Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies to do. I get the garden itch constantly, especially in the winter! I believe there is no such thing as too many flowers, anyone can do it, and plants just make the world a better place. During the late spring and summer, I wake up, make a cup of coffee, and immediately walk around my garden. That is why you’ll see so many photos with coffee in them during this blog post. I assess what needs to be done that morning, such as deadheading, watering, or treating. Because it gets so hot down here in the south, I like to finish all my garden duties before ten am. If I don’t finish in time, I’ll sometimes walk around in the evening, pulling deadheads or cutting back old roses.
I grew up with a mom who was (and still is) obsessed with flowers. I could name almost every popular flower by the time I was in kindergarten. I took a video on my parent’s camcorder walking around the house, giving the camera a garden tour. I think I was in second grade at the time. My mom always included me by letting me water, pick off the dead heads of the petunias, and fill dirt in the pots. I can’t wait to do that with my kids one day. I know this summer will be much different! People ask me how I plan to continue my passion for gardening while being a new mom, but I’ll make it work! I will share tips and tricks on getting it done as a mom. I’ve already been preparing myself by purchasing a few baby-friendly outdoor loungers I can set up while I’m outside in the morning. Everyone has a form of therapy that helps them, like walking, running, or reading a book; for me, it’s gardening.
Garden Tour 2020-2022
Today, I will give you a complete garden tour from the past two summers in our house. I will try to write up another in the fall with the 2022 garden since I have so many changes coming! I’m hoping to make this a new series. I have written down many of your garden questions from Instagram and will answer them throughout this post, but leave them in the comments if you have any additional questions!
We moved into our new house on April 24th, 2020! Kyle returned to work the day we got our key, and I headed straight to the local garden center to pick up a few plants. The landscaping the builders had done was horrendous. Most of our yard was filled with red mulch, and while the sod was still unattached, I thought it was the perfect time to remove the mulch, pull some sod from the back, and replace the mulch beds. I didn’t want to worry about mulch getting on the sidewalk constantly, and since our house slopes down, that area was destined to give my plants root rot. When I lifted the rose bushes from that mulch bed, they dripped in wet red dirt. If I didn’t move them, they would have died. When they plant the shrubs and lay the grass, they place it right on the sand, rocks, building material, and red dirt. They don’t add any topsoil or anything to help it thrive. We are still battling our grass issues! My goal was to add all new soil to the garden before planting.
I didn’t want my yard to be 80% mulch, so I took it all out, added some lawn soil, laid down new sod, and it made all the difference. It took me about five showers to officially be dirt free.
We ended up taking out the red tree in the front and moving it to the backyard. I love green leaves, so I wanted to replace them with something smaller, a flowering tree, and one that wouldn’t get so big and ruin the sun we have in the front of our house. We found the cutest dogwood tree and placed it right in the center of my flower bed. We added about four new white crepe myrtles around the house. Those are always so pretty in July!
The day before we moved in…
About a year later…
Small Exterior Changes that Made a Huge Difference
Some non-garden-related things we did to make the front look a little better are removing the chunky railing on the front porch, painting our brick white, painting our porch floor green, adding light fixtures, painting the garage door black, and adding a few solar landscaping lights.
This is what the flower bed looks like in early May! Spring comes a lot sooner here in South Carolina! We did have a terrible frost arrive at the last minute that killed off some of my spring buds, but most things recovered.
I will share all kinds of filler plants, annuals, perennials, and everything I have around my house!
You’ll notice that I use the word perennial and annual throughout this post. Let me explain what that means!
What is a Perennial flower?
A Perennial is a flower that comes back every year. You will only have to plant perennials once! They come back bigger and better as the root system usually establishes.
What is an annual flower?
Annuals are flowers that will not return. They’ll survive one season, and you’ll have to plant them again in the springtime or some in the fall. There are a few cases where you can bring them inside and keep them alive, but most of the time, you’ll have to take the loss!
I will share some of my favorite annuals and perennials to keep in the garden. Why spend money on flowers that will die when you can just purchase flowers that’ll come back each year? Gosh, that would save a ton of money and time, but some of the annual flowers are stunning and make the summer flower beds or pots so worth it! It also allows you to change things up! I have had a lot of trial and error with a few annual flowers that I’ll never invite back. I have a few perennials I’m thinking about kicking to the curb, and a few may shock you!
Another important point is that some flowers can be annuals in one zone, and some may be perennials in another zone! Plenty of flowers down here come back each year, but they would die off in a colder zone. Knowing your zone and planting accordingly is important for the best results.
How can I find my hardiness zones?
It’s as easy as typing in your city, state, and the words “hardiness zones” into google! Your zone should pop up in bold as soon as you hit “search.” I’m currently living in zone 8a. But plenty of plants and flowers can take on every single zone out there! Just read your seed cards, and plant information, or use your trusty friend, Google! Don’t think that because I have a flower in my zone, you can’t have the same one in yours! You just may have to care for it differently.
Anyone can start a garden. You may have to spend a few minutes reading extra fine lines, but you’ll eventually become an expert and throw those cards away without glancing at anything other than the price tag.
Planting Bulbs and Tubers
At first, I was intimidated by planting anything that looked like a potato or garlic head. I even had a few people ask me why I was putting garlic into my ground on Instagram. It gave me a laugh, but some bulbs look like garlic.
You can get away with planting bulbs and tubers in my zone in late winter and early spring. You’ll want to plant them in late fall after the first frost for the best results. But when I moved into our new house during the springtime, I couldn’t wait to get my tubers and bulbs into the ground.
Learning to Plant Bulbs and Tubers
I learned simply by reading the back of the package! I did watch a few YouTube videos since I’m a visual person, but it’s the most effortless process ever! The bag will tell you how many inches to dig, when to plant, and how to care for them. You’ll also want to pay attention to the amount of sun they need and where you’re growing them. Down here, all of the bulbs and tubers I have planted have returned each year. In some zones, you may have to dig them up after the season and store them for the following year.
What bulbs and tubers have you planted around your house?
I have planted peonies, gladiolus, dahlias, dwarf dahlias, tulips, hyacinths, Liatris, and daffodils. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your flowers grow from a bulb. It’s one of my best accomplishments! I would religiously check on the growth morning and night. Right now, my gladioluses are sprouting up for their third year!
Where do you purchase your tubers and bulbs?
I have purchased them from many different places. I have found the best luck with the ones from Lowes. I have bought bags from Walmart, which is the cheapest, but not one came up! I have purchased bulbs grown by small-business farmers on eBay and Etsy, which have all been successful. I like to buy them from my local nursery, and I love purchasing them in the winter when they’re all on sale. I have heard that Costco and other wholesale stores have a great selection, so I may try that out soon! Some pricier places I’ve purchased bulbs and tubers have been online with Eden Brothers and Spring Hill Nursery. I sometimes have to splurge if they have a variety I can’t find locally. Amazon can be a hit or miss; just pay attention to the reviews! I get many of my seeds from Amazon, which have all been a success.
Planting Zinnia Seeds
Zinnias are my favorite annual to grow. They are perfect for garden fillers and flower beds that you don’t know what to do with, and they are inexpensive for what they offer. There are so many different varieties you can choose from, and I highly recommend mixing them. They are one of the easiest flowers to grow, and I love all of the colors they bring! Most of my zinnias were thriving in August while my other flowers were preparing for fall temperatures.
In some zones, you’ll want to plant zinnias after the first frost in the fall. I plant them in early spring after no more frost is expected in my zone. Since it’s only March right now, I’ll be growing them in late April! You could also start them early in containers inside the house if you’re worried about a frost coming. Zinnias love full sun, so keep that in mind when choosing your location. And just because they like the full sun doesn’t mean they like dry conditions! Make sure to give your zinnias a good drink a few times a week (if it doesn’t rain.) But like many plants, overwatering can cause disease or root rot. I usually stick my fingers down the soil to check the moisture level.
One of the best parts about growing zinnias is that they are stunning for filling indoor vases! I love cutting them and putting them on the kitchen table for extra color.
Some of my zinnias were mini, and some were about as tall as I am. I filled many garden areas with zinnia seeds instead of digging holes and planting other flowers. I took the lazy route (I think it’s smart!) and poured the zinnia seeds over a bed of soil, added another inch of soil, and let them do their thing! Some people pinch zinnias to promote more prominent blooms and growth, but I wanted to keep it low maintenance and didn’t do any of that. I may try to pinch the zinnias in one bed and leave the other alone to compare this summer. Who doesn’t love a little flower science experiment? Some people also soak zinnia seeds before planting, but I don’t do that either. I just give a nice watering after planting them in the soil.
Which zinnia varieties did you plant?
I planted the California Giant Mix, which is stunning when placed in the back of a garden bed. I like to grow them closer to the house for support since they get so large and top-heavy. You can use a trellis net to support them if you bunch them together. Peppermint Stick zinnias are so beautiful with their speckled colors! I have found the seeds for those at a local nursery, and I believe the brand I used was Botanical Interest. One of the popular ones I use is the State Fair Mix. These usually come in bulk bags and offer multi-color blooms!
I love buying the Zinna Mix bags because they come with mulch, fertilizer, and seeds. All you have to do is spread the mix in your garden area, top it with some garden soil, and wait for them to start coming up!
I love that my zinnias attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Potting Plants for the Porch
Designing my porch plants is one of my favorite things in April. You could do the pots earlier if you don’t mind bringing them in during colder nights, but I don’t want to deal with that again this year. I learned my lesson after last year’s unexpected frost.
I like filling my pots with unique colored petunias purchased from my local nursery, lantana, and bacopa. I must pay attention to flowers that can handle the full sun since my house faces the sunlight all day. If you have iPhone, open up the compass app on your phone, and it’ll tell you which direction your house is facing. Since I’m facing SW when I sit on my front porch, I plant mostly sun-favoring flowers. In the back, I can plant flowers that are like the shade. Have fun and get creative with potting! I never overcrowd the pot when I plant them because they grow extremely fast as the weeks go on. Make sure to constantly water them, deadhead the petunias, and place them inside if any frost is in the forecast.
After the months, my petunias started to get super heavy, so I trimmed their ends, which seemed to help! Sometimes, you have to become a top hairstylist with your flowers.
I’ve learned that you cannot be a perfectionist when gardening. You’ll face errors, unpreventable diseases, pest attacks, invasive weeds and plants, and unexpected weather. Gardening is a fun game of trial and error!
I found these $5 tins at Walmart and filled them with red, white, and blue petunias a few weeks before the 4th of July. They lasted until October! It’s fun to find unique ways to plant flowers! I’m sure these were meant for ice buckets to keep your drinks on, but I think they made the perfect-looking porch pots! It’s great to think outside the box. Blog post on how we painted our back patio!
How did you decide on what to plant in your garden?
I get a ton of inspiration through Pinterest, or I’ll see a flower that catches my eye while walking around the garden center. My mom has helped a lot with choosing flowers as well. I knew right away that I wanted my front flower bed to be heavy with roses, which is why I have over twenty rose bushes in the front of my house, and I filled them in with a few of my favorite perennials. Sometimes, I’ll learn about a new variety if my nursery has them. I can always make room for a new plant. Every year, I line my garden bed with petunias. They are inexpensive, get so big and luscious, and constantly bloom! The downfall is that you have to deadhead morning and night to keep up, and you’ll have to replace them each year. However, I enjoy all of that.
Garden Tools & Accessories I Use The Most
Garden Tool Set – Pruning Sheers, Transplanter, Mini Shovel
Thorn Proof Garden Gloves – I have purchased a few pairs of these! They are THE BEST garden gloves to protect your arms and are thorn-proof. Sometimes, I’ll throw them into the wash to clean them up, and they are brand new.
Soft Garden Gloves – I love having a pack of soft garden gloves to throw on real quick if I’m planting something or sweltering outside, and I don’t want gloves with the full sleeve.
Wheelbarrow– I couldn’t survive without our wheelbarrow! I load a ton of dirt, mulch, trees, and garden cleanup onto our wheelbarrow!
Plant Blankets for Frost Protection – I used these during the late frost last year.
Bamboo Plant Labels – Great for labeling roses, seeds, and bulbs. Use a sharpie to label them.
Ponytail Summer Gardening Hat – This hat is fantastic for being out in the sun! It has a ponytail slot, Wide Brim UV protection, and comes in many different colors! A baseball cap isn’t going to cut it for protection.
Designated Rose Pruning Shears – These are my favorite for cutting thick canes!
Garden Tools Set Collapsible Bag – The tools aren’t the best quality in this bag, but the bag alone has been my best friend! I load it up with seeds, tools, water bottles, gloves, and more! It is so cute and would make the PERFECT gift for someone.
Garden Knee Bench – I thought I’d be such an old person for purchasing this, but it is one of my number one used items! Your knees will take a hit with all the bending and kneeling. This bench gives your knees a cushion and has a slot to hold your tools. I often lose my tools while planting because they blend in with the ground.
Watering Can – get a large plastic one from the garden center!
Fit Flex Gardening Expandable Hose – I don’t know how I ever lived without this hose! It feels like cloth and is so easy to store and transport. We bought one big enough to go around the entire house! It also shrinks up so small and is lightweight! You’ll save yourself from all the kinks and folds a regular hose does.
Plant Support Pack – Filled with useful stakes, ties, twine, and clips.
Medium Size Shovel– Great for digging holes for larger shrubs and trees.
Garden Rake – I use this for spring cleanup or spreading seeds! It’s only 8-inches broad so that it can fit into smaller corners.
Some people love using gardening boots, but I’ve never been a fan. I think they make your feet hot, and bending down in them is uncomfortable because they restrict your ankles. I have old trusty sneakers I wear.
Full-Shade, Partial-Sun, and Full-Sun
There are so many flowers I wish I could have in my front yard. If my front had shade, I’d fill the garden with all kinds of hydrangeas, but it’s full sun all day. I stick to flowers that love the sun in the front and flowers that do better with the partial sun in the back.
My favorite full-sun flowers are petunias, roses, coneflowers, verbena, zinnias, dahlias, dianthus, phlox, and foxgloves.
I go with hydrangeas, inpatients, camellias, gardenias, begonias, and hosta for my shade and partial sun.
Since my back fence gets full sun all day, I have ten climbing roses bushes along the fence.
Why I love Coneflowers
Coneflowers are one of my favorite perennials in my garden! I have yellow, red, white, and orange ones, and I plan to add many more this year. They are the most forgiving flowers and come back each year bigger and better. One of my favorite things about coneflowers is that they attract yellow American goldfinches in late summer. The birds will bounce on the tops of them, taking the seeds. They are the prettiest bright yellow birds I’ve ever seen! Coneflowers also attract bees, butterflies, and other essential pollinators. Some people may fear planting anything that attracts bees, but they will not bother you! They look and sound intimidating, but those big bumblebees are essential for our earth. They fly all around when I’m in the garden, and they have never bothered me one bit!
Coneflowers love the sun, making them perfect as fillers for my front garden bed. I love that they grow straight up instead of spreading over the ground. They stay in their little space and don’t become invasive to the surrounding plants.
How to grow Coneflowers
You can grow coneflowers by seeds or purchase the plant when they’re in season. Either way, they’ll look amazing and come back each year! They don’t require much water, so they are impossible to kill if you’re not always on your watering game. They are super pretty when mixed with lavender.
Flowering Trees and Shrubs
My favorite flowering trees and shrubs to plant are azaleas, gardenias, camellias, dogwood trees, crepe myrtles, jasmine, and southern magnolias.
Last week, we purchased fifteen new Emerald Green Arborvitae Trees for our fence line! I can’t wait to get those into the ground.
I planted my camellia trees in front of my side windows. My goal is to look out my windows in the living room and see luscious blooming camellia flowers and greenery all year round. They grow slowly, but I love how they look! So far, they’ve grown about a foot since planting them.
I planted a Japanese Camilla, a Crimson King, Fire Falls Camellia, and a Dark Pink Kanjiro Camellia! I purchased all of these from my local nursery.
Growing Camellia Trees
I treat them with potassium salt once a year, but they do well independently. I had issues with one during a crazy wind storm, but it has recovered after keeping it tied up to stakes all summer.
I have them in a place where they get evening sun, the tips get sun during the afternoon, and the soil is well-drained.
Tulips and Hyacinths
I will do a separate update post on this, but make sure to add hyacinth and tulip bulbs to your fall plans! You will NOT regret it. I have the most beautiful hyacinths and tulips around my tree right now. They are stunning and the perfect way to welcome spring.
After they die, I’ll dig them up and store them for the following fall. You can leave the bulbs in the ground, but they do better when you dig them up, store them in a cool and dry place, and replant them in the fall.
I purchased all of these tulips and hyacinth bulbs at Lowes. I planted hyacinths on the outside and tulips in the center. I’m excited to share updated photos very soon!
One of my FAVORITE backyard plants is my limelight hydrangeas. I have them on both sides of my back porch, and they are so stunning and fluffy. I have limelight hydrangeas on my garden list for this year. I’d like to plant more around my backyard because they are drought resistant, they love the sun and handle the hours of shade, and the blooms last about a month. They are the easiest to maintain because you just cut off the dead flowers, and the buds will grow on the old wood the following season. They can get massive, but they are super controllable, and you can cut them back to the preferred size!
Morning Glory Seeds
I will be planting more morning glory seeds around my backyard this year. They are annuals but super fun! I planted a few in my backyard along the fence line, and they climbed up and around. I started building a wood trellis with some leftover scrap pieces that I’m hoping to have them climb up on! Stay tuned for that!
Do you use any fertilizer?
I fertilize my plants once in late spring, but that’s it. I have some for my roses, a generic kind for my front flower bed, and one for my shrubs. Fertilizer can help give your flowers a boost of color, blooms, and stronger roots.
Is fertilizing necessary? Don’t let anyone tell you that it is, but it doesn’t hurt if you choose to! If you plan to fertilize, research when it’s the best time to do so.
I keep myself on a watering schedule. It all depends on the amount of rain, but our dirt is made up of sand, dry red clay, and the garden soil I have added. Sometimes, it holds puddles of water in the poor drainage spots, and sometimes it’s so dry the plant doesn’t get enough water!
Watering and Overwatering
I water my flowers EARLY morning to prevent mid-day burning and late-night molding. I love watering my flowers about every other day during hot temperatures and droughts but will go every few days if we get rain or the weather is nice. You can always tell when a plant is dry, and if you need to bring out a watering tin for just a few plants, that is fine too! If you stick your fingers down into the plant’s roots, you’ll be able to tell immediately if it needs water!
I try to water my potted plants every day since they have proper drainage and get beat down by the sun.
I love mophead hydrangeas so much! They don’t always agree with me, and I’ve lost a few over the years, but they are so gorgeous and worth the trial and error. My hydrangeas are in my backyard by my back windows mixed in with my zinnias. I have a blue, pink, and white hydrangea bush. I also have a bright pink one in a pot on the back porch. I placed that one inside to break dormancy, and she already has buds!
My hydrangeas love my backyard because it gets morning sunlight and the afternoon shade.
They took a hit last year during the terrible frost we got, but I think they’ll recover fine, and they’re already budding outside.
To keep the color of your hydrangea bushes, you’ll need to pay attention to their PH levels in the ground. There are tests you can use and diagnose the soil. I purchase hydrangea food that specializes in its colors.
“acidic soil, with a pH lower than 6.0, yields blue or lavender-blue hydrangea blooms. Alkaline soil, with a pH above 7.0, promotes pinks and reds. With a pH between 6 and 7, the blooms turn purple or bluish-pink. To lower your pH, add garden sulfur or aluminum sulfate to your soil.” HGTV
I purchased these hydrangeas at Lowes, and they are Proven Winners.
My roses are my love!
I have over 41 rose bushes in my yard. I have climbing roses, drift roses, knockout roses, and more!
Roses start blooming in mid-spring, and they continue to bloom through fall. Last year, not only did the frost set them back, but the south had a terrible Japanese Beatle issue, and they LOVED feeding on my rose bushes. I had to go out with a soap bowl and flick them into it every morning. I’m hoping that isn’t an issue this year.
I love that there are over thousands of rose varieties to choose from. Drift roses are the best for garden bed coverage and are easy to maintain. I have knockouts in the back since they get so tall, and I keep my climbing roses on my back fence. You’ll find purple, dark pink, soft pink, yellow, orange, peach, red, white, and lavender roses in my yard!
I prune my roses in late winter since the temperatures warm up fast, and pruning helps eliminate diseases and promotes more blooms and stronger canes. Pruning was intimidating the first year I did it, but you’ll soon realize you can’t ruin a rose bush by over-pruning. They are so forgiving and grow right back bigger and better! Kyle mowed over two of my rose bushes by accident, and they started growing back up a few weeks later. Think of all the roses growing in the wild or near abandoned houses. They still look amazing!
Remove the remaining leaves, remove the thin canes, cut down the deadwood, and clean up the area around the root. I toss out the fallen leaves, add some new soil, and maybe some mulch. Some people seal the ends that have been pruned, but I’ve never done that.
I learned how to prune roses from several YouTube videos. I spend most of my time pruning the climbing roses and zip-tying them to my fence to train them to grow upward.
As long as you’re cleaning up the dead blooms on drift roses, you can get away with leaving them unpruned. But since I have so many of them, I clean up their growth. They start to grow into each other, and I like them to look cleaner. When rose canes cross each other, they can rub off the skin and leave them open to disease.
Which flowers are the best perennial seeds to plant?
Another way to save money aside from planting by seed is to separate your plants each season. There are SO MANY plants that multiply, and you can break them up, plant them in different spots, and fill up your garden as the years go by. I have separated my foxgloves, dianthus, Shasta daisies, Lillies, and phlox. Sometimes, my mom will bring me over some plants she’s separated from since her garden gets overcrowded from the years of growth. She’s bringing me a butterfly bush this summer, and I’m so excited about it! I’ve even separated a few for her to take back to her garden, which makes me feel like I’m doing something right!
I have a love/hate relationship with my peonies. I will most likely be moving them this year because I don’t feel like they are thriving where they are currently located. The first year, they were blooming giant flowers, but the following year, they never opened! A lot has to do with not getting enough sun, too much moisture in the ground, and they somehow formed a type of disease. Once they come back up this year, I’m transporting them to a spot with full sun all day long!
Trial and error are pivotal in gardening. Sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t! Don’t tell my flowers I said this, but “every flower is replaceable.” It’s ok to make mistakes, and it’s ok to hurry up and hide a dead plant! Even some of my favorite gardeners talk about how some plants just don’t work for them and don’t know how to keep them alive. One of my favorite garden icons, Laura LeBoutillier, is open about failing and having trouble with flowers. It makes an amateur gardener like me feel so much better!
My peonies returned beautifully last summer, but the buds never opened, which is so sad! This may be the last time I try my luck with peonies if they don’t open again this year after transporting.
I LOVE my dahlias. I have a few dahlia varieties and plan to keep adding them to my garden. They are stunning, and there are so many kinds to choose from. I get my dahlia tubers at Lowes; they’ve always been successful. They are so stunning when you cut them for flower arrangements.
Dahlias love the sun, and I put them into the ground in late fall.
One of the great things about dahlias in my zone is that they are perennials.
Hanging Baskets are so fun, but they are high maintenance when filled with petunias. The color is so worth it, though! You’ll need to deadhead them and water them daily since they are faced with hot temps and more wind while hanging up.
It’s always fun to throw in a few sunflower seeds in your garden!
We have a big hill behind our fence with wild grass leading down to the creek. I love throwing packets of wildflower seeds down on rainy days in the spring. Last year, I had so many cosmos pop up! I love that they attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds! Planting flowers is so crucial for pollinators and the population. I feel like I’m doing my part each time I plant something.
Planting Wildflower Seeds
I get most of my wildflower seeds from Amazon and my local nursery.
Do you use any books or apps to help you with gardening?
Aside from getting my Pinterest inspiration each morning, I LOVE using the app “Picture This.” You can take a photo of a plant (even your computer screen), and it will identify the species, it can identify disease, and it has a lot of helpful information from other users. I’m CONSTANTLY on that app. When flowers start coming back up in the spring, you forget what they are. You can take a photo of the leaves, telling you exactly which plant is sprouting.
Some of my favorite gardening books are:
The Flower Garden
Kitchen Garden Revival
Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden
What month is your garden the fullest?
My garden is its fullest in late June and early July! That’s when my roses are on their second round, most annual plants have grown 5x the size, my hydrangeas start to bloom, the crepe myrtles bloom, my backyard has full green coverage, and even my potted plants are at their peak!
Where do you store all of your garden supplies?
I dream of having a little greenhouse in my backyard, but I’ll have to wait a few more years for that! We always say that we will build the pool and the greenhouse before moving into our next house! This isn’t the house for either of those things. For now, I have a few shelves in my garage where I keep all of my garden supplies!
I give my plants a new layer of mulch each year. With our soil so bad, I like adding new topsoil with a layer of mulch to give them extra nutrients. Removing the old mulch helps prevent disease, and it just looks better! I will probably do the new layer of mulch in April. And Since I’m now in my 8th month of pregnancy, my mom has volunteered to do it for me. 😉
Choosing Pet-Friendly Flowers
This is a big one if you have any pets that like to snack on flowers! Luckily, my dogs stick to the grass and let the flowers be. I keep most of the super poisonous flowers in my front garden bed since they are never up that way. I have my hydrangeas fenced off in my backyard, and I don’t get too concerned with any of the plants. Leo and Tux have zero interest in them.
Whenever you’re unsure about a plant and its safety with your cat or dog, google it!
What about fruits and vegetables?
I planted a few fruits and vegetables in a potato crate and potted many fruit trees and bushes. I will make a separate post about those since it’ll be another long one. Still, I have raspberry bushes, blueberries, blackberries, lemon, and strawberries currently growing in pots inside my dining room! When the weather is nice (like today), ill set them outside on the porch to get more sunshine.
I have big plans for a vegetable garden this year!
I asked my mom to send me some photos of her garden last summer. I wanted to show you where I get most of my inspiration and help! Every house we moved into, she transformed the yard. And let me tell you, we moved into SO MANY different homes with my dad in the military. She always said, “the bigger, the better!”
My mom’s garden
I need to go through her albums to find photos from all the gardens she’s created over the past 30 years.
Every time I go to her house, I’m amazed at what she’s done!
I love love love seeing other people’s gardens! Feel free to send me a photo or tag me on Instagram in your garden pictures!
Questions for you!
- What hardiness zone do you live in?
- What is your favorite flower you have in your garden?
- Are there any questions about my garden you’d like answered?
Kaitlyn Leger says
1. What hardiness zone do you live in?
2. What is your favorite flower you have in your garden?
We just bought our first house and we can finally do whatever we want! I’m so inspired by your rose bushes and I plan to add my own this year
3. Are there any questions about my garden you’d like answered?
Not a question, but a suggestion…I have two little ones myself and I absolutely LOVED my Fisher Price On-the-Go Baby Dome. I would clip on a rechargeable fan from Amazon and place my baby in there when I went outside to play with my toddler. I’ve brought it with me for camping, beach days, grandparent visits…I don’t think it would be too shabby to use for gardening 😉
I just bought this baby chair/lounger that has netting around it for those situations. I love the idea of adding a fan! I believe the chair was fisher price too on amazon.
Congrats on your new house! & you can’t go wrong with rose bushes!
Kaitlyn Leger says
Thank you 🙂 My kids always run hot and the fan helps so much, even to clip onto the stroller when we take walks or go to the zoo. It definitely comes in handy when the kiddos start getting too warm in the stroller or the car seat or something.
Perfect! Looks like I’ll be using my hospital fan for the years to come lol
I LOVE this post! I’ve been hoping you would do a post like this because your flowers always look so pretty!
1. What hardiness zone do you live in? I live in Texas and the zone is 8b.
2. What is your favorite flower you have in your garden? Definitely my knockout roses.
3. Are there any questions about my garden you’d like answered? Not so much a question about the garden because you answered a lot of my questions but do you do anything with your grass? Do you use a certain fertilizer or do you just water your lawn when you water your flowers?
Thank you, Nikki!
You can’t go wrong with knockout roses!
The grass is a sour subject for me…😂 because they laid our sod on the red dirt, rocks, building material, and sand, our grass has had so many issues!! We have been considering getting a service but I get nervous with dogs and chemicals. We also have terrible bermuda grass which gets diseases easily, so we have to figure something out this year! Ours currently looks TERRIBLE!!!
Okay, I think this is one of my favorite posts of ALL TIME!!
I live in hardiness zone 4 – takes some super hardy plants to survive MN winters. We also need to be careful with what we put at the end of the driveway, since the salt/sand gets into it from the roads when plowed.
I don’t have a favorite flower yet 🙂 They’re supposed to do our driveway/leveling and grading/sod this spring… hopefully. My wish list: peonies, lilacs, and hydrangeas. I want both a ton of flowers, but also fruits & veggies!!
I just want to know how you knew where to plant everything, or if you just sporadically planted things and just mixed and matched colors.
also LOVED the pics of your mom’s gardens over the years, too. How pretty!!!
Thank you, Jennifer!!
It was one of my favorite blog posts to put together!
I can’t wait to see what you put in your garden!
I just planted everything based on height and sun!
I may have her write up a fun garden blog soon! She’s the master of gardening 😃
Just wanted to say that your garden looks stunning, I am impressed! I live in a flat so I don´t have garden but I grew up having big garden at my parent´s house and my Mom loves flowers and gardening. I hope one day I will have my own house as well.
Big hugs! And I can´t believe you are 8 months already 🙂 Time passes by super quickly!
Thank you so much, Milena! ♥️
I don’t know where these months are going!!
This post was beyond inspirational! Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge. I have been trying for years to become brave enough to add to our gardens. My mother and grandmother are amazing gardeners so I’m hoping its in my blood too. 😉 I live in zone 5B and I swear this ground is super challenging. Between our crazy snow storms that come as late as May and the high winds that seem to really affect the plants its a recipe for challenges, but I am going to stay optimistic for this Spring and Summer!
I love the roses we have…no idea what kind they are the builder planted them and have done great! But I also love my hydrangea! My favorite flower is the Peony so my wish is to try to plant some of them this year and see how it goes.
I know you get more rain than Colorado but how long is your drip system on for your flower areas? Do you have any specific accounts that inspire you and your garden? Any specific Youtube videos you found the most helpful? Sorry for all the questions, excited to hear any more tips <3
I’m so happy to hear that this post was helpful to you! Just go for it. As I said, ANYONE can garden, and it’s all about trial and error. I would suggest looking for garden experts or bloggers that live in your area that you can get some inspiration from. Typing in “5B zone flowers” or things like that into Pinterest, Google, or YouTube.
If you get the Picture This app, you can see exactly which type of roses your builder put in! Peonies love a colder climate, so you may have great luck there!
I don’t use a drip system, just the old trusty hose! Sometimes I’ll run a sprinkler over the beds for about 30-minutes, or give the plants individual drinks. You can tell if they need more water based on how fast it’s absorbed into the ground. That’s what I go off of.
Alexandra McCabe says
Your peony buds may need sugar ants to help open them up! I didn’t know this my first year, and snipped some as they just budded (like a rose) they never opened! I was so sad, and did some reading sugar ants help them open up.
I’m also a huge gardener, and we just moved into a new home in Wisconsin (we’re originally from Texas). I’m excited to learn about gardening in a new zone.
I’m also pregnant! I’ve been casually following you a while (I like your recipes! Especially when I was on a more restricted diet) and when I saw you were pregnant and looks like we’re due about the same time. I’m due April 15th! Anyhow, congratulations! Very happy for you and your husband!!
I was thinking that too! I read about them. But where do I get those or attract those lol
Ohhhhh that’ll be fun to switch things up! Wisconsin has beautiful summers.
Ahhh our due dates are very close 😊 congrats to you!!!!!
I love this post!!! I know you have a little one on the way (excited for you!!!), but I’d love to see more gardening post. ~maybe go into a little more depth of each type of flower you have.
Thank you, Karen!!
I really love your photos of beautiful flowers. Do you use filter to make all the images bit brighter?