A Backyard flower garden is considered a necessity by many and complicated by others. It seems that those who grow vegetables well often struggle with flowers. The same can be said for those who grow vegetables. I have found over the years that flowers can be easy to grow you just need to know a little history on the flower variety and supply the plants with the right growing climate and soil conditions.
photo credit: Nieve44/La Luz
Two other considerations you will want to decide on before planting are, will you be planting the flowers from seed or transplants: and will your plants be in a garden or in containers or windowsill boxes?
Planting flowers from seed takes time and I found certain flowers grow better than others if you sew them directly into the soil. Flowers that re-seed themselves seem to grow with fewer problems with direct sewing than other flowers. One exception are marigold plant varieties. I find marigolds very easy to add to garden soil and have a nice crop of healthy flowers. Overall I would suggest that you start your flower seeds indoors in pots eight weeks before you would like to set them out in the garden area, especially if this is your first flower garden experience.
The two reasons for starting flowers from seed are that you have a larger selection of flower varieties available to choose from and it is less expensive to start you own plants.
Buying flower plants from a garden center will help you to set up your backyard flower garden in a day or two. You can water the plants well and add mulch to your garden and it will look nice from day one. As the season moves along the plants will fill out and you will have a blanket of beautiful color in your yard. When buying plants you need to look them over for signs of neglect (dead leaves, thin stems, lack of flowers) and never buy a pack of wilted plants. They may have suffered from too much shock and might not flower well.
One other thing to look for is any insect problems. Chewed leaves or funny bumps on the stems may be a big problem. I always check the plants again when I get them hoe and wash the plants with a mix of two drops of dish soap to one pint of water and a dash of garlic. If your plants had any small invisible bugs this should solve the problem.
Planting flowers in containers and windowsill boxes means that you should make sure you soils will drain well and that it has plenty of fertilizer. Make sure you containers are clean. I always have a few flowering pots and containers in the backyard and by the house. They add instant color and can be moved so that your yard has a fresh new look anytime you want.
photo credit: andydr
For anyone thinking of having a backyard flower garden for the first time my advice it “start small.” You can always add more flowers or different varieties another year.