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One thing that stands out in a home is the way it looks from the outside. Even a hut looks lovely with a manicured lawn and a well-gardened landscape. Most people think that landscaping and gardening are time-consuming and expensive, but they do not have to be either. With a little planning, some tools, and some basic knowledge of gardening, anyone can have a decent yard and garden. Gardens and landscaping add beauty and dimension to any home in a unique way. It takes gathering the right tools and information to get started in the right direction.
The basics of gardening are weeding, planting, and watering. These reasons may be the beginning of the confusion because it does require some knowledge of what to plant. Those novice gardeners and yard artists may want to seek the help of those persons who do the job professionally. This is easily accomplished through the services of either local greenhouses or an online nursery.
The advantage of using an online incubator is that they usually carry many varieties of flowering plants and vegetables on the website, have complete directions for planting, weeding, and watering, and the customer/user can see what the plants and seeds look like once they germinate. And many online nurseries offer discounts for repeat customers and those who are signed up to receive notices and emails from the company. It is like having an online "constant gardener."
Another barrier for those who lack a green thumb is knowing what to plant and where. Again, some research is needed to determine what does well and where. It is a wasted effort to use perennials that will not grow in the geographic location you're in, or place vegetables in shaded areas when they do best where it's sunny. It is essential to know these basics before tearing up the backyard. Again, an online nursery with a customer support line can give valuable information before tackling the projects.
After all the planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting have been accomplished; there is work that needs to be done to prepare for the next growing season. The plants that bloomed this season may or may not regenerate the upcoming season, and it is essential to make sure the plots are mulched/composted and covered. Rest needs to take place for the next opportunity to re-plant and re-invest in the garden and landscaping efforts.
Perennials For Zone 3
Crested Iris Plant
Iris Crisata, or the crested iris, often referred to as the dwarf crested iris, is an herbaceous perennial. It is a low-growing, showy flowering plant that spreads rapidly reaching heights of 3-9 inches tall. Also, each plant spreads to 12-15 inches wide. Its flowers have six petals, three upright and three hanging petals referred to as falls. The flowers are pale blue or lavender with goldcrests on its falls. The leaves are yellowish-green, narrow, and sword-like growing together in a fan shape.
The crested iris is native to and thrives in the Northeastern United States from Maryland down to Mississippi and as far west as Oklahoma. They typically bloom in April or early spring and can often be found growing wild along streams or on rocky, wooded and sloping terrain.
The crested iris is excellent for spring color in shaded areas, rock gardens, borders or woodland gardens. The plant produces a lovely ground cover with striking blue color. For full effect, plant in mass in the front of a mixed perennial border or naturalized in a woodland garden. In gardens, the crested iris does well when planted with other flowering perennials such as Virginia bluebells or wood poppy.
The crested iris is relatively drought tolerant. However, they prefer fertile, moist, and well-drained soil. Ideally, they should be planted in partial shade but can tolerate full shade or full sun. If planting in full sun, they should be provided with extra water. When planting the rhizomes, dig a small hole for the root tip and point the growing end in the desired direction of plant growth. The spacing for multiple rhizomes should be about one foot apart. The plants reproduce through division and will need to be thinned every 3-5 years. It is best to thin or divide in autumn or after the flowering has ceased.
Great Blue Lobelia - Lobelia siphilitica
The Great Blue Lobelia is also known as the Blue Cardinal Flower. It's a perennial plant that mainly grows in eastern and central Canada and the United States. The most common time to see them is in late summer and early fall. The months are usually August to October. In terms of life span, each plant usually only lives for a few years. It's most common in Illinois, besides some of the southern counties. In the state, you'll often find them in some of the following areas: black soil prairies, soggy meadows that are near rivers, low areas that are next to ponds and rivers, floodplains, bottomland woodlands, at the bottom of sandstone canyons next to streams, swamps, pastures, and ditches. This plant is in the Bellflower family and can be from 1" to 4" tall. The stem is a beautiful green, while the flowers are usually a bluish-purple color. The flowers can be for 1" to 1 1/2" long and are angled upwards. The best way to grow these plants it in wet to moist soil with partial sunlight. With that being said, if the soil is always moist, then full sunlight can be tolerated. You want to ensure you grow it in fertile loamy soil. This will give it the best chance of growing to its full potential. This plant can also handle some flooding but can become muddy and look ragged if it gets too much. One thing to keep in mind is that the seeds need sunlight to germinate. If it doesn't have sunshine, then it won't take off, and you won't be able to grow it. The nectar in the flowers usually attract bumblebees and other bees that have long tongues. Some other creatures visit, even though they aren't as common. The most common of these are the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird and giant butterflies. On the other hand, herbivores don't usually eat the foliage because they contain toxins that are dangerous and poisonous.
Lily of the Valley Plant
Lily of the Valley - Convallaria majalis
As its name might imply, Lily of the Valley plants tend to prefer partially shady locations such as you might find in a valley. In nature, Lily of the Valley can often be found in dark wooded areas that experience warm summers. In the garden, this perennial with sweet-smelling flowers will grow in zones 2-9. They grow from rhizomes, meaning that they will die back in the autumn and regrow again in the spring. Lily of the Valley are extremely easy to grow, often requiring little more than moist soil and some shade to reach their full potential. Desert dwellers shouldn't feel left out, however. While Lily of the Valley does prefer damp soil, they can adapt to a dryer location. If you want to grow your Lily of the Valley with less water, it's a good idea to taper watering off slowly so that it has time to get used to less moisture. If you want to grow Lily of the Valley in full shade, this is also something that can be done by watering less frequently than you would do in a shady location. Lily of the Valley flowers are bell-shaped and are usually white. However, there are some varieties with pink or cream-colored flowers. The flowers grow on a stalk that reaches 8 or 9 inches in height. The individual plants grow to be about 8 to 10 inches across and around 7 to 10 inches in height. When grown close to one another, a bed of Lily of the Valley plants can resemble a veritable green carpet. For more variety when Lily of the Valley isn't actively flowering, mix a type that has all-green leaves with a range that has variegated leaves with green and white stripes.