April for me is the time to start to shape up my plants with a trim, clean up the beds and add some nutrients to the soils. I like to add some compost to my beds and a balanced coated slow release fertilizer before mulching to get plants off to a good start. Remember that if the plant blooms in the spring, then generally that you will want to trim it after the bloom cycle. Roses for example bloom later in the season and are one of the plants that need to have a cut back to about 10 inches to insure a uniform growth and even blooming. Ask your Hand Picked for You® garden center expert the best times to trim plants in your area.
Now, let’s think about adding a few new plants to the landscape or patio. Spring is a great time to add a few new plants to the patio or garden to freshen things up. The spring temperatures and rain will get your new plants off to a good start with less work for you!
Those of you that are just starting, may be overwhelmed but we have a great resource for you. Start with plants that are hardy to your region and that have been certified HandPicked for You®. These plants have been tested and are found to be hardy in your area and will give you a great start to gardening success. Use our resource guide https://www.handpickedplants.com/ to find plants and garden centers in your area.
So how do you get started? I like to start with a plan. I like to have about 30% evergreen plants to give the patio or garden a strong foundation for the full season. I then mix in perennials that offer color by blooming or that have interesting foliage throughout the season. I mix in different plants with varied heights and texture to add interest in the garden. Evergreens add the stability to the garden or patio and a backdrop for the elements with texture and color. Next, you want to add in color and fragrance because they stimulate the senses. Some colors or fragrances can create a mood that can excite your senses or provide a place that soothes you after a hard day at work. Colors like cool blues, purples, and soft greens soothe and relax us and bright reds, oranges, and yellows tend to excite and awaken the senses. I remember my childhood and Lilac’s for instance have a fragrance that I associate with the start of spring!
The patio or garden can be your space to relax and enjoy time with friends. Bringing in plants in your life will not only increase the value of your home but also offer many health benefits. The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (https://consumerhort.org/plantsdothat/ )has published data in #PlantDoThat sheets that report research results on the positive effects that plants offer to our daily lives. Start out with great Hand Picked for You® plants add in some fun and then take some time to enjoy!