Southern Living March 2013_featured

4 Things Southern Living Taught Me About Flowers

Southern Living magazineYour thumb may not be feeling very green this spring, but a beautiful garden can be simple with these four tips.

When it comes to keeping things alive, I feel like I’ve got all I can handle with two kids, a husband and a cat. Yet, I still gaze longingly across the street at my two neighbors who both maintain beautiful gardens.

Joann, who my children consider their adopted grandmother, is as lovely as the flowers that sing out from every corner of her yard. She has such a way with the earth, and when you step into her yard you feel as if you’ve entered a magical place.

While I would love to have this same touch with flowers, I’ve killed every one I’ve ever planted. Still, looking across the street at those flowers growing so beautifully just yards away gives me hope.

In my optimism this year, I decided to dive into the pages of Southern Living magazine for gardening inspiration, and I made a few discoveries. Here are my top four:

1. Flowers and plants look beautiful in diverse community. Just as we are strengthened by a strong and loving community, when you plant the right flowers and plants next to one another they not only look pretty but they also thrive.

2. The addition of a few colorful flowers and plants can add a heap of curb appeal to your home. Groups of plants and flowers, even in different sized pots, can boldly proclaiming the joy of spring at your front door. I contrast this look in my mind against the empty space in front of our black front door, and I’m astounded at the impact a few bright flowers have on how welcoming a home feels.

3. Container gardening can be a great starting place for a novice like me. It’s easy to look at the sprawling gardens presented in the magazine or in my neighbor’s yard and become overwhelmed, throwing in the towel before I start. In reading about window boxes in this issue, though, I realized that starting small can later inspire a more extensive garden.

4. Building a relationship with the flowers matters. You may be giggling a little as you picture me singing to a sad little wilting flower. This isn’t entirely out of the question if you know me at all, but what I’m referring to is learning. When you build a relationship with a person, you learn their likes and dislikes. If I treated learning about different types of plants and flowers like building relationships with people, perhaps I’d learn how to better care for them.

This year I’ll attempt to nurture at least one pot of flowers. If I can “get to know” a couple plants and flowers, hopefully my garden community will continue to grow.

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