Five Favourite Flowers
Five Favourite Flowers
A garden without flowers is incomplete, an unfinished work. Flowers are a part of a plant’s growth cycle, they are essential if the plant is to produce seed.
However, it is not this aspect of flowers to which I am referring. I appreciate the yellow of the tomato flower, both for its beauty and for the possibility of fruit it offers.
Squash flowers are so striking; they alone are almost reason enough to plant squash.
The blue of borage adds a distinctness to the garden as it adds flavour to the palate.
It is not these beauties I am talking about now but the garden showboats, the ornamentals, the gaudy showboats of the garden. ; plants whose flowers often seem to be their only reason for growing.
Vegetable gardeners often ignore growing pretty flowers, after all if you cannot eat it why grow it, is their claim. They fail to understand the other virtues of pretty flowers. These beauties have the ability to attract pollinators to the garden; garden friends which are needed if the vegetables are to produce the food you are growing.
The ability to call in pollinators, butterflies and bees, for example, is sufficient reason to plant a few. mistakenly named ornamentals.
For me, however, the service they provide are secondary, I grow them for their beauty. My five favourite flowers, in no order of preference follow.
The hollyhock enjoys being in the sun but is happy with some shade. Make sure the soil is rich and somewhat moist, if you want the plant to thrive. Just before you plant be sure to add well-aged manure or compost as this will help the plant grow.
Gladioli are easy to grow and appear in a variety of colours, including; white, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange, salmon, and even green gladioli. There are also bi-colour glads.
The lily makes an excellent cut flower and will brighten a hallway or side board, in a small vase alone or arranged with other flowers.
The pink stargazer is a personal favourite.
Purple coneflowers will bloom from midsummer until frost. This one is a sun-lover but can do okay in light shade. The purple coneflower ranges from zones 3-9.
Now some people may have trouble including marigolds in this list but I am very fond of them and rarely design a garden without putting a few, at least in the border.
The Marigold or as it is formally known (Tagetes spp.) is a very well known bedding plant and locally when the flower centres open for the season you can see their maroon and orange blossoms sitting seductively in their pots waiting for you to take them home.
There it is my five favourite flowers. Flowers I believe that add value that goes beyond beauty to any garden, but flowers I would grow no matter what other reason I may have for starting a garden.
The mixed planning garden, a garden that combines flowers, herbs and vegetables is one of the most resilient and productive garden designs. Mix them up and watch them thrive.