The Q&A Archives: Beginner help!!!

Question: I just moved into an apt and was lucky enough to get a 6x4 feet area to start a little flower garden. Originally there was a tiny palm tree and dead grass (which attracted tons of flies) all over it. Now i had that removed and want to give it a little new beginning. There is limited direct sunlight but plenty of potential. I want to give my girlfriend a great surprise and start a flower garden!

Answer: Now that you've removed all the vegetation from the bed, spread 3-4 inches of compost or other organic matter over the soil and dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. This will loosen the soil, add nutrients, help the soil drain well but still hold just the right amount of moisture. Then plant your annuals and perennials and spread another few inches of compost on the soil between the plants. This mulch will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. Here are a few suggestions for plants for your partly shady flower bed:

Cardinal Flower, Bleeding Heart, Bergenia, Primrose, Fuchsia, Foxglove, Pulmonaria, Japanese Anemone, Astilbe, Balloon Flower, Baptisia, Bellflower, Columbine, Daylily, Lady's Mantle, Lobelia, Impatiense and Wild Spirea.

Enjoy your new garden!

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