Monday, August 15, 2011

Gardening Guide: What’s Blooming Now?

All gardening is landscape painting. – William Kent

Detail of planting guide showing entry schedule and notation across the bottom.
It’s now the third week of August — already. Where is the summer going? If you have a garden that has perennials as its core you’re probably noticing things are looking a bit sparse. Most have gone through their blooming cycle and are dutifully making seed or expanding to give more pleasure in the coming year.

There are some perennials that are just gearing up for bloom and some that are in flower now. But late summer does not rival the burst of bloom delivered through Spring and early Summer. If you’re like most gardeners it’s a little difficult to keep your blooming cycles even throughout the season. We tend to buy what we like as opposed to having an overall plan, not caring WHEN it blooms as long as it DOES bloom.

Click to enlarge, then download and print.
Northern hemisphere version, summer in middle.
Annuals certainly do have their place and brighten up the doldrums of mid to late summer. But I prefer perennials because I don't have to buy and plant them every year. What a gardener really needs is a guide to know what’s going on in the garden—and when—so some actual planning can be done.

Almost all plant guides have blooming times as part of their information. But they have the disadvantage of being filled with hundreds of plants you will never grow or want to grow. You have to wade through them to get the info you need.

I posted this download at the start of the season, but it’s worth the re-post. The image at left is a year round one-sheet guide that will help solve your blooming problems. There is space to write the name of your plants, optimal planting time, and when they bloom.

All you need to do is observe and write it down.This will give you an instant visual read as to what your garden looks like at any particular time of year. It will also show you times when not much is happening.

You can then write in plants that bloom when your garden is not optimal and search them out. It’s an easy way to ensure you never run out of pleasure in your garden. Keep an eye on the neighbours, friends or public gardens and borrow ideas from them if you see something blooming you think you might like.

Southern hemisphere version.
This chart helps you plan your garden with more confidence in knowing there will always be something to enjoy. The downloadable chart also has a space for “winter interest” so you can plan four season garden enjoyment, even if some of it is from behind glass.

If you’re interested in extending the enjoyment season in your garden, a planting chart is a must! The chart is designed for you to be able to mark—by month—the optimal planting time, length of blooming and if there is any winter interest in your selected plants. 

That's pretty much the essentials you need to choose and map out your garden plan.

Click on the image above (June, July, August summer) or at right (December, January February summer)  and you’ll get the chart on a separate page. Simply download it to your desktop and print. It’s RGB, 150 dpi and 8.5” x 11” (letter) size.


If you like this post retweet it using the link at top right, or share using any of the links below.
Questions? Comments? Derogatory remarks?

No comments:

Post a Comment