Many years have passed since Carrie Bradshaw declared “I don't do plants” while complaining that her new live-in boyfriend Aidan Shaw “brought a living thing” into her apartment. Millennials love their plants so much that the industry doubled in value between 2016 and 2019, and Gen Z isn’t far behind them (Vox reported in August that #plantsofTikTok has 3.4 billion views on the app). But there’s a big leap from a windowsill collection of planters to a garden of your own.
If you’re on a budget, when thinking about flowers, consider investing in perennials instead of annuals. “Perennials will grow back the following year whereas annuals only last a season,” says Tammy Sons, owner of Tennessee Wholesale Nursery. Look for perennials that fit with your hardiness zone to make sure they’ll see you through, and remember, not all of them need to be cut back come autumn.
“In the spring, trim down any dead plant foliage,” Duford says. “As things warm up, consider adding new plants. In autumn, rake leaves and again remove any dead foliage. Winter is a good time to prune many trees and shrubs as they are dormant.” Hate raking leaves? Mow over them when you do the lawn, turning them into a mulch for the soil.