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Tips To Extend The Life Of Your Perennials

Working with the perennials in your garden can be a very rewarding experience. The simple beauty of these plants and flowers is enough to make any person take a step back and admire the wonders of nature. This provides a nice change of pace from the frantic lives we tend to lead on a regular basis.

However, a perennial garden can also be a bit of a challenge at times. It requires dilligent maintenance and replanting. As a result, many people shy away from the concept, fearing the work that is involved. There are a few ways, though, to extend the life of your perennials with your regular garden upkeep, taking the replanting off of today’s to-do list.


One thing you can do if you want to extend the life of your perennials is careful yearly pruning. While cutting a plant may not seem like the best way to extend its life, it will in fact make your garden look exceptional and keep the upkeep to a minimum for you. When you think of pruning, you may think of the trimming you do to your trees each fall and spring. Don’t get out those giant clippers just yet, though. Pruning in a perennial garden is done a little differently.

There are several ways to prune your garden. One of the first ways to prune is by deadheading on a regular basis. Deadheading is the process of getting rid of old blooms by pinching them off of the plant. Sometimes this may be a bit more involved than others. For example, in a number of cases, deadheading may include removing an entire flower stalk. Just be sure that when you begin to engage in deadheading, you remove down to the new bud, otherwise you may be taking too little or too much off of the plant.

Cutting back is another way to prune your flowers. Cutting back should be done any time deadheading isn’t appropriate. For example, you may choose to cut back an entire section of a perennial, even the stalks and new blooms, if the plant isn’t growing properly. This can help to encourage new growth.


Pinching is another way to prune your perennials. Pinching involves getting rid of the tips and new leaves to keep a plant from getting too big. Thinning is yet another way to prune your plants. Thinning involves getting rid of particular stems to maintain a plant’s size or shape. You may also need to disbud during the pruning process. This will help you to control the flower growth. You may decide where you want the flowers to occur on a particular plant to enhance the look of your garden, and disbudding can help you to control this. Dead leafing is also an important form of pruning. Getting rid of old dry leaves can help to encourage new growth.

Besides pruning, there are several other ways to extend the life of your perennials. One way is by checking the soil pH on a regular basis. This procedure is typically done in the fall, and it will help to ensure that you have the right kind of soil to continue growing the kinds of plants you like. If you find that your soil pH is off a bit, you may want to add certain types of fertilizers to change the balance back to your favor. Consulting a local lawn and garden company may also be helpful in this particular matter.

Be sure, as you add new plants to your garden, to stagger the times they bloom. When perennials bloom, they take up extra energy from the soil. As a result, you can extent the life span of your perennials by making sure you don’t have too many things blooming in your garden at any one given time.

Controlling Insects

One final step in keeping your perennials lifespan where it should be is insect control. Several kinds of rather nasty insects can prey on your garden, and ensuring that you have a good insect control method in place will help to extend the life of all of the plants in your garden.

Gardens can be a beautiful place for rest and relaxation if you aren’t constantly adding new plants. Consider these methods, and the life of your plants will be greatly increased

Preserving Fresh Flowers From Your Garden

Fresh flowers are a wonderful gift from nature. Many gardeners enjoy cutting fresh flowers from their garden to bring inside their homes. They not only brighten up a room, but they lift up a person’s mood as well.
Yet once cut, the beauty of the flowers is usually short lived. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. Learn to preserve the fresh flowers from your garden, and you can capture the essence and beauty of your flowers forever.

The process of preserving fresh flowers isn’t terribly difficult. Once you know how, it can easily be done and provides a tangible memory of your garden flower arrangement and the occasion it marked. The two most popular methods for preserving fresh flowers are air drying and pressing.

Air Drying

The first step to preserving fresh flowers by air drying is to lightly but thoroughly spray the flowers with an inexpensive hair spray. This helps preserve the color of the flowers. After the flowers have been sprayed, hang the flowers upside down – preferably in a dark, dry place.

Once the flowers are significantly dried, you can place them in a vase again or arrange them in another manner without having to worry about them spoiling.


Pressing is another popular method for preserving fresh flowers. This involves placing the flowers between two pieces of wax paper or paper towel. Be sure to arrange them into the position you want them to be in permanently. Next, place them inside the pages of a book and then place several large books on top. The weight of the books will press the flower into a flat position.

Preserving fresh flowers by pressing them allows you to use them in scrap books, photo albums and picture frames. Many people like to do this not only with garden flowers but flowers from a special occasion. Preserving fresh flowers from your special day allows you to capture and save a moment in time in a meaningful and beautiful way.

Additional Tips For Preserving Fresh Flowers

Be sure to begin the process when the flowers are at their peak. After that, flowers begin to lose their color and the petals start to separate from the center.
To get the best results, the best time to pick flowers from the garden is late morning or early afternoon after the morning dew has dried.
When preserving flowers from a special occasion, you don’t have to keep them all. A few carefully selected flowers will provide an elegant memory of the event.
As you can see, preserving fresh flowers is a lovely and easy way to capture the beauty of your favorite flowers in a very personal and unique way.

The Four Seasons of Flower Gardening

When most people think of flower gardening, they think of spring and summer flowers. But why limit yourself? With a little planning and planting ahead of time, you can enjoy your flower garden almost year round. In this article, we’ll take a look at the four seasons and some flowers that do well during different times of the year.

Spring Flowers

Let’s start with spring. When you think of spring flowers, think bulbs. Some of the more popular bulbs include tulips, daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths. Spring flowering bulbs are generally planted mid autumn and can be placed in the garden in corners, as borders or throughout beds of annuals and perennials. They are easy to grow and do well in both the sun and partial shade. As always, follow the specific instructions that come with the flowers that you purchase.

Summer Flowers

As we move into summer, perennials are a definite favorite since they bloom bloom year after year. Choose perennials that are long blooming or that repeat bloom to get the most enjoyment from them. These include Campanula (Bellflower), Coreopsis (Tickseed), Centranthus (Red Valerian), Gaillardia (Blanket Flower) and many others. Perennials require regular maintenance to keep them looking good year after year. Consider planting in large blocks of color of the biggest impact.

Fall Flowers

With a little extra planning and work, you can enjoy your flower garden even into the fall by including some late blooming perennials. Some of the choices include Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan), Colchicum speciosum (Autumn Crocus), Chrysanthemum x morifolium (Hardy Mum), Solidago (Goldenrod), various asters and many others. When planting, keep in mind that fall bloomers can grow to 3-4 feet in height and tend to become top heavy when they bloom, so they may require staking or pruning to keep them from falling over. Try some ornamental grasses to add more interest to your garden during the fall.

Winter Flowers

There is not much outdoor gardening to be done in the winter. However, you can bring some color and beauty into your home by purchasing cut flowers. Place some near windows, and as you look out you can enjoy the illusion that you are looking out into your garden. They will brighten your mood and help get you through til spring when you can get back outside and enjoy your garden again!

How to Plan an Herb Garden Design

You may be wondering why you would even want to take the time to plan out your herb garden design before you begin planting. The primary reason is that by taking some time to figure things out in advance, your herb garden will not only be a functional garden but one of beauty as well. There are many herb plants that are practical and beautiful at the same time, so why not plan an herb garden that is not only pleasing to the palate but pleasing to the eye as an added bonus.

Decisions, Decisions…

When planning out your herb garden, one of the first decisions you need to make is which herbs you would like to include. There are many different options to choose from. You probably already have some favorites in mind, but why not take a little time first to learn about some different herbs and how they can be used. Make notes of the ones that interest you and try to include them in your design plans. There are many ways to do this type of research including books, magazines, garden centers and the Internet.

If you are rather new to gardening, then you will probably also want to consider which herbs are easier to grow and which are more difficult while you are doing your research. Indicate this in your notes as well and plan to begin with the easier plants first. As you become more experienced, you can increase the complexity of your garden and begin to include some of the more difficult herbs to grow.

Another decision that you need to make early on is where you are actually going to locate your garden on your property. Is the front yard or the back yard the larger or more appropriate place for a garden? Which has the least amount of traffic and therefore will be less likely for your plants to get trampled on by people passing by. Perhaps a garden space already exists, and your decision is then made easier for you.

Once you have decided on the herb plants you are going to start with and where your garden will be located, then the next thing to be considered is how much time you have available to work on your garden. Herb gardens do require some regular time devoted to caring for them. For some, working in the garden is the part they look forward to most. On the other hand, perhaps you would rather just enjoy the end product of the garden rather than the work that is involved.

If the latter describes your particular situation, the good news is that you can always hire someone to help with your garden or even to take on all of the responsibility involved in its care. The reality is that many people today have very busy lifestyles, and limited time is a fact of life. If this is the case, then hiring a professional just makes sense. Whether you hire a pro or do the work yourself, you can now look forward to enjoying the bounty and the beauty of your own herb garden.

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