Spring Garden Design 2019

Spring Garden Design 2019 Garden of Aquarius

Garden of Aquarius

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Welcome to the Garden of Aquarius Spring 2019 edition. I have been out in the garden moving tons of rocks and preparing the beds for the new seeds. We have had an incredibly mild winter with only one day of frost.

That is not good for the bugs that will likely be overwhelming this summer. But that is living in Florida. Mild winters and hellacious bugs.

Welcome to the Garden of Aquarius Spring 2019
Welcome to the Garden of Aquarius Spring 2019 – a gift from my daughter and granddaughter

Here is the winter picture of the Garden. The weeds continue to grow as well as the zinnias that have self-seeded into every crack and crevice of rock, sidewalk and any other spot they can find. My Gerbera Daisy never did much last summer because she was hidden underneath the nearly 5 ft. tall zinnias. Once I pulled out the spent zinnias at the end of fall, that daisy went crazy!

Weeds and dead plants in the winter garden
Winter weeds
Weeds and one surviving Gerbera daisy
Weeds and one surviving Gerbera daisy

She has been blooming from December until now, never stopping. Because of this veracity, she gets to stay on for next year.

You may also notice my hummingbird feeder left out and nasty. That has already been soaked and cleaned. We are ready for hummingbirds mid-March.

Planning Phase

I’m a big planner. I have a gardening journal and I compile drawings and lists of plants and designs. This garden isn’t easy to plant because of it’s placement on the east side of the house. We get great morning sun, but by 4pm, one bed is in the shade.

I paid careful attention to where the sun was hitting the garden at different times of the day. I definitely noticed a difference in how well my dahlias performed. The simple summary is that they bloomed best in the beds with the most sun.

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This year I have planned accordingly and put most of the dahlias in the sunnier beds.

I drew out my beds on paper and made a plan for my plant and seed placement. It’s okay if you have to change your plan once you are planting, but having a really good idea of what you want and how much space you have will give you a better result than winging it.

Plant selection

The garden in 2018 was Zinnias and Dahlias. The goal was to have plenty of cut flowers to bring inside and I nailed it. The zinnias grew to almost 5 foot tall and bloomed from May-November. It was better than I could’ve imagined.

The dahlias were equally amazing creating enormous blooms the size of my face. I also tried a few different dahlia varieties with smaller, intricate blooms, no less beautiful.

Kelvin Floodlight Dahlia
Kelvin Floodlight Dahlia
Garden of Aquarius Summer 2018
Garden of Aquarius Summer 2018

This year I wanted to try something different. I definitely will do dahlias again because they have stolen my gardening heart. Last year was my first year growing dahlias and I just can’t get enough.

I only wish the tubers didn’t rot in the ground so I could dig them up and use them again, but alas, Florida. I dug them all up last fall and only a few weren’t mush. This is surprising considering they still had live plants growing out of them.

One tuber survived and I will replant it and see how it does this year. I have already ordered by new dahlias and expect them anytime in the mail.

Garden Tower Project

I have already planted the flower seeds for this year to replace the zinnias. I ordered poppies and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

I picked poppies for the varied styles you can choose from, tons of colors, and the dried seed heads are great for birds, cooking, or decoration. I love it when you can use something for multiple purposes.

I discovered poppies while trying to figure out a way to grow peonies. Apparently peonies won’t grow here because of the nuclear hot summers we endure. So, in my research of peonies, I came across poppy peonies. An easy substitute that most of the garden is now planned around.

I ordered my dahlia tubers and poppy seeds from Eden Brothers. I used this company last year and had about a 95% germination rate for everything I purchased. This is my own unpaid opinion of this company. I’m very satisfied so far!

Check out my Pinterest Board HERE for my Spring 2019 Garden plant selections and lovely pictures of what to expect this year.

Here is my planting list for the beds:

Planting

I have marked out the holes for the dahlias with pots and filled them with soil. This holds the spot while I cast seeds around. I didn’t want to spread seed where I would be digging in dahlias.

Then I planted the strawberry patch using strawberry roots. I’ve never grown strawberries before so this is a stab in the dark. I made a small patch for them and planted them on the border of one of the beds.

Behind those will be a row of pink ranunculus. These will be coming with the dahlia tubers, shipped when it is safe from frost up north. I hate waiting!

The rest of the bed will be poppies. I mixed the pink and lilac together and scattered them in the two biggest beds. The fuschia colored poppies were mixed together and scattered in the longer narrow beds. This will all become apparent once we have plants to visualize, but hang in there with me.

In one bed I have a milkweed plant to attract Monarch butterflies this year. I also am sprouting some from seed indoors as well. I wanted an established plant so that the butterflies have a spot. The seeds will grow a plant, but may not bloom until next year. I can’t wait that long.

Monarch butterfly attracting milkweed.
Milkweed to attract Monarch butterflies

Plants in pots

Sweet snap peas with teepee
Sweet snap peas with teepee

I additionally have plants sitting around in pots. I have a few Desert Rose plants, herb garden collections and this year some sweet snap peas. See my other post about herb gardening in pots HERE.

Rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano and sage.
Rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano and sage.
Herb garden from seed: cilantro, parsley, chives, basil and dill.
Herb garden from seed: cilantro, parsley, chives, basil and dill.
Zucchini plant
Zucchini plant
Strawberry crown starting to sprout leaves!
Strawberry crown starting to sprout leaves!
Poppy sprouting
Poppy sprouting
Front garden bed 1 planted with labels
Front garden bed 1 planted with labels
Front garden bed 2 planting with labels
Front garden bed 2 planting with labels

Final thoughts

The waiting is the hardest part. A garden is practice in patience. Especially when you plant from seed. I find this to be the most satisfying. Taking a tiny seed and putting it in the dirt and watching it create something beautiful or edible, or both. Nature is amazing.

The Garden took about 2 weekends to complete so far. One weekend clearing weeds and moving rocks around. One weekend to plant (actually one day).

The weather is warming up, some days we hit 80 degrees and we have been getting a good amount of rain since I planted. Good timing on my part! I hope we start seeing more green in that sea of brown dirt.

Garden Goals:

  • Cut flowers to bring inside
  • Fruit and veggies to eat
  • Herbs for cooking
  • Blooms to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds
  • Milkweed specifically for Monarch butterflies with the hopes of caterpillers
  • Seeds to collect and feed the wildlife

Come back for a garden update and watch my garden grow.

Spring Garden Design 2019 Garden of Aquarius
Spring Garden Design 2019 Garden of Aquarius

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