From the article: Top Plant Choices to Include in Your First Garden
If someone you knew was just starting their first flower garden and asked what was beautiful, yet easy to grow, what plant or plants would you recommend they include? Plants You'd Recommend
Easy & Productive Plants
- We like to grow plants primarily for the food, flavor, and nutrition they offer. Some of the best, and most productive plants, can be started from seed, which makes them economical too! 1) Tomatoes. They provide such a wide variety of fruits with so many uses. They grow easily from seed and produce a seemingly endless amount of fruits. Use in salads, stews, sandwiches, and fresh or stewed salsas. 2) Basil. There's a huge variety of basils, mostly in purples and greens, and they are all easy to grow from seed. The flavor of basil has made it a beloved herb among cooks the world over, from professional chefs to homemakers. The seeds swell with water soon after sowing, and are a great way to introduce children to the joys of gardening. 3) Salad Greens. No matter which ones you choose, most salad greens grow abundantly and easily, and they come in a variety of colors, shapes, textures, and flavors. Three of my favorites include buttercrunch lettuce, arugula, & garden cress.
Plants What You LIke
- I recommend a beginning gardener, or any gardener for that matter, to grow what they like. I don't like to adhere to strict guidelines and like to try plants in shade that seek the sun or plants that might not be recommended for my zone (I don't stray too far, of course). Just because someone doesn't have sun doesn't mean they have to give up on growing a plant they really like. Plants often learn to adapt. It's all about doing what you enjoy. If you restrict yourself to tried and true varieties, you'll lose interest in gardening in a hurry. The world of annuals and perennials is so vast; it's the perfect way to explore because you will never run out of new things to see and experience. I say grow what you like whether it's labeled difficult or easy. You don't learn very much if you're not willing to accept challenges. And, after all, growing plants is not rocket science.
- I would recommend nicotiana. We planted a package of giant, mixed colors 20 years ago and they have self-seeded ever since. In the spring, we move the seedlings to wherever we want them to grow. They grow about 3'+ tall and have the most beautiful scent in the evening air. Ours bloom the end of July - frost, here in Maine. For a perennial...was Liatrus mentioned? It's dependable and low maintenance. Gloriosa Daisy? That's another we planted 20+ years ago and will also self-seed.
- —Guest mary
Marigolds and Celery
- I planted celery two years ago, and now there are three huge stalks surrounded by smaller ones in three very different areas of the house. I planted them in my square foot garden for fun, I'm not a big fan of celery so I let them seed. Only one main stalk is left in the garden, the other two are far away. All three are about 4' tall. The flavor is so much stronger than normal celery, which I have always disliked for it's bland taste. They refuse to die or go away despite it being two years since I planted them. I planted my marigolds at the same time and they very quickly took over my garden despite being raised from seed. They may not smell the best, but they have buckets of pretty orange flowers that are great for pressing to make crafts. These are also still lingering around, and two large and healthy plants somehow found their way into one of my mom's pots, much to her dismay! I had only a handful of seed, but they quickly turned my garden orange, which I loved.
- —Guest Recapper
- Native plants are more likely to survive your area's conditions, even if you're a new gardener. They can take the weather in your zone and are suitable to your soil. A few soil amendments may need to be made, but overall, you can't beat the native plants.
Get a Specimen Tree
- I started with flowers and didn't build my backdrop. Makes for a boring winter in zone 5. A Pagoda Dogwood, a weeping cherry. Whatever tree, size and shape works for you even if you have to buy a tiny something at a big box store and wait for it to grow.
- Because we have water "issues" here where I live, many folks are taking out thirsty lawns and planting edibles. I also have done that but I usually encourage people to grow succulents because they are easy and don't require much water. Plus, they are NOT run-of-the-mill ordinary. Enthusiasts find there is color, texture, size and shapes like things that grow on mars. And they don't need full sun, some even require light shade such as Epiphyllums. Oh, and did I mention the flowers?
- —Guest Cid Young
Easy Plants from Seed and Seedling
- I'd recommend planting coneflower, cosmos, and rudbeckia. I'd buy the plants for rudbeckia and coneflower, and start the cosmos from seeds. Zinnias, also from seed. Leave room in your garden for dividing your rudbeckia and coneflower. More good choices: Bearded irises, dahlias and daylillies.
- —Guest Lula todd
- I would recommend morning glories to everyone, they are the most wonderful plant. These plants are simple and sweet. I think that the "Morning Glory" is a great name for them because when you wake up in the morning you can just look outside, and PRESTO! You are the most cheerful person!
- —Guest hailey
Plants For The New Gardener
- All of the plants suggested below are very easy to grow. I grow them all within my 400 ft. of gardens. In fact, most were part of my very first garden some 25 years ago! Of course, there are many, many more to choose from, but the ones mentioned below are a good start. For shade annuals: I would suggest impatiens, begonias, fuchsia or any annuals from the Coleus family. For shade perennials: My favorites are the Coral Bells, Astilbes or the fantastic blue/mauve Scabiosa. If you deadhead this perennial, it will bloom all summer long. For sun annuals: I just love the delicate blue Felicia Daisy, Ageratum Blue Horizon or the bright colours of the Calendula. For sun perennials: Try planting the Black-eyed Susans, Coreopsis Moonbeam or the Campanula white and blue clips.
Making More Geraniums
- The hardy plants are the easiest to propagate. Just cut-off about 4 inches of the stem with leaves attached . Trim off all but 3 leaves and insert in the soil. Don't over water and give lots of room to grow.
- —Guest matt
Easy and beautiful flowers
- Annuals are easiest to grow as they can be sown directly into the ground. I'd suggest marigolds, phlox, nasturtium,sunflowers, cosmos, stock and sweet peas for sun. Perennials that are easy bloomers include daylily, daisy, speedwell, hosta and mums.
- They come in pink and gold for sure, but I have grown the gold. They come up early and once blooming they bloom all the way through fall. They reseed, but can be pulled up easily. Good curb appeal. Oklahoma gardener.
- —Guest Cosmos
- Echinecia (cone flower( is also very easy to grow and maintain. It really only needs a little dead heading. Heuchera is also a great choice for the front of the garden maybe with some coreposis at the edge? Really perennials are very easy to grow and maintain. Good luck have fun!
- —Guest Rebecca
- Running bamboo is my most admired plant.It's evergreen, grows 30' to 40' high,doesn't seed except every 50-80 years when the whole grove dies.However, it does require a bit of maintenance---step on the unwanted plants in Spring for a month.Otherwise, no water or fertilizer is required. May the gods forgive me for recommending a non-native species. Many of our plants come from Japan or China. [Note from Marie: If you are worried about bamboo taking over, try growing it in a container. Also, please remove bamboo when you sell your home and move or at least let the new owners know about it.]
- —Guest jeanX
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