What’s in Your Garden?

Lockwood's Greenhouse offers simple tips to take care of flowers, tree, and shrubs

By Shannon Traphagen

Flower gardens can turn an ordinary area into a cornucopia of color or create a border that pops. Whether you choose an easy to manage perennial or a particularly stubborn annual, growing flowers is a rewarding addition to any yard or landscape. However, our WNY region has had quite the deficit of rain this season–so what does that mean for your garden?

“The season started out very dry and people have had issues with florals and other plants wilting. The mistake many people make with new (up to three years to establish) plants is not deep watering the plants. Spraying water at the base for a few minutes does not help when rainfall is at a deficit. Ideally, the hose should be put directly on the planted root ball on a dribble for at least 1/2 hour to fully saturate the plants and get the roots growing out and down. The use of a soaker hose is good as it directs the water to the base. This much water is needed since it is spaced over many feet in the garden. Only a good all day soaking rain constitutes enough irrigation. A quick passing rain shower doesn’t help much,” states Teresa Buchanan of Lockwood’s Greenhouse in Hamburg NY.coreopsis_grande

Selecting the right plants for your gardens, or the right trees and shrubs is often a matter of preference, but with so many species and varieties available it can be overwhelming–especially if you don’t have much of a “green thumb.” Buchanan suggests considering the following when designing a garden: hardiness, color, fragrance, height, time of bloom, and size of plant.

Buchanan says certain questions need to be thought of before purchasing any flowers or trees for your gardens, “Do you want to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, or song birds? Or are you trying to create a work of beauty just for you? It’s also imperative to think about growing space. Is it in full sun? Partial shade? Is your soil well-drained and loamy? Or will plant roots have to fight through clay soil?”

Buchanan also explains that organic soil acidifier that prefer a lower pH (potential of hydrogen) include most evergreens, dogwood and native bearberry – for example, and should be used when planting these type of plants. A good tip is to check the tag or look up information about the cultural growing conditions of a specific plant if you don’t know. When buying plants always ask about the best location and soil types so you are getting the right plant for the right place, and look carefully at the spot you want to plant so you shop correctly. “If you fall in love with a plant you just have to have, make sure you search the entire yard for the best placement. You’ll only be disappointed with the plant’s performance if you don’t make it happy from the start,” says Buchanan.

Lockwood’s Greenhouse offers beautiful displays of various florals, shrubs, and trees that are showcased throughout the greenhouse. They also offer classes throughout the year to educate consumers on different plants, how to pot them, and where and when to plant.

Buchanan is always available for questions. For more information contact Lockwood’s Greenhouse at 716.649.4684, visit their website at weknowplants.com or stop by the greenhouse at 4484 Clark St. Hamburg NY 14075.