HAPPENINGS: Spring is headed to Northwest Florida

Janice Crose | Special to the News Bulletin

After the intense cold we experienced, it appears that spring may actually be on its way. Spring will be here on Sunday, March 20.

Daylight Savings Time will be implemented on Sunday, March 14. Shortly we will be out of winter, with spring and then summer following.

For those of you who enjoy gardening, now is the time to prepare your flower beds and get them ready for planting.

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Azaleas do well in our area and have such beautiful blooms. They come in a variety of colors and hold their flowers for about two weeks. I like having different colored azaleas in my front garden.

I need to replace some of them this year, so I will make a trip to the nursery. Some of the new Encore azaleas will bloom for longer than two weeks, so these may be an option if you want your  blooms to last longer.

Impatiens, salvia, petunias and verbena do well in the Crestview area and have flowers in a variety of colors. Sunflowers, asters, wild petunias and goldenrod also do well.

Check with the nursery if you aren't sure that a certain plant will thrive in our area.

A great resource for wildflowers is flawildflowers.org. This website has an immense amount of information about wildflowers and how to attract birds, butterflies and bees to your garden.

Crape myrtle trees are deciduous and beautify our area and flower in the spring and summer.  Florida Dogwoods and Redbuds also have beautiful flowers.  There are also a variety of ornamental trees that flower. Ask about them at the nursery.

Hibiscus are one of my favorite flowering plants, but they don't do well in the winter or cold months. I keep them in pots and bring them in during cold spells. I like the blooms on hibiscus and the fact that they bloom most of the spring and summer.

Hibiscus also come in a variety of beautiful colors. I buy plants that will bloom right away, but you can plant seeds and watch them grow.

Roses can also do well here in the Crestview area. Make sure you choose a variety that does well in our plant hardiness zone. On the USDA zone map, we are zone 8b. (https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/)

Choose your plants carefully as they will thrive in the correct zone. Nurseries are a tremendous help in choosing the right plants and trees for your yard.

Enjoy the warmer weather and let's beautify Crestview with our flowers, shrubs and trees. Happy planting!

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.