss roses.

By the middle of the summer, with the roses and lilies in full blooms combined with the colorful annuals, the garden should be very pretty.  The girls can look at it and know they had a major part in making the backyard beautiful.

Olivia planting marigolds in the flower garden.


Hope Ford said...

Hi there :) I'm a new follower from the blog hop! :) I love this post! We are just starting to plant too! :)


debbie said...

great post! dont you love it when you get a deal for plants! great pictures!


Homesteading Quest said...

I have an Olivia also :) She is 5. We buy wildflower mixes and plant those out for her. She loves picking them and making us bouquets. We have a lovely centerpeice on our kitchen table now actually. Cute post!

Abbi said...

It was fun to read about you and your girls' work on the flower bed. Flowers are such a fun addition to every yard. My daughter and I had fun working on flower beds today as well. I was having a problem with a bunch of poisen ivy growing in one of my beds. I didn't want to put on something to kill it as that would kill my perennials too and was a little stumped as to what to do. I decided to put gloves on and just pull it today and then washed up really good afterwards. I am really hoping that my percautions will work and I don't end up with a horrible case of poisen ivy! I ended up with a garbage bag full of it!

SparingChange said...

Great idea about the path! Looks great! Well done, girls! :-)