Spring is the perfect time of year for setting up a new garden space. Everything is alive, growing and happy, so it's no wonder you'd want your yard to get in on the action. To set up a basic bed for flowers, all you need to do is remove the sod and plant small plants or seeds in the soil. Getting rid of the sod can be a lot of work.
An easy way to get rid of sod, which unfortunately takes a long time, is to cover the area you want to make into a bed with five to seven layers of newspaper. Cover the paper with mulch and allow it to sit undisturbed for at least six months. A year is ideal. When you remove the mulch, the newspaper and the sod will be gone. Then all you have to do is plant, put the mulch back around the plants, and enjoy.
Assuming you already have a flower garden spot prepared, what should you plant? The answer depends on whether your area gets sun, shade, or a mixture, and what part of the country you live in. There are beautiful plants, such as impatiens, hostas, ferns and vinca, that thrive in shade, just as there are a multitude of flowering plants that glory in the sun, including all sorts of wildflowers, coreopsis, lilies and more. To find the best plants for your yard, go to a local garden center and find the plants designed for the amount of light your garden spot gets. The plants you can buy locally will be well-suited to the environment where you live. When designing your new garden space, remember that nature loves odd numbers. Buy three, five, seven or more of the same kind of plant or flower, and your garden design will look much more natural.
Also, don't line your plants up in rows. Nature doesn't subscribe to straight lines. Go for a walk by a stream or in a field of wildflowers to see how nature designs, then go for a similar look in your yard. Your garden can be formal or informal, stick with one color in all its shades or offer a multitude of bright, pastel or muted colors.
The decisions all rely on your personal taste. Once you have picked the flowers and planted them according to the directions on the tags, then you can have fun filling the garden with cute accessories. When a garden is new it can look a little bare because the plants are small and not fully established. You shouldn't over plant your garden space if you are using perennial plants (those that come back year after year) because they will grow larger each year and eventually fill in the space provided. Instead, fill the empty space with cute birdbaths, birdfeeders or birdhouses. Add decorative stepping stones or sculptures, gazing balls, even plant stands that will allow you to add height by placing a potted plant in your garden.
If there is a tree in your garden space, you can hang a birdfeeder or wind chime for an extra touch of whimsy. And when the color fades from your flowers, add a multi-colored fabric pinwheel that will leave a rainbow in your garden all year long.
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