Friday, March 27, 2009

March garden design tips

Next month is the Coronado Flower show. For weeks, homeowners in Coronado have been sprucing up their front yards with the hopes of getting a blue ribbon. Many homeowners turn to short tern flower color, annuals mostly, to spruce up their gardens in the spring.

As a working professional without a lot of time in my garden, I always prefer to stay away from short term plantings. Instead, I like finding easy to grow plants that have a lot of bold flower color. Less work, and more payoff!

These are a few of my favorites:

Lavatera: These are so easy to grow! They are very drought tolerant and take full sun. They bloom profusely from March into the summer. Lavatera bicolor is a great choice, and so is L. maritima and L. 'Red Rum'. These are available locally in San Diego through most nurseries including Walter Anderson, Village nursery, Miramar Wholesale, and Briggs Tree Nursery.

I have fallen back in love with Lantana recently. I used to think this plant was dated, but I think it is back and better than ever. Check out thenew dwarf varieties like Lantana 'Teenie Geenie' that grow to less than two feet tall. These are very heat and drought tolerant. They also put up with bad soil. Mine are a little sensitive to fungus, so keep an eye out for discoloration on the leaves.

Rockroses are another easy to grow and drought tolerant variety that can give a lot of color. This one, Cistus landiferus, is one of my favorites. C. purpurea, with it's large magenta blossoms is very popular. The less known C. skanbergii has delicate pink flowers almost like a single rose.

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