Annual Plant and Garden Essay

Over the years, as my love of gardening grew, and gradually developing in a hobby, and therapeutic in many ways. When my children were small, I did not have a lot of time for gardening, because gardening can be very time consuming. As my children grow, I shared my love for garden with them, we created great memories while “playing in the dirt”, as they would say. I take much pride in my gardening and have learned so much, in all my years as a hobby gardener, and my skills and knowledge have grown to I can garden in all four seasons.

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I have been gardening since I was a young girl. I am really not sure what sparked my interest in gardening. My mother had some house plants but no flowers outside. My Dad had vegetable gardens, that mom and I helped in. Then one early spring afternoon while my father was planting his vegetable garden; Dad said I could have the last row for anything I wanted.

I was so excited I finally got to plant my own seeds; I choose Sunflower and Zinnia and then watch them grow over the summer.

He helped me keep the weeds out (by tilling) and of course watered my row when he watered the whole garden. I remember that early summer day when I looked outside and my Zinnias was blooming, and shortly after my sunflowers started to bloom, oh what a happy little girl I was. Early next spring, dad tilled up my first very own garden, a small little flower garden in the front of our home. My neighbor gave me some flowers, to help me get started, I planted those and I had saved some of my dried flowers from last season, (dried flowers make seeds that reproduce plants).

Everyday after school I worked in my flower garden, I pulled weeds,watered and kept the dried leaves plucked off, that helps the plant grow better and my dad showed me how to fertilize my garden. I had beautiful fragrance and colors the entire spring and summer. I really had no idea of what I was doing, because I was so young, but my neighbor helped me a lot with everything and my mother helped when she could also. So each year I learned a little more and just experimented with different flowers.

In my young years of gardening, and a lot of trail and error, I feel that I am confident enough to do about anything I set my mind to. You must consider a few things before planting or buying flowers, if you want bulbs or perennials, flowers to come back every season; annuals, only for the season; the amount of sun or shade that the garden area receives; the ph and richness of the soil. These are the the very basic things to consider when you start to plan your garden.

Other things to think about, before purchasing flowers, are if you want them to be planted in a container or ground. I prefer to plant perennials in my ground garden, because they come back every year but the do cost a little more then annuals. I usually plant annuals in pots, just simply because it is hard to store the containers, in the winter time. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to have flowers in a garden or a container and I could spend hundreds of dollars (if I had the extra money) on planting and landscaping.

I prefer to add something new every year, like maybe a new kind of flower in a container, or maybe a new bush, or possibly add on to a existing garden. Occasionally I will need to move somethings around because of the sun or shade factor. When I am laying out a new garden I try and consider how much sun the area gets a day, how big or small they grow, and I prefer a couple plants to stay green or blooming year around, and I plant at least one plant from each season in a ground garden and the purpose for that is that something new blossoms every couple months.

That I refer to is a continuation cycle of blooming in one area of the garden. It is hard to achieve that in a container. Some plants get planted to early in the spring season, because people get to excited to get started. In the early spring season we still having cool temperatures (still a chance to get frost) but the first gardening season of the year, some people get in a great hurry and plant things that need protection from frost. If the plant is not covered with cloth they can get frost bitten.

When a plant gets frost bit, it could be deadly for the plant. The bulb flowering plants can survive the cold temperatures. Most of your spring flowers come from bulbs which are perennials, they return ever year and they multiply. Some of my favorites are the yellow Buttercups, pink and blue Hyacinths and all the red, pink, yellow and white Tulips and the purple, yellow, white and all the other colors of the Iris, (Tennessee state flower). Occasionally we have seen snow on these bulb blooming flowers, Gods nature and his work is just amazing to me.

Some of the early spring gardening can be cold but the earlier you get out the better start your garden will have, you must clean out your garden by cutting all the dead plants away, so the new can grow, freshen up your mulch or rocks and began planting. All of the trees, shrubs and grass are turning green and coming alive. It is like energy to my soul. Spring time has so many different flowering plants, flowering bushes, and the colors and aromas can be breath taking to me with beauty. Unfortunately most of the spring colors do not last but a few short weeks but on the brighter side then comes summer time gardening.

Summer gardening is just as rewarding as spring with the colors and fragrances. Summer time flowers are a little more challenging in some ways because you must fertilize weekly in order to produce and enhance the colorful blooms; they require water daily, because of the hot sun; pulling up the wild weeds and grass; plucking off the dried blooms, so they can reproduce; trimming the entire plant back, to control the size and continue to grow evenly; and if you chose to cut fresh flowers and arrange in a vase for the inside.

I could spend hundreds and thousands of dollars (if I has wealthy) on planting and landscaping in my garden. I think the wisest thing to plant in the early summer is perennial flowers, because they come back every year. Some of my favorite summer blooms are the bright pink or red, knock-out rose bush; white or violet vincas ; yellow or orange shasta daisies; purple mexican heather; and the purple and white petunias. Those are just a few of what I plant in the ground and most of them require full sun and water daily. I mixed my evergreen shrubs with bright colored blooms of flowers.

As summer comes to a end, and the heat and sun takes its toil on the garden, I begin to trim back my plants because they start to look weathered and worn. My potted flowers seem to go first, and then the plants in the ground. As summer is coming to a end, I also loose some interest in watering, because I know they are about to die out anyway. I then begin to pull my annual flowers up to put in the trash and prune my perennials way back. Preparing for the fall season. The Fall season is a beautiful time of the year all of the earth tones, like orange, yellow, bronze, burgundy and some purple mums and the bright little ansies. You have less variety of flowers but most of them are perennials. Many people only decorate with containers of mums, instead of planting them in the ground; and some pumpkins to accent their dried corn stalks and bails of hay. Gardening in the fall is fairly simple, because you are pruning all plants, bushes and shrubs; watering the new fall plants more than the existing ones. This is the time of the year you plant those bulbs for spring, like buttercups, tulips and others of your choice . After the first frost comes and most blooms are lost (unless you cover with cloth).

After freezing temperatures move in you cut everything down close to the ground, and cover with a bed of hay to protect the plants from the cold and freezing winter that is coming. Winter time being the most care free time of planting because their is no need to water their is very few plants outside that are green and alive except the; evergreen shrubs, which stay green year around and produce red berries in the cold months; pine trees,with their pine cones being a great decoration for winter arrangements; snowdrops are little, white, snowdrop looking flower; and the delicate purple and yellow pansies .

These are just a few of my favorite winter plants. With our winters in Tennessee being mild to moderate and not a lot of hard freezing temperatures. You normally are able to maintain your outdoor shrubs and the plants you have cut back and covered in the fall. And now the cycle begins all over in the spring. Gardening is a huge passion of mine, it gives me a peace that I can not describe.

I absolute love gardening any time of the year around, with spring being the busiest season, but the most rewarding. Summer and fall are wonderful seasons, and winter be the slowest and most restful time of the year in gardening. Perennials, bulbs and annuals are all beautiful blooming flowers. I take great joy, enormous amount of time and energy and most of all pride in my flower gardens, over the years as a hobby gardner. .

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