Things to consider
Topping the list is the amount of time you prefer to work in your patio flower garden. Most likely, you'd rather kick back with a cool iced tea to enjoy the beauty of your flowers. If this is the case, you have some choices to make. Any choice should involve matching the plant to the correct growing environment. Sun plants require sun while partial shade plants will fry to a crisp in this environment. Always read the label provided by the nursery with every plant you purchase.
Annual flowers require planting every year since these flowers die off at the end of the growing season. Before you balk at this, remember that annuals provide continuous color throughout the growing season. A little fertilizer, regular watering and removal of spent blooms will keep these plants blooming throughout the growing season.
Perennial flowers offer a slightly different aspect for the patio garden. These flowering plants return year after year and provide a more permanent addition to the landscape. Perennials initially require less maintenance the first few years but will eventually need to be divided and moved as the plant matures. However, pick any color in the rainbow and you'll find a perennial flowering plant to fit the occasion. Perennials bloom for a 2 to 3 week period of time each year and require a quick pruning to remove spent blooms. Choose plants with interesting foliage to add texture to the garden during the rest of the season.
The best flowers
Best is such a relative term. What's best for one person's garden isn't necessarily the best choice for another. However, some plants simply add luster, pizazz and true beauty to a garden with minimal effort. For first time gardeners, ask your local nursery for tips on native plants. These plants have adapted to the climate and thrive in the existing soil conditions. With that in mind, let's take a quick look at some proven bloomers to create a stunning patio garden.
Annuals come in all makes and models from standard full sun performs such as vinca, dahlia, lobelia and verbena. Full sun annuals experience at least 6 hours of sun each day. Partial shade annuals offer a wide variety of plants to create a beautiful annual patio garden. These plants prefer less than 4 hours of direct sunlight each day and like the cooler soil temperatures of a shade location. Choose from hundreds of cultivars to find the perfect match for your garden. Some great partial shade annuals include impatiens, petunias (some cultivars tolerate full sun), begonia and snapdragons.
Choose perennial flowers by sunlight requirements and then check out the plant's foliage. Focus on flower color as the final option to choose the best plant for your location. Perennials exist for full sun, partial sun and shade locations. Perennials blooms for a short period of time but a good pruning to remove spent flowers will often regenerate the plant.
Some beautiful sun perennial flowers include white shasta daisy, Russian sage and roses. Consider perennials such as columbine, foxglove or heuchera for the partial sun patio garden. Shade perennials often feature distinctive foliage and smaller blooms but still add dramatic elements to the garden. Choose one of many hosta or fern varieties to add texture to the landscape.