Saturday, October 1, 2022

Making a Terrace Garden: Best Flower Choices for Beginners

With Spring being right here, we are eager to finally spend some time outside catching vitamin D and shaking off the winter blues!  It is definitely always a pleasure to waste an hour with a cup of coffee and a book in your personal retreat place – a small terrace garden you planted yourself! In addition to the pure aesthetic pleasure, flowers and plants bring a lot of other benefits, decorating our lives and houses. 

They are the best medication and meditation. According to Lensa’s article on hobbies, gardening is a wonderful hobby and many recruiters think that this is a creative way to stay fit and active while bringing beauty into the world. 

The keys to a successful backyard garden are defining where to plant, what to plant, and choosing the proper soil and tools. Of course – nurturing the plants afterward adds up to the success. (wink)  

Start with purchased flowers that you can buy during the season crocuses, daffodils, and grape hyacinth. Usually, they are available at retailers starting from the middle of March till the end of April. When they finish blooming, brush them from the rest of the soils and store them in a cool, dark, and dry place, in breathable material, like paper bags or layer with newspaper and in a cardboard box. 

What are the best flowers for an urban resident to plant and take little care of, yet, enjoy to the full? 

Crocuses  

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Offering a wide choice of colors – from white and pink to purple and yellow, crocuses are the early risers of Spring, its first messengers. First crocuses grow through the last snow to brighten your day ASAP.

When to plant:  in the fall, before the beginning of cold weather. Crocuses are perennial flowers and when planted in the open soil will come back every year. 

How to plant: in groups or clusters, close to each other instead of in lines. Thanks to a variety of colors, they create an astonishing contrast carpet on the flowerbeds. Crocuses prefer sunny, open spots but love to be watered regularly in spring and fall. 

Daffodils (also known as Narcissus)

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Called March birth flowers, are among the first spring flowers that are easy to grow. Usually yellow or white with a yellow collar, six petals and a “crown”.  

When to plant: in autumn, 2-4 weeks before frosts. 

How to plant:  here size matters – the bigger the bulb, the better. 

Advice is to plant 2 to 3 times as deep as the bulb is high and up to 6 inches apart as they tend to develop new “daughters”. Daffodils love sunny places. 

Hyacinth and Grape hyacinth

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Hyacinths can be found in white, blue, lilac, pink, and even yellow! Their intoxicating smell cannot leave anyone indifferent. 

Grape hyacinth does not technically refer to the hyacinth family but these tender plants with bunches of blue flowers can be grouped together with ordinary hyacinth due to the method of planting – in bulbs. 

When to plant: mid to late autumn, before the first frosts.  

How to plant: plant 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Choose a place with abundant sun, although they can tolerate some shade too. Avoid wet soil or planting in areas with low drainage. 

Note: bulbs of hyacinths are poisonous for pets. But you should also consider wearing gloves when dealing with bulbs as they irritate the skin.

Hyacinths can remain in the soil until the following year. After flowering, cut the stem and let the leaves accumulate energy in the plant. You can remove them after they die away. 

Primroses (primula) 

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 Primroses boast the widest variety of colors, shades and 500 species! They bloom from spring to summer and come back every year. They are easy to care for, and very adaptable, which explains why they grow in the mountains, by the water and in the forest. 

When to plant: sow primrose seeds in late winter on the windowsill and after they grow 2 leaves – transplant them to the soil. 

How to plant: they enjoy the moderate sun and need to get their shade in the hottest part of the day. Mulching is a good idea to preserve moisture and even out temperature variations. 

Planting flowers can satisfy a person’s desire of creating something new, help relax after everyday stress, and lifts the mood. They say that working with soil gets us back to the roots, and helps us feel grounded.  My friend, who used to travel for business 200 days a year out of 365 in pre-Corona times, said she has never been happier than when spending time in her garden and with her family during all the lock-downs that we had.