Garden Beauty

Colorful and Unusual Bulbs to Plant in Autumn

Happy Upstar tulip unique spring bulbs to plant in autumn

If you live in a northern climate like mine, you probably feel color starved by the time spring rolls around each year. After months of looking out your window and seeing endless variations gray, white, and brown, you might start to think you’ve forgotten what other colors look like.

That’s why the first spring bulbs can be such a joyous shock to the system. The day I walk out my front door and yelp in delight over the cheerful blooms of the early crocus is one of my favorite times of the whole year.

The return of color to the landscape is the beginning of the return of our favorite hobby. But, sometimes spring arrives a little bit more slowly than we might like.

That’s why, over the years, I’ve found that my spring planted bulbs offer just the dose of early season interest and excitement to distract me from my impatience about spring’s slow advance.

And one important lesson I’ve learned – there’s no such thing as too many spring bulbs. 

How to Use Flowers for a More Colorful Vegetable Garden

flowers for the vegetable garden

Vegetable gardens are ugly. This is a commonly held belief by a lot of people. Or, at least, vegetable gardens aren’t as pretty as perennial gardens. They should be hidden in your backyard and you should save your front yard for growing trees, shrubs, and flowers.

One of my missions is to bust this misconception! You can have a vegetable garden that produces a lot of food and is beautiful to look at. In fact, you can even feature your vegetable garden as a focal point of your entire landscape. I do!

My house sits on a very visible corner of my neighborhood and my vegetable garden wraps around the front and side of my house. Every single person who walks, bikes, or drives by my house instantly knows that a vegetable gardener lives here.

And, my garden shows that growing vegetables can be gorgeous and tasty.

What’s my secret?

Gorgeous Summer Blooming Perennials

summer blooming perennials in the garden

Are you a vegetable gardener, a perennial gardener, or both? Did pursuing one lead to an interest in the other?

I often teach and travel with the Creative Vegetable Gardener, and it’s interesting to meet gardeners from all over the country and discover whether they grow just flowers, just vegetables, or flowers and vegetables. Each type of gardening has its own tricks and techniques, and what you learn in one doesn’t necessarily translate into the other.

But, if you grow perennials and vegetables, like I do, it can be fun to try to bring those two gardens together as much as possible in your landscape. One way I’ve done this is to create a perennial garden located between my front yard vegetable garden and the street.

This has multiple benefits: my vegetable garden can borrow some of the color from the perennial border during times of the year when it’s not terribly interesting (early spring), the perennial flowers draw scores of beneficial insects and pollinators into the front yard, which benefits my vegetables, and the perennial border puts a pretty face on the front of my property and serves as a buffer between my food and the street.

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