There's nothing like the vibrant color of flowers to make your yard come alive. With nearly endless options at your disposal, your property can be your blank slate to fill as you see fit. When planning your floral additions, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the flowers you select provide the picture-perfect look you desire.

The Basics: Sun and Water

Like all plants, flowers need water and sunlight. To facilitate regular watering, make sure your flower beds or potted displays are located where water is easily accessible. Flowers should also be planted where there will be ample sunlight. While some flowers are shade seekers, most are sun worshipers. Before you get your heart set on a certain flower, know the amount of sun your yard offers and select flowers that will thrive in the available conditions. Many novice gardeners have made the costly mistake of selecting plants on appearance alone, only to end up with flowers that did not thrive because of too much or too little sun. Lawn care professionals and garden centers can help guide you with appropriate selections.

Time Your Color

Timing is another important element of any floral display. If properly timed, it is possible to have transitions of color through three seasons. Bulbs such as daffodils and tulips  are planted in the fall and are the first flowers to emerge the following spring. Once the weather warms, bulbs create an explosion of color that is a welcome break from the grey blandness of winter. Since bulbs bloom early, planting them in proximity to evergreen landscaping offers a nice solid backdrop upon which to build a wide spectrum of spring color.

 As you head into summer, there are many warm weather annuals from which to choose, all of which offer their own unique contribution to your summer flower garden. Salvia and aster bloom multiple times throughout the summer and attract large numbers of hummingbirds and butterflies respectively. Flowers such as nicotiana are incredibly fragrant, especially in the evening. If you have shady areas, fuchsia and begonias do well, even without large amounts of direct sun. For the late summer, majestic canna lillies with their broad, waxy leaves and huge blooms give your yard a tropical feel during the hottest days of the year. Although these flowers do not bloom until the summer, spring planting will give them time to establish themselves and yield intense blooms.

Finally, the fall is time for chrysanthemums (mums) which thrive even after the weather cools. Mums do not bloom until early fall and last quite a while. They come in many colors , including the fall colors of red, orange, and yellow. As you anticipate the hues of your fall tree foliage, pick out mums that will either match or complement the rest of your landscape.      

The Master Plan

Knowing what certain flowers will look like as well as when they bloom can guide your planning process and help determine an ideal placement strategy. You should consider which colors will be displayed together and how they will play off of other elements of your landscape. Consider how flowers will look alongside flowering shrubs, trees, or your house itself. The lush green of summer and the turning leaves of fall will act as backdrops to your flowers and should be considered when deciding which plants will add the most artistic balance to your yard.

Flowers add stunning visual appeal to any property and can do so for most of the year. The sky is the limit in terms of possibilities. If you are overwhelmed with the options or if you want the knowledge of a skilled expert to guide you, contact a landscape professional. Your vision and a little guidance can transform your yard into a kaleidoscope of floral beauty.     

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