Memorial Day is next Monday (May 30). Originally called Decoration Day, it began in nearby Waterloo soon after the Civil War, as a day set aside to place flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers. Today we honor all fallen military members.
Aside from the parades and ceremonies, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the growing season in upstate New York. It was selected because we can be relatively certain that we’ll have no more frosts or freezes. It’s when you can safely plant vegetables and annual flowers. In the interest of full disclosure, you can usually plant these safely a week or even two weeks before Memorial Day.
Why not use this three-day weekend to plant a flower garden, or gardens, in your yard? I think you’ll agree that color adds life to every landscape. These days you have more varieties of plants available and infinite ways to display them.
You can enhance curb appeal by planting perennial borders on either side of the walk leading up to your front door or on either side of the driveway. Hang baskets of annuals from the eaves or the front porch. Plant a border of annuals around the planting beds containing shrubs. Most of the spring blooming shrubs have finished blooming and this splash of color will add pizzazz to an otherwise monochromatic area.
Other beds can be dedicated flower beds with perennials, annuals or a mixture of both. These beds can be free form in shape. Make them big enough that you can plant enough of each plant to provide masses of spectacular color. Be sure to plant the taller plants to the back and progressively shorter plants toward the front. For planting beds that can be accessed all the way around, place the taller plants in the middle and the cascading look 360 degrees around.
Flower gardens can be any type you want. Consider a wildflower or cottage garden. Refer to some of my earlier blogs and thoroughly research these types of gardens before tackling them. All your flowers don’t have to be planted in the ground, either. Some can be planted in containers and window boxes. They can be planted vertically and in raised beds, too.
I realize that many of you are shaking your heads, thinking this is a nice idea but more than you want to tackle. In that case, I recommend a meeting with one of our professional landscape designers to share your thoughts and then let them demonstrate their creativity. Once you and the designer have agreed on the layout, we have professionals who can obtain the plant material and install your gardens for you. All you have to do is enjoy you landscape’s newfound beauty.