Flower power in your retreat

Flower power in your retreat

It’s mid July and I don’t know about you, but some of my annuals are looking a little leggy and others plain worn out from this blast of hot humid air.  But I know there are ways to give them a boost so they’ll keep on giving me a show of color for a few more months if I just help them along.  To make sure I know what I’m doing, I headed over to one of my favorite garden centers in Nashville for a few tips.

This should look familiar to those of you who shop at Moore and Moore Garden Center in Bellevue.  Their selection, even in mid July, is tantalizing.  The coleus are some of my favorites because of the large leaves that have great texture and color.  They can stand alone or mix well with others.

 

I like to go here year ’round whether I’m really ready to buy or not, because I always leave inspired by studying the way they arrange plants and flowers in their containers and flower boxes.  On this recent morning, I was able to chat with one of their newer horticulturists, Megan Grimaldi, who recently moved here from North Carolina.

She quickly grabbed a bench for us to sit for a few minutes in the gorgeous greenhouse and shared a few easy tips for prolonging the life of your flowers in these dogs days of summer.

Number one; Don’t be afraid to prune your annuals. Megan says cutting them back will really help to jump start new growth.  It will actually make the plants “try harder” to get bigger.  That’s my hand in the photo below thinking about pinching off this stem ’cause of the yellow leaves, and it’s getting leggy.

This is one of my containers at the front door and I need to prune, even though I hate to remove something that’s blooming!  But Megan assures me annuals will grow back because they’re like hair!

Number two;  after you prune your plants, they won’t need quite as much water and you’ll get that new growth you’re looking for.  Watering is still necessary but maybe not quite as much.

And number three;  fertilizer!  Her favorite is the slow release, organic type.  Bone meal promotes your plants to keep growing and flowering.

Some of the other fertilizers can be harsh and  according to Megan, plants need a more steady and long term fertilizer.

This caught my eye while at Moore and Moore. It’s a perennial hibiscus.  There’s your pop of color!

While you may not think now is a good time to shop, Megan said this is the time when many places will offer sales on perennials that look a little tired and may be root bound,  but will recover quickly once in the ground.  So those pitiful ones you see might just be a good deal after all!

Back at our house, we’re always adding new plants in the landscape since we’ve only been here two years.

One of my favorite shrubs we’re using is the limelight hydrangea.  It’s so pretty and full right now that I don’t feel bad about picking the blooms and bringing them inside for arrangements.

I mixed these with some blue hydrangeas in my striped vase, then put fresh mint from our garden in the mason jars with roses that I bought for our table recently.  It’s a simple arrangement but I really liked it and the mint smelled so fresh.

I’m already thinking about new shrubs and different annuals to plant next spring.  We also want to plant iris bulbs and more daylilies near a small ditch that runs through our front yard.  And I’d like a spot with wildflowers, and the list goes on and on!  What I probably need to do is better maintain what I already have.

But I can dream.  And this sweet little cottage at Moore and Moore is in that fantasy.  I want this tucked somewhere in my backyard.

No matter what’s in your garden or containers,  with a little TLC they should provide plenty of beauty and color  for several more months to come.

    Thanks so much for following Stylish Retreats.  Be sure to go to my home page and scroll through the buttons at the bottom of that page to look at dozens of other articles I’ve written about all kinds of homes around Middle Tennessee and beyond.  I’m also excited about adding alot more content and videos soon!