This is the time of year when many of us turn our focus to the exterior of our homes.  So I’m going to take my interior design hat off for just a minute and talk a little about gardening and summer flower beds.

The past couple of weekends, Stan and I have been doing some garden prep and plantings.  We’re originally from Ohio and the way we’ve always done our flower beds is a little bit different from most of the flowers beds we see in our current hometown in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

One of the biggest differences is edging.  Instead of using some type of steel or concrete edging, I have Stan dig a trench around our flower beds.  From the curb, it gives this really cool seamless view of the grass transitioning into the beds. Once you’ve got your trench hollowed out, it’s pretty simple upkeep.

Using black mulch sets a beautiful, rich background for your flower beds. The contrast between the green grass and the black mulch sets the perfect stage for your display. There is definitely a difference between black mulch purchased at local home improvement store vs. a landscape supply store. The landscape supply store mulch will have a darker, longer lasting color.

[TIP]:  Be careful when handling black mulch, the color can get everywhere.

Next up is flower selection.  Begonias and petunias are always a popular choice in Oklahoma for seasonal color.  But, of course, I like to think outside of the box. I can’t help it… It’s the designer in me!  So for color, I use geraniums. Give them a try and I guarantee your neighbors will ask “What are those? They’re so pretty!!!”

One last tip; It’s good to plant a variety of flowers in your beds.  This is what makes it unique, especially if you make selections that show off at different times of the season.   I like to think of my beds like a bouquet of flowers, adding different layers of texture and color for interest.

Here’s what’s planted in my beds right now:

  1. Hosta
  2. Corabelle
  3. Geranium
  4. Ageratum
  5. Dusty Miller
  6. Mum*

*Mums- When your plant reaches six inches tall in the spring, simply pinch off one inch of each shoot. Repeat this every two to three weeks until early summer.  Deadhead spent blooms throughout the fall for an extended bloom time. Like other perennials you can divide the plants every three to four years in the spring. Plant mums to the back of your flower display, as they can get large and hide other plants.

Happy planting!