Flowers

Plants Which Look After Themselves

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Brown thumb gardening When you would love to have a beautiful garden but nothing seems to grow for you that can be quite disappointing. On the other hand, when your thumb isn't exactly green there is nothing that can make you feel better than finding plants which you can't kill even if you tried. With this in mind let us go over some nearly indestructible, virtually brown-thumb proof, head strong, tough and still very nice garden plants that look out for themselves.

Daylily This perennial once planted can live for years without you doing so much as look at it. The varieties to choose from run the gambit in size, shape and color but all are easy to keep going with only the occasional dividing (every 3-5 years). They self mulch, are resistant to insects and look beautiful in virtually any soil, any climate and can take both too much and too little water. What can be easier than that?

Daisy This wildflower-tuned-garden-staple is wonderful in any flower bed. The amazing thing about it is the more flowers you pick to bring indoors, for daisy chains or to find your true love (He love me, he loves me not, sound familiar?),the more it will keep blooming. It spreads by itself making more plants for you to give away to friends.

Black-Eyed- Susan (Rudbeckia) A kin of the Daisy this flower requires nothing much but your praise. It self-sows, is hardy almost everywhere and can take drought as only a wildflowers can. Brilliant sunshine-yellow blossoms will attract butterflies like mad and brighten up any garden

Rhododendron The king shrub of spring time, Rhodos, as they are affectionately called, do great in semi-shade but can be fine in full sun too. They like soil on the acidic side, so, if planted near evergreens which acidify the soil on their own by dropping needles, you needn't do anything for them. The occasional pruning will encourage more flowers but even without that they do beautifully.

Peppermint Once this fragrant and very useful herb is planted there is no getting rid of it even if you try so you may want to pllant it in a pot instead of right into the garden. It is as voracious and dependable as a dandelion and makes a great tasting addition to sun-brewed tea. Butterflies and bees love it too.

Hardy Hibiscus Growing to a six-foot tall shrub within a season with huge dinner-plate sized blossoms, Hibiscus can live quite happily in standing water. They self sow to the point you may eventually be sick of them but there are worse "illnesses", aren't there?

Sedum Sedum is the ground cover to plant where nothing else will grow. From the poorest, dry, clay, wet soil to sunny or shady places this plant will prosper with no help nor hindrance from you. It spreads like a carpet and bursts into bloom every spring with white, pink or red star-shaped flowers.

Daffodil It is the bulb that deer won't eat and we have to love if only for that reason. But there are other reasons to love daffodils. They come out in spring all by themselves to cheer us up and brighten our winter-weary souls. They only need dividing every few years but can also be left on their own if you initially plant them far enough apart in compost rich soil.

These are just a few of the easiest to grow plants that every gardener lacking in the enviable green thumb should have in their yard. If you can include these plants that pretty much look out for themselves you will be in a flowery heaven in no time and your neighbors will simply assume you do indeed have a green thumb. Which, of course, is the case. Your lovely landscape will say as much. Hope you enjoy your newly acquired green thumb.

Harvard Study: Flowers Boost Morning Mood

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Start the day right! Recent research confirms that flowers might be the perfect pick-me-up for millions of Americans who do not consider themselves "morning people." Participants of a behavioral study conducted by researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed that they feel least positive in the early hours but reported being happier and more energetic after looking at flowers first thing in the morning.

"The morning blahs, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive moods - happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example - manifesting much later in the day," says lead researcher Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. "Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up." New York City floral and garden designer Rebecca Cole, host of Discovery Channel's Surprise by Design, is not surprised by these findings.

Cole suggests the following tips for experimenting with color to trying new, dramatic styles to the creative use of containers.

  • Cut flower stems short and place flowers in interesting or everyday kitchen containers such as tea tins, jelly jars, salt and pepper shakers or even pretty wine glasses. Pick something to match your personal style.

For example, try red and purple stems in grouped vases. Or, use monochromatic flowers, from one color family, to create a simple, pleasing effect.

  • Play off of accent colors in your kitchen to bring a splash of color with flowers. Look around and match flowers to decorative wall plates, place mats or curtains to pull out key accent colors.
  • Inspire neatness. Place flowers where kitchen clutter typically congregates to prevent future messes from settling there.
  • "What could be simpler than bringing home a few blooms to brighten your kitchen table and your mood?" says Cole. "Experiment, design and smile."

Perfect Partners

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Daffodils and daylilies are perfect partners because their leaves are nearly identical. After the daffodils finish their splendid spring show, their dying leaves aren't such an appealing sight. The daylilies grow up and over the daffodils, completely disguising the daffodil's fall from grace. In midsummer, the daylilies put on their own magnificent show. Fall is the time to plant daffodils for their spring show.