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Adding color to gardens

POSTED: April 7, 2011 11:00 p.m.

Most flower lovers want to have flowers blooming in their garden all season long. The problem is knowing what to grow. Do you want flowers in your beds that provide beauty and a fragrance?

Some flowers you may want to try are: clove, pinks, cockscomb, vinca, moss verbena, spike celosia, blue fan flower, blood flower, mounding lantana, sweet Williams, sweet alyssum, four O'clocks and phlox.

Many of these can be obtained as started plants from your local greenhouse or garden center.

Many who are forced to garden in shade or half shade consider themselves unfortunate. However, if you are careful in the selection of flowering plants, you can have a beautiful flowering garden where it once was considered impossible. There are many plants that actually prefer some shade.

Plants for shade are ageratum, annual aster, bachelor buttons, balsam, begonias, browallia, caladium, calliopsis, coleus, polkadot plant, elephant ears, Persian shield and torenia.

What about cut flowers for the dining room? Several
of the annual flowering plants do not last very long after they are cut and, therefore, do not make good cut flowers.

However, here are a few that work well for arrangements: African daisy, annual aster, annual carnation, baby's breath, cosmos, larkspur, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, petunia, phlox, poppy, sweet pea and verbena.

And then what of drying flowers? An excellent way to stretch the pleasure of gardening is to dry flowers for use in fall and winter arrangements. Don't delay planting these annual flowers now for drying later.

Pick just before the centers of the flowers unfold or else the beauty of the bright colors will be lost when they dry out. Suitable flowers are strawflowers, globe amaranth, sea lavender, money plant and lavender.

If you have any questions about planting this season, contact me by calling 800-ASKUGA-1.

Michael Wheeler is the Hall County extension coordinator. Phone: 770-531-6988. Fax: 770-531-3994. Email wheelerm@uga.edu.

 



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