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Planting for Beauty All Season  

Welcome to spring! After the winter we’ve had (goodbye, record-breaking snowstorms) I hope you are all looking forward to beautiful blooms in garden beds and containers that will add so much to your backyards, patios or windowsills. 

One of the tricks to having a garden that gives you pleasure all season long is knowing that what you plant in early spring, when the temperatures are moderate and evenings are cool, might not thrive in the dog days of summer. 

So, you need to plan out what flowers you will be enjoying when and not be hesitant to pull out spent plants when the time comes to replace them. In addition to always keeping your garden fresh, this lets you play with different colors throughout the season and enjoy the greater variety of plants that become available as the temperatures heat up. 

Warner’s Nursery keeps a full stock of flowers that are just in time for the season at hand or soon to come. 

We’ve just been enjoying the true harbingers of spring the past few weeks – those spring blooming bulbs like tulips, daffodils and hyacinth with their delicate pastel colors.  

The trick with spring blooming bulbs, of course, is that you actually have to plant them the previous fall. If you received potted blooming plants with bulbs as an Easter Gift, however, you might want to save those bulbs in a nice, dry, cool place and then you can plant them when the weather gets colder later this year. 

Flagstaff has a short growing season with spring temps that can drop to the freezing level. We even have our share of May snowstorms, but there are a few annuals that can take a little frost like pansies and violas. Other great choices for early spring include dianthus (great for borders or pots) and the silvery, furry-looking Dusty Miller 

Perennials for the early days of the gardening season include creeping phlox, armeria (sometimes known as ladies cushion or sea pink), hellebore, columbines and peonies. 

As the temperature climbs, you can enjoy carpets of tiny, delicate allysum in white, purple or pink. Petunias and marigolds are other great late spring/early summer annuals to enjoy. In perennials, there’s summer-blooming upright phlox, geraniums, coreopsis and catmint. By the way, catmint is also great to plant near your veggie garden; it can be an insect deterrent, particularly to aphids.  

When it starts to sizzle, it’s time to turn to plants that know how to take the heat. Annuals like “moss rose” portalucas in their vibrant orange, red, yellow and cream cylindrical blooms that love to bathe in the hot sun before closing in the evening (or on cloudy days). The plant’s vibrant colors make them great lures for pollinators but be careful – they self-sow and can spread almost too easily. Vinca, which you may also know as periwinkle, is another great hot weather annual plant.  

In the late summer, turn to perennials like rudbeckia, anemone, asters, mums, goldenrod, Joe Pye weed, helenium and Balloon Flower Sedum for color and variety.  

As summer gives way to fall, you can go back to your early spring plants. Get your spring-blooming bulbs in the ground for next year and rely on plants like pansies and violas that can take the cold to give your garden beds or containers beauty and color until the end of the season. 

If you’re not sure which flowering annuals and perennials to plant and when, or want to take a closer look at the plants discussed above, please visit us at Warner’s Nursery. We’d be pleased to show you around and discuss what plants would be perfect for every stage of your garden this year. 

Happy gardening! FBN 

By Misti Warner-Andersen  

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