These 5 classic and beautiful flowers deserve some space in your landscape. If you've gotten away from the good old classic flowers, this year is a good time to go back to the flower basics.
You've most likely heard of these beautiful flowers before. You have almost certainly seen them and admired them at a friends house or out in front of the mall. There is a reason these 5 classics deserve to be blooming in your yard. They are dependable, beautiful, easy to care for, and add a ton of color to your landscape.
The Geranium is a classic. You have seen this in pots in front of homes and businesses for years and years, and there is a reason for that. This is one of the single best potted plants you can buy. It keeps blooming with little deadheading, tolerates a little abuse, and will grow and spread quickly to fill up a pot impressively.
The color choices are many, from pure white, various shades of pink, red, and nearly purple. They also have multi colored blooms such as apple blossom blooms and even come in a super bright orange and a hot pink - and I mean hot pink!
To add to the interest, you can find the Geranium with several types of leaves as well, including unique variegation in the leaves. These include black stripes, dark green rings, or even completely dark-colored or nearly black leaves, which are very striking against a bright colorful bloom.
Geraniums are easy to start from seed in any sunny window so you are not stuck with the variety at your local nursery. Go ahead and check out the seed companies and pick a beauty this year.
Don't worry about old man Winter either. If you like, you can bring your Geranium in for the Winter and put it back out next Spring. It may not bloom much inside but it is quite easy to keep alive during the cold season.
Impatiens are one of the best choices for shade. Where other annual flowers fail to bloom, Impatiens will bloom and bloom and bloom.
You can find these flowers in almost any nursery around as they are a staple, but you can also plant these from seed quite easily. That means, like the Geranium, you can shop the internet for the newest variety or get the perfect color for your landscape if you are so inclined.
Most Impatiens stay relatively small (a foot or so) but some do get bigger. They look beautiful in a flower box along a window under a big old tree where the shade might make that a problem for other types of flowers. They will also do well in a shady pot or even as a mass planting in a garden bed. Just keep them out of full sun and they'll do fine.
Impatiens come in similar colors to the Geranium, from white to pink to deep red. You can also find salmon and purple quite easily, or even dual color blooms. There is another variety even more suited for a pot called a New Guinea Impatien that has a darker leaf, stockier plant and slightly larger bloom. You can see that in the picture to the right.
Because they don't need much sun at all, Impatiens will accept being inside if you want to keep them for the Winter, but I prefer them outside. One thing about Impatiens is this - their stems are literally full of water and as soon as you have a frost of any kind these guys are done, but don't let that stop you from enjoying how beautiful they can make your shady spot until then.
Ah, the Marigold. It is indeed a beautiful classic flower for the landscape. Marigolds were once in every yard in the neighborhood but it seems that today people prefer something more exotic.
Marigolds look great planted in a row along a walkway, in a big patch, or in a pot. They will do well everywhere as long as they get some water early on to get their roots established.
You can find Marigolds in all shades of yellow, orange, and red. Many have variegated petals. Some have flat petals while others look more like a mop head, but they all have that distinctive feathery foliage that just screams Marigold.
In addition to the multiple colors and patterns, you can get Marigolds in various sizes as well. They will grow anywhere from less than a foot to more than 3 feet tall, depending on the variety, but I prefer the 1 foot variety that will grow bushy and full. For the back of your landscape, choose the big boys. To get the best look you should deadhead Marigolds which will inspire them to keep blooming.
Rumor has it that Marigolds help to keep certain animals away from your garden like rabbits and such. I've tried it and can't really report back conclusively, but if you have that problem give it a try. It just may work. The worst case scenario is that you'll have a beautiful flower border in your garden.
The petunias I grew up with were nice, but the ones we have to choose from today are nothing short of amazing. You can get just a few plants to cover an impressive area with the spreading varieties on the market.
Petunias come in all sorts of colors from pure white to deep purple and about every color of pink and red along the way. There are different bloom sizes from petite flowers to 4 inches or more across, but the classic shape is about a 3 inch bloom on a trailing plant.
Petunias are a bit trickier for some to start from seed and they take a lot of effort to get to greenhouse quality by planting time, so I recommend a shopping trip for these, though seed is readily available online.
A classic way to use Petunias is near the front entrance or in front of the attached garage in large pots. Use big tall pots so these flowers can run all the way to the ground. They also look awesome in a mulch bed when in a mass planting, especially if they can trail over a retaining wall. Find a color that will be striking next to some other feature in your garden and plant a bunch.
I may have saved the best for last. The Zinnia is an all time classic flower that will bloom nonstop. It also is one of the best flowers for cutting and keeping in a vase that you can possibly have, and you will enjoy bouquet after bouquet of Zinnias on you kitchen table.
Zinnias come in lots of different sizes from a petite 6 inch variety all the way up to large 4-5' plants, but the sweet spot for Zinnias is in the 2-3 foot range, where you will find the most popular varieties.
The blooms of Zinnias really come in two looks. The classic shape is a tight and precise bloom that always looks clean and bright. Several varieties also come in a scruffy, even fuzzy looking shape and here is where you'll get some of the more exotic varieties.
Whichever type you choose, Zinnias will bloom and bloom. In fact, they really enjoy being cut as it just forces them to bloom more. Zinnias look best in garden beds where they are planted in a group. If you don't have much room plant them in a 1 foot circle and watch them grow into a nice patch. If you have lots of room plant a bigger area and just see if your visitors don't comment on the impressive sea of Zinnias that you have in your yard.
Now that you have been reminded of the classics, don't forget that these beautiful flowers deserve a little room in your garden or pot.