The hot and dry summers of the Independence, Kansas area offer challenges when growing a flower garden, but they also offer plenty of rewards. The average growing season in this area is 150 days. You have 150 days between the last frost of spring and the first frost of autumn. These are often hot, dry days and it is wise to plant flowers that can withstand dry and hot conditions. Luckily you are working with some of the best soils in the world. When you need gardening supplies or advice, be sure to stop into the garden center of TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living. We have all the supplies you need including tools, seeds, muck boots, and compost and mulch. We also have experts and our own on-staff arborist for all your tree questions and tree services.
Flower Gardening for the Climate: Wildflowers!
Because we live in an area that can experience long hot and dry spells, to have great success in your flower garden you should lean toward drought resistant flowers. One way to chose your flowers that thrive in our area is to choose wildflower. There are many amazingly gorgeous wildflowers, available in all colors and lots of types of foliage, so you can easily have interesting and long lasting flowers in your garden, not just despite the heat, but because of it. A great resource for knowledge on area wildflowers is this site. You can see that wildflower come in all sized and colors. With a little careful planning, you can have a garden that has something blooming from March until October. A few of our favorites are as follows:
- Bachelor buttons – These are a gorgeous color and American Goldfinches love them.
- Aromatic Aster – Plant these for late blooming and great for lasting through early frosts.
- Common Milkweed – These attract monarch butterflies and have interesting foliage and seed pods for variety.
- Echinacea- This medicinal plant is as hardy as they come: long lasting too!
- Hollyhock – These give an English flower garden feel but love long hot days.
- Larkspur – Gorgeous knee-high flowers come in a variety of colors and never disappoint with their beauty.
- Coreopsis – The lovely lacy leaves deliver vibrant yellow, happy flowers.
- Common Sunflower – What’s a Kansas flower garden without the state flower! Sunflowers are gorgeous and attract pollinators of all sorts.
- Foxglove Beardtongue – These delicate looking, but sturdy flowers make a lovely addition to any flower bed.
- Western Yarrow – Growing in healthy clumps with pretty, lacey foliage, yarrow comes in yellow and white. Heads of many tiny flowers top these plants that are as hardy as they come.
If you simply must have some high need plants, plant them in the shade and bunch them together so use your water wisely.
Flowers do more than add beauty to your garden. Flowers can attract pollinators, repel pests, create rich aromas, and of course, top plants that can be cut and brought in for cooking. When planted with vegetables, they can help cut down on the need for pesticides too.
There are certain combinations of plants and flowers that work wonderfully together and others that don’t work together. A few general rules are the following:
- Plant carrots with chives, rosemary and coriander.
- Plant tomatoes with basil, broccoli, and garlic
- Plant beans with squash, cucumber, and spinach.
- Plant lettuce with dill, beets, and onions.
- Plant berries with herbs onions and garlic.
- Don’t plant tomatoes near cucumbers or beans.
- Don’t plant beans near basil or onions.
- Don’t plant broccoli near anything in the lettuce family
Familiar Flowers can serve as guardians of your garden when you plant them in close proximity.
- Lavender and mint perform as pest repellents as well as adding a wonderful aroma to your garden. Mints quickly become invasive, so we recommend container planting for any mint family plantings.
- Nasturtium help keep deer at a distance, as well as whitefly, caterpillars, and beetles.
- Marigolds, lupines, and geraniums help repel pests and attract pollinators.
We hope this has inspired you to get out your gardening gloves and go play in the dirt! What ever tools and supplies you need for your flower garden, be sure to come to TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living Garden Center! We hope to see you soon!