How to Identify Garden Flowers

Written by laura hageman
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How to Identify Garden Flowers
Petunias are flowers that are easy to grow in your garden. (petunia flower. image by Martin Garnham from

Garden flowers help enhance the beauty of your landscape. Flowers come in a variety of colours, heights and texture. Creating a garden that looks good most of the year will rely a lot on your selection. You may prefer flowers with bright colours that last for a few months or those that are sturdy and return each year. Learning to identify garden flowers will help you choose the ones you want for your garden.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Analyse the shape of the flower. Garden flowers are a mix of shapes, including bells, bowls and trumpets. For example, the Mexican poppy is a bowl-shaped, six-petalled flower. Petunias are trumpet-shaped and come in a variety of colours, including pink, white, blue and purple. Geraniums look like saucers, while dwarf bellflowers and columbines are shaped like bells.

  2. 2

    Examine the size of the flower. Some garden flowers grow taller and larger than others. For example, asters resemble daisies and are almost 2 inches in diameter. They grow up to 4 feet tall and come in various colours, including pink, blue and yellow. Calendula flowers are almost 3 inches in diameter and can grow up to 3 feet tall.

  3. 3

    Count how many petals the flower has. Garden flowers can have several petals, with five being the most common. Bluebeard flowers have five petals, with elliptical-shaped leaves. Morning glory is also a five-petalled flower. It comes in many colours, such as pink, blue, white and yellow, with a cream-coloured centre.

    The iris has up to eight petals and comes in many colours, mostly bi-colours. Columbines also have up to eight petals, some bi-coloured. The centre consists of brightly coloured yellow stamens.

  4. 4

    Feel the texture of the flower and leaves. Garden flowers have different types of textures, from smooth to hairy. Ageratum flowers are shaped like pom-poms and the flowers cluster together. The flowers feel soft and fuzzy, while the leaves are coarse and the edges are toothed.

    Morning glory flowers are smooth and soft, while the leaves are bumpy and heart-shaped. Calendula flowers have a waxy texture with a spicy scent. The leaves are dark green and slightly hairy.

  5. 5

    Learn the difference between perennial and annual flowers. Your garden can have both types of plants, depending on what you want. Annuals live one year or growing season. Annual flowers include morning glories and ageratums.

    Perennials will sprout up again the next year. Perennials, such as Bluebeards, asters and daisy fleabanes, bloom throughout the growing season, go dormant during winter, and return in the spring.

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