I could have used many flower garden planning tips the first year we spent in our farmhouse. The very first spring came around and I was way over winter weather. I was chomping at the bit to plant pretty flowers. So I bought a bunch and planted them all in one of our flower beds. Then I spread on the mulch and dusted off my hands, thinking I was one efficient gardener. But the very next day, the wind kicked in and our giant maple tree unleashed thousands of spinners all over my flower bed. I spent the whole summer picking maple seedlings out of that flower bed. ? Needless to say, I learned my lesson and now I wait for the spinners to fall before planting a thing, much less mulching.
In Northwest Ohio, Mother’s Day weekend is THE weekend everyone you know (and everyone you don’t) flock to area greenhouses to buy their flowers for the year. It’s almost like Black Friday at a mall. It doesn’t matter which nursery you decide to go to, they are all massively busy.
I am a true flower lover, with so many farmhouse favorites planted on our three acres. And you’ll always find me browsing on Select Seeds or other online gardening sites for flower inspiration. Therefore, I’ve learned a few flower garden planning tips and tricks that have served me well in all of my years shopping for flowers on Mother’s Day weekend. Here are my top tips to keep your sanity as you brave the crowds.
The very first thing I do before I head to the nursery involves taking a walk around our yard and garden. I assess all of my perennials, how they look, and their health, and then make notes of anything that has to be replaced or added. For example, I planted these bleeding hearts just last year.
I love these old-fashioned flowers and their symbolism. It was tempting to buy more than two last year because they were pretty small. However, this spring they have at least doubled in size and they’re much showier. Two ended up being the right choice.
Conversely, my daisies did not weather this winter well and need to be replaced. I really love them, so I’m hoping I have better luck this year. I repeat this process, taking these notes in all of my gardening spaces. It keeps me from over and underbuying flowers. Next, I account for all of the flowerpots and any dead space in the garden that needs to be filled. For these, I shop for annuals, which bloom for the entire season but won’t come up again next year.
Shop the Same Greenhouse Every Year
When you’re battling crowds, I’ve learned to shop at the same greenhouse year after year. My favorite in our area has lots of parking and a huge selection of flowers. For me, that’s important because I like to plant a few new flowers every year, along with tried and true annuals. I know the layout of the greenhouse and that keeps me from aimlessly wandering the aisles. I can skip past the rows with flowers I’m not interested in and beeline for the rest.
Instead of hemming and hawing with indecision, put any flowers you’re considering in the colors you want in your wagon or cart. You can always put those you ultimately decide against back before you hit the cash register. It beats the disappointment of going back to that section and finding the supply wiped out, which happens quickly! While you’re at it, grab a few plastic flat crates to keep your flowers together and free from tumbling off the wagon. Those wagons tend to be wobbly and greenhouse floors are typically paved with pebbles.
Know What You Want But Let Yourself Be Surprised
When I buy my flowers, I make a list of those I’ve been dreaming about. However, new flowers are introduced all the time. If I spy something different and fun that I love, I let myself splurge a little.
Figure Out Your Color Theme
Some people like to plant a rainbow of colors while others like to stick to just a color or two and then vary the flower. If you’re indecisive, most nurseries have arrangements in pots throughout the nursery for inspiration.
Know That Less Is Usually More
Last year, I thought some of my flowerpots looked sparse after I planted flowers in them. But the reality is those annuals will grow and look lushly beautiful all summer. I’m glad I didn’t plant even more of these petunias last year because they were spilling out of my pots by mid-summer!
Enjoy The Experience
You can let the crush of people and carts get to you or you can let it go and enjoy the process. I personally can’t seem to stop smiling when I’m shopping for the flowers I’ll be enjoying all summer long.
Happy planning, and planting!