garden trends

Katie Ketelsen

Take a Garden Risk! Three Flower Projects to Try This Year

I’m generally a shoot-from-the-hip kind of gal in the garden.

I’ll pack plants in a container tighter than I probably should.

I’ll plant spring-blooming bulbs in spring knowing they should have been dug-in before November.

I’ll even let my 15 month old son do the planting. (You’ll notice the proper positioning of the bulbs — right?)

I’ll buy flowering poppy on complete impulse, in the middle of February……

knowing full well I’ll be lucky to keep it alive until May. (But really, how could you not take this guy home?!?)


All while thinking to myself: “Do as I say people, not as I do!”

Every year is a new experiment in my garden. But if you’re looking to try something new in your garden, but maybe not as risky as I have been, here are three tried-and-try projects you should consider:

1. Add more blooms to your front yard.

Admittedly, I love the feel and smell of fresh-cut grass, but secretly long for an ever-blooming front yard. I’m already thinking of how to carve out a few more flower beds in my landscape. If you’re a busy bee like me, worried about keeping the new plants watered, don’t pull the entire lawn up in one season. Work your way to the edges.


2. Plant a cut-flower garden for fresh bouquets all year round.

Another baby-stepping-project in my landscape is to slowly add more flowers for fresh bouquets all summer long. This is just a no-brainer for me. I love flowers. I love bouquets. I love to save money.


3. Beckon the butterflies, birds and hummingbirds.

This is definitely on my to-do list this year. I’ve installed fragrant plants such as butterfly bush, lantana and verbena to help lure the butterflies and hummingbirds. This is an easy project even if you don’t have a yard, use containers!

Another project I’m attempting this year is to plant vegetables among my perennials and shrubs. I know this isn’t a new trend, but it’s new to me and am very anxious to pluck fresh green beans!

What are you trying for the first time in your garden this year?

Justin W. Hancock

Raised-Bed Gardening

Do you garden in raised beds? There are lots of great reasons to have a raised-bed garden, not the least of which is they look good in the landscape. One of my favorite benefits is that raised beds allow you to control the soil since you have to fill them. If you’re stuck with challenging clay, for example, no worries: Just add high-quality top soil to your beds and you won’t have to worry about sticky clay ruining your day.

Happily, because they’re so beneficial to gardeners, raised beds are growing in popularity. I hear that from you, my readers. But I’m also hearing it from the industry. For example, the folks at Yahoo! sent me some surprising stats about how more and more people are searching raised-bed gardening on the internet.

Check out our stories here on for more info. We have everything you need, including step-by-step instructions to building your own raised bed.

Is there anything missing you’d like to see us write about? Comment below to let me know!