My fellow contributor Chelsey has recently provided everyone with some lovely ideas and tips for spring gardening and blooms. In keeping with our spring gardening theme, I am going to provide some ‘gardening’ tips for those of us that fall into some other, rather specific categories. Those of us that loathe the idea and the work associated with gardens of any type, and those of us that seem to bear some poisonous touch that allows us to kill virtually anything green that we touch with very little effort at all. Lawns included.
While do love how other people’s gardens look and I admire them from afar, I don’t at this point in my life have the desire, wherewithal, time or space to garden. I have managed to overcome these little obstacles in some rather non-original ways over the last few years. But first, lets look at how flowering plants actually changed the world.
According to National Geographic, flowers began changing the way the world looked almost as soon as they appeared on Earth about 130 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period. That’s relatively recent in geologic time: If all Earth’s history were compressed into an hour, flowering plants would exist for only the last 90 seconds. But once they took firm root about 100 million years ago, they swiftly diversified in an explosion of varieties that established most of the flowering plant families of the modern world.
As a food source, flowering plants provide us and the rest of the animal world with the nourishment that is fundamental to our existence. In the words of Walter Judd, a botanist at the University of Florida, “If it weren’t for flowering plants, we humans wouldn’t be here.”
Else Marie Friis, head of paleobotany at the Swedish Natural History Museum on the outskirts of Stockholm said that petals as we know them, didn’t exist until almost 100 million years ago. “Even then, they were very, very small. Sometime between 70 and 100 million years ago the number of flowering plant species on Earth exploded, an event botanists refer to as the “great radiation.” The spark that ignited that explosion, said Friis, was the petal. “Petals created much more diversity. This is now a widely accepted notion,” Friis said.
The ancestors of bees, butterflies, and wasps grew dependent on nectar, and in so doing became agents of pollen transport, inadvertently carrying off grains hitched to tiny hairs on their bodies. These insects could pick up and deliver pollen with each visit to new flowers, raising the chances of fertilization. Who knew!
So, knowing all of that, we non-gardeners deserve to enjoy the gorgeous flowers of spring as well!
Here is my annual checklist of how to get beautiful flowers adorning the front entry of my home.
- Research and decided on the types of flowers that would best suit where you would like to have your ‘garden’ based on sunlight, ease and ability of watering etc. Landscaping About.com has some great tips.
- Set a budget – it can get costly and easy to get more than you need or have space for because they are all so beautiful!
- Armed with your newly found knowledge and budget, head to your local or favorite greenhouse! Virtually all greenhouses have beautifully arranged pots, hanging baskets and patio or deck baskets all ready to go for a variety of needs and sun exposures. My personal favorite is Terra Greenhouses – the staff are awesome, and the selection and price are wide.
- Bring your purchases home, place the beautifully arranged and pre-filled pots wherever your heart desires, sit back, and admire the fruits of your labor..