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Designing Spring Flower Beds

Designing Spring Flower Beds

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Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved

Call Gretchen Campbell at 801 768 7443 to register for classes or go online at and click on the education link.

Flower Bed Design with Larry Sager and USU Extension Service Advanced Master Gardeners Wonderful flower gardens don't just happen. They are created by careful gardeners. Learn how to plan and plant flowerbeds that are aesthetically pleasing and that will bloom from early spring through autumn. Fee: $40.00 Tuesdays, September 9, 16, 23, 30, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Join us in the Oak Room on the lower level of the Thanksgiving Gardens Visitors Center

Basic Landscape Design Larry Sagers and Paul Quist Whether you're designing a first-time landscape or remolding an existing landscape, learn the steps for creating a look you will enjoy. The class will cover creating focal points, entryways, how to frame your home or preserve a view and water-wise landscaping. Master Gardeners from Utah State University Extension Service will help review your landscape plans in a personal consultation. Fee: $40.00. Tuesdays, September 9, 16, 23, 30, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Join us in the Oak Room on the lower level of the Thanksgiving Gardens Visitors Center.

It is hard not to be delighted by those first spring flowers. Even those with a “Scrooge” gardening spirit melt when the delightful spring flowers finally show from underneath the snow.

In a sense, spring gardens are like the resurrection of the earth after it has been asleep for the winter. Whatever the reason these gardens look so good, following the ideas of garden experts can help you create a little spring magic of your own in your garden.

Spring blooming gardens for Utah are not automatic or easy. Years of study, of trial and error and of consistent looking for and finding the right way to grow plants has created a recipe for designing successful spring gardens. There are still many gardeners who do not understand how to create these gardens. They persist in waiting until spring in hopes of planting a beautiful spring garden.

Waiting until the soil dries out before planting pansies and other spring flowers means that they start so late that by the time the become established, it is almost time to take them out. Fall planting lets them establish a good root system so they are ready to burst into color when winter snows finally disappear. Make the mistake of leaving them in the ground and Mother Nature soon lets you know that these cool season flowers are not flowers that are going to thrive in the blistering heat of Utah’s summer.

Spring flower gardens in Utah require another approach. Horticulturally it requires adding many other flowers, trees and shrubs to the mix to get the desired results for the spring gardens

Face the reality and admit that the bulbs look bad for much longer than they look good. Although bulbs are truly spectacular flowers, they cannot sustain the garden for the entire season. It is a fact that most spring bulbs are outstanding for a week, nice for two weeks and tolerable for three weeks. After that they become nothing more than dead petals, gangling flower stems and long leaves that eventually turn brown and die.

The salvation of the spring garden is the other plants we grow there. These are a diverse group. Some are winter annuals, some are biennials that take two years to complete their life cycle and some are spring blooming perennials that come back again and again. All share a common characteristic of being able to survive the winter and grow in early spring. They burst forth with brilliant color to paint an exquisite spring garden.

The secret of a beautiful spring garden is to get the plants well established in the fall. This often causes garden visitors some concern. Many times the gardeners are asked, “Why are you taking out those perfectly good flowers before they have been killed by the frost?” Many people have a hard time have a hard time taking out flowers that are blooming perfectly well. They want to let them continue to struggle to grow until the frost finally destroys them.

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