As most of you know, this is our first year with the garden we’ve created. I’ve been an avid gardener for years, and Eddie has dabbled on and off with peppers for some time himself. Between the two of us, though, aside from roses that I love and lavender as an edging around my last space, we’ve never purposely planted flowers. I’ve always focused on the plants that would sustain us in some way, be it herbs or fruits and veggies, and the space I’ve had has always been small, so the idea of taking away from the food that I was growing was a sacrifice I was not willing to make. This year, as we planned our new space, I realized we would have enough space, even with the extra food I planned on adding, to plant some color around the garden as well. We added some beautiful day of the dead Marigolds, red and yellow sunflowers, lupine, Asters, and hollyhock. We finished late building our large center box in the season we added Cosmos, Amaranth, Borage, Hibiscus, and Zinnia’s. What a difference it made to me in the garden; I’ve always loved the garden’s look and smell as it grows. Still, the added color and variety to the green this year was beautiful. I am hooked.
This fall, we’ve dedicated my first only flower boxes to the garden; we’ve started with two long planters in the front. However, we’ve decided to add a second one in the back by the shed (for color and distraction). As with most things in this house, we sat down as a family a decided what flowers we would like to grow. My mother had definite opinions on the bulbs she wanted, so we let her take the lead. She loved “fixer-upper,” and the idea of the Magnolia network initially starting this fall had her so excited. This is how we found out about Floret Flowers and when I heard about them again on Garden Answers Youtube – I had to give them a look. Omgee, what a mistake – when their fall bulbs/seeds came out, I went shopping like I had acres of land to spare. We pared it down to a few spring seeds, and two Ranaculos blends that mom adored. We pared that with alliums sent to us as a seed subscription from Orta Kitchen Gardens. Lastly, some iris and snowflake bulbs we picked up from Orchard Nursery.
Because of our zone (10), we’re planting later than most; I don’t even think about frost until January here, although just in the last few days, we’ve been in the high 30’s at night. But a hard frost comes once in a blue moon, and we generally have to coax our cold-weather plants a bit more than other places. Last week during an intense part of election watching, we trudged out on a lovely afternoon to get the bulbs into the dirt. We arranged everything in the planter before digging to make sure we had adequate spacing and color variety. We dug them in, gave them some water and a blessing, and hoped for the best.
Then, of course, as things happen, we walked past on our way to the car a few days later and realized the beds were getting dug up. More than likely by cats or squirrels, we made sure nothing was too disturbed and straightened everything out. The second time thought we took matters into our own hands and covered the boxes with a screen until the sprouts come up. We watched Next Level gardening this weekend, and as luck would have it, he was planting his bulbs as well. He mentioned growing Pansy’s for color until the bulbs come up, and I think we’ll do the same. I’m hoping it’ll keep the critters out as well.
All in all, I think it’s an excellent start to our foray into the flower world. At the same time, I would never give up my veggie garden and the joy it brings me in the summer months. But, I am definitely scoping around other parts of the yard to see how much sun they get and if I can add some more color and variety into our lives. I hope our little bulbs survive. I know they will provide us with much-needed joy and color next spring.