and The best flowers and plants for April… April ushers in a time of renewed energy, motivating us to organize the garage, pack away winter mittens and clear out corner cobwebs. April is also a perfect time to give the garden extra attention before the rain descends.
The Best Flowers and Plants for April
Best Time to Plant
The best time to plant is after the last frost when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees. Spring plantings typically consist of perennial and annual bulbs and tubular that bloom from late spring into early fall. Most require a mulch line between three to five inches with the bulbs placed close together to give the garden a full look.
Five Flower Species
No matter where gardeners live, these five flower species are sure to provide pleasure during the next six months:
With its small puff of purple, pink or white flowers, the Allium is a hardy spring-to-summer flower that makes a beautiful addition to gardens and indoor arrangements. From a distance, the star-like cluster of dainty flowers resembles a lollipop. Growing to the size of a softball, Alliums are a perfect ornamental addition to short and medium height flowers.
The Blazing Star, or Gayfeather, is distinguished by its fluffy florets. The conical spike produces purple or white blossoms that uniquely flower from the top down. This perennial requires full sun and well-drained soil as oversaturation can kill the plant. A summer-to-fall flower, Gayfeather should be planted in large clumps to attract butterflies, bees, and birds. With a growth capacity of eight to 20 inches, the beautiful flower will last for weeks in a vase and is excellent for drying.
Gladiolus, which requires fertile, well-drained soil and full to partial shade, is a summer-to-fall flower available in more than 260 species. The cascading flower spikes and stiff, upright leaves are striking in the garden and floral arrangements. Gladiolus can grow anywhere between 12 to 80 inches so it’s best to stake four to nine inches apart.
The beautiful Meadow Saffron is an extremely hardy, early-blooming tubular that produces distinctive purple buds. Growing to only seven to ten inches tall, this flower is perfect for filling in bare spots in the garden. The Meadow Saffron or the “naked lady” as it is known because the flowers emerge from the ground long after the leaves die.
Summer Vegetable & Herb Gardens
April is also the perfect month to begin a summer vegetable and herb garden since nearly everything is ready to grow. Make sure the garden contains loose, nutrient-rich soil and plenty of sunlight. Most varieties will be ready to bring into the kitchen within three to five months.
Like flowers, plant cool-season vegetables in early April; these vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, lettuce, onions, shallots, and spinach. Warm-season varieties, including beans, beets, carrots, eggplants, peas, and potatoes. Plant fruits, such as kiwis and berries, later in the month. Garlic, lavender, and chives will provide a great natural repellent to insects and pests when planted around the outer edges of the garden.