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South Central Gardening: 6 Tips to Creating a 3 Season Garden

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Here are six simple tips to make your South Central garden a slice of paradise.

Butterfly on Lantana

Each year I dream of my garden and what it will become. To create a three-season garden full of life, I do certain things every year. Here are six tips:

Tip 1: Grow annuals and perennials that love the sun and attract pollinators. I always buy Angelonia angustifolia in blue, purple and white; pentas in red and white; bright lantana; and blue salvias.

Tip 2: Sow seeds of sunflowers in varieties both short and tall, like Burpee’s Fantasia hybrid mix, includes 'Strawberry Blonde' sunflowers (my favorite), zinnias, Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’, and cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus). All of these are easy flowers that you can sow directly outdoors.

Tip 3: Mulch with cottonseed hull compost, pine bark or shredded oak leaves, if you have oak trees. My garden is a “no rubber or rock mulch” zone. As natural materials break down, they make the garden more fertile and protect the plants from changes in temperature and moisture loss.

Tip 4: Fill containers with bright and lovely plants of texture, color and style. I can create as much beauty in a small space as in the entire garden. Start for instance, with Tecoma stans ‘Orange Jubilee’, as the centerpiece and work your way around.

Tip 5: Add a piece of art that reflects your distinctive style. This year, after visiting Seattle I added five pieces of blade-like glass to my back garden. Pretty, huh?

Tip 6: Try something new. I grew this coral bean (Erythrina x bidwillii) last year, and it was such a hit, I’m growing it this year too.

Those are six things I do to grace my garden. Simple flowers, such as zinnias and sunflowers, bring out the child in me, which gives me all the more reason to dig in the dirt.

What will you do to make your garden yours?