It’s been warm around Mid Canterbury for quite a while now, but the true signs of late spring and summer are in the air: the grass is turning lush and green (and needs cutting!); trees are in full bloom; and kids are starting to get restless for long days at the pool.

Are you ready?

And, more importantly, is your landscape ready?

Here are our four tips for preparing your outdoor space and making your annual garden and bedding plants look as perfect as possible for the spring and summer.

Start With Good Soil

High-quality, fertile soil is the best place to begin for a bed that blooms beautifully all season. Annuals can survive better than their perennial counterparts in poor soil, but for the prettiest, most lush plants, you should start with a soil with plenty of organic matter, such as compost, leaf mould or peat. (Enrich your bedding soil in the fall with these materials for even better soil next year!)

Understand Your Landscape’s Lighting

Before you get to planting, spend some time getting to know how the light hits your yard throughout the day. Based on the information you collect during your observations, you may be able to create a unique garden all its own, like a shade garden with plants that create a mysterious, glowing look in that relative darkness.

Plants are grouped into four categories of necessary sun exposure:

  • Full sun: six or more hours of sunlight per day
  • Partial sun: three to five hours per day
  • Partial shade: no more than a few hours of dappled sun
  • Full shade: no direct sunlight at all

Colour Isn’t Everything

It isn’t just about a blanket of the brightest blooms; there are other ways to make your landscape interesting with annuals! There are plenty of plants with vibrant foliage – grasses can be gorgeous, too – and you can also create visual interest with plants of varying heights at different spots throughout your beds. If you’ve heard about “thrillers, fillers and spillers” for container gardens, think about adding taller plants and some groundcovers for a truly showstopping bed.

Get Blooms All Year Round

Different plants perform best at different temperatures and times of year. You may have started early with cold-tolerant flowers like pansies, and you can continue through the summer with sun- and heat-loving plants and right up to the first frost with autumn pansies and others. Colour all season! If you’re planning a garden for down the road too, plant some perennials that return on their own and complement them with different annuals every year.

Unsure about what to plant or when — or where? Ask the staff at your local garden centre, or give us a call here at SmithScapes. We can help with all of this and more. Call Dale on 0274 20 38 15. You can also fill out the web form on this page to have us get in touch with you. Happy planting!