The Q&A Archives: Where Do I Begin?

Question: Me and my husband just bought a home and there is flower beds around the house. I would really love to plant flowers in them, but have no idea where to start or what to do. Also, the front of the house gets morning sun but by noon its in the back of my yard (what are good flowers to plant in only morning sun areas)and the other flower bed is on the side of my house which is really shady.

Answer: As with any new garden the best thing to do is to concentrate on soil preparation and adding plenty of organic matter, then selecting plants based on the growing conditions you have to offer. An east exposure with morning sun is perfect for plants requiring "full sun to part shade" and those that prefer partial sun to shade. The reason for this is that the morning sun is gentle and the plants get shade during the heat of the day. Your spot with sun all aftrnoon would be considered hot and sunny, so select plants that do well in full sun.

Since you are so new to gardening I would suggest you look at a book or two to get you started. You might find "Annuals for Dummies" by Bill Marken, ISBN 0-7645-5056-X and "Perennials for Dummies" by Marcia Tatroe. ISBN 0764550306 helpful. If you are more interested in perennials you might also enjoy "Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Perennials" by Ellen Phillips and C. Colston Burrellm ISBN 0875965709.

Have fun with your new flowers!

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