Seasonal Garden Plants

With the warmer springtime temperatures thankfully returning after an especially frenzied and chilly winter, many gardeners are excitedly busy planting some of their favorite seasonal plants. If you are new to the wonderful world of gardening and interested in perking up your backyard by bringing some eye-catching summer color to the area, there are a few spectacular additions to your garden:

Roses: To some, the appearance of roses signifies that summer is well and truly here. Whether you yearn for the traditional blood-red variety or something a little less conventional, roses can give any garden an undeniable elegance and refinement. Seeing as there are so many different options to choose from, be it a dazzling collection of hybrid tea roses, some sprawling ramblers or a delightful batch of old-fashioned cabbage roses, a rose by any other name (or color!) will still smell as sweet. And although every rose garden can fall victim to common pests such as mildew and black spot, don't let that discourage you from adding some roses to your backyard.

Hydrangeas: Available in many light pastel tinges, such as pink, blue, violet and cream, you can alter the colors of a hydrangea by changing the current pH levels of the soil. To lower the soil's pH level, add some aluminum sulfate. To increase the pH level, add some lime. There are many dramatic colors available, such as Nikko Blue, Forever Pink, All Summer Beauty, Madame Emile Mouillere and Blue Deckle.

Marigolds: Typically used as a backdrop for more prominent flowers, larger marigolds are available in shades of orange, yellow and creamy off-white. Smaller marigold plants are great when used around the borders of a flowerbed, especially if you want to add some gold, copper or brass to the area. Marigolds bloom from the middle of the summer until the fall.

Zinnias: If you plant the seeds around the middle or end of April, zinnias will start to sprout just before June arrives. Zinnias are robust and hardwearing flowers that can outlast numerous others, and they can cope when planted in states where the summer is at its most brutal and unremitting. Popular hues include white, yellow, red, pink and light purple, and if you want to try growing a more unconventional alternative, try the stunning lime green variety known as Zinnia Envy.

Snapdragons: Both zinnias and snapdragons require a substantial amount of sun in order to flourish, so make sure that you grow them wherever the sun's rays are at their strongest and most consistent. Since snapdragons are available in a vast array of different shades, they will pep up any area that's ready for more zest and color. Some snapdragon varieties are even bicolored, which makes for a far more varied, striking and attention-grabbing flowerbed.

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