How does your garden grow?

St. Rose master gardener Kathleen Johnson says that now is the time to plant your spring flower gardens

Heather R. Breaux
April 16, 2008 at 11:01 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

NEW ROSE. St. Rose master gardener Kathleen Johnson, right, is pictured with the Peggy Martin Katrina Rose.
Photo by Heather R. Breaux
NEW ROSE. St. Rose master gardener Kathleen Johnson, right, is pictured with the Peggy Martin Katrina Rose.
From raising seedlings to growing a colorful and vibrant flower garden, look no further - you can get all of your spring gardening information right here.

And with help from The Cracked Pot Garden Center’s master gardener, Kathleen Johnson, we can tell you exactly how to get started.

When you first begin your flower garden, it's easy to think that all you have to do is get your plants into the ground, but the big question is, what type of flowers should you be sowing this time of year?

Johnson says that April is the perfect month for planting Hibiscus, Begonias, Geranium, Salvia, Caladiums, Impatients and roses.

“All of these plants grow really well through out the entire summer,” said Johnson. “And now is definitely the time to start planting roses.”

Caladiums, which originate from South America, are more commonly referred to as “elephant ears” and Johnson says that these should always be planted in non-shady areas because they are sun-loving perennials.

Johnson says that Geranium, which are also lovers of warm light and should be planted in sunny areas.

“Geranium and Caladiums both like the sunlight,” said Johnson. “But Geranium especially like full sun.”

Another flowering plant that Johnson says should be planted in the spring is the Hibiscus.

This trumpet-shaped flower comes in both annual and perennia geneses.

“Like Caladiums, Hibiscus also like the sun,” said Johnson. “And this particular plant grows very well in pots.”

Begonias, which are trademarked by their showy flowers of white, pink, scarlet or yellow, usually come in two varieties and Johnson says that the color of the leaf determines whether or not they should be placed in the sun.

“Begonias with dark leaves do better in the sun than in the shade,” said Johnson. “The ones with lighter green leaves filter sunlight better and can be planted in the shade.”

Some species of Impatiens are annual plants and produce flowers from early summer until the first frost, while perennial species, found in milder climates, can flower all year.

“Impatients are a great flower that will really brighten up a shady spot,” said Johnson. “And they come in a vast array of colors.”

In addition to these more common flowering plants, Johnson says that roses and even palm trees can be planted this time of year.

“Many people think spring, but don’t think roses,” said Johnson. “But now is one of the best times to start planting your rose bushes, especially Old Roses.”

The Old Rose genre consists of all the classes that were in existence before 1867 like Alba Roses, Damask Roses and Gallica Roses.

Johnson points out the her nursery carries a new rose cultivation, the Peggy Martin Katrina Rose.

This particular rose, also known as the Hurricane Katrina Rose, is a vigorous climber that can easily reach 15 feet and higher.

It bears clusters of pink shaded flowers that occur from spring through fall. Promoted as thornless, many find that this rose does have prickles on the backs of the leaves.

This particular rose was only one of two plants surviving the 20 feet of salt water over the garden of a Plaquemines Parish resident, Peggy Martin back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast.

Johnson says that all plants and flowers must be watered daily and evenly to help maintain their health and beauty.

In addition to speaking about gardening all across the parish and surrounding areas, Johnson also gives free estimates on landscaping.

The Cracked Pot Garden Center is located at 10363 West Airline Highway in St. Rose. For more information, call Johnson at 504-466-8813.

View other articles written Heather R. Breaux

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