If you're new to planting flowers, you might want to plant perennials. They'll bloom every year without you having to replant them. So make the most of your planting time and dollars.
An easy perennial to grow and enjoy is the Shasta Daisy. I bought a small plant in a pot at Walmart a couple years ago for about $3.00. It blooms from late spring way into summer. Mine is budding right now and should be blooming in a matter of a few days. It just keeps growing bigger, so can be divided. I believe I can divide mine this fall into 4 new smaller plants. Once it starts to bloom, just remove the spent blossoms when they are no longer pretty.
Many annuals will reseed themselves back, and come back every year. Some examples are Four 'o clocks. They will grow to about 3-4 feet high, and bloom all summer up to frost. You can collect the seeds and plant in other locations, also, but what drops to the ground will grow the next year. They come in various colors. I have "hot pink", but have seen them also in yellow and white. Portulaca is another self seeding annual. It also goes by the name Rose Moss. They spread out to fill in the bed and bloom all summer up to frost. Flower colors may vary, reds and yellows. Yet another is Periwinkle. They are usually white or pink. They are small plants and when they reproduce in the spring, may come in very thick and you can then thin and plant in other locations.
Buy and get for free the perennials you see and like from neighbors and friends who are splitting up perennials from their flowerbeds. They can tell you how it grows for them and the water conditions the plant likes and the amount of sun the plant needs each day. You will also get a perennial that will be hardy for your area.
We live in a zone 3 here in southern Manitoba. I hate it when I go to the local Canadian Tire, Walmart, or Home Depot and they are selling zone 5 plants to unsuspecting customers. A new gardener would think that they, themselves, did something wrong when they planted it or watered it wrong, when the perennial does not come up next year, just as I did when I started to garden with perennials years ago. So, know your zone and ask about the perennial before you spend the money on it. How easy it is to grow, is it an invasive perennial, does it require a lot of water or sun, etc.
Not only do some retailers sell plants not hardy to your growing zone, many sell plants that for a number of reasons are not suited for your area. Two that come to mind are strawberries and figs. When you see these plants for sale, be sure to check with your local AG agent to determine which varieties do best in your area.
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