Celebrate National Flower Day with caution

May 18—ALEXANDRIA — National Flower Day is coming soon and those celebrating may want to give a loved one flowers.

However, a local flower dealer issued a word of caution.

Flowers are not merely fun objects, but living creatures that often need more than an occasional watering, according to Rob Mathews, co-owner of M&W Gardens.

"The biggest thing is to feed them," Mathews said. "They need food just like anything else."

He recommended a combination of water soluble powders and granular foods like Miracle Gro.

Flowers are like hair, Mathews said, in that the longer they grow, the more maintenance they require. Such flowers are called "flowing" flowers.

Another consideration is the type of energy needed: shade or sun. Some flowers thrive in the shade, others in the sun.

Those with dogs or cats should also consider whether or not a flower is toxic to their pet. Mathews said a basic Google search should do the trick.

After everything is considered, the only thing left is to plant the flowers, which several customers were planning to do.

Dave Ashby was purchasing some SunPatiens to plant outside of his Anderson home.

SunPatiens are an impatiens hybrid that thrive in full sun, giving planters more options on their location, according to The Spruce, a planting publication.

Traditional impatiens can be scorched in the full sun, so slight shade is required.

Ashby said he enjoys the SunPatiens as they provide a vibrant color and quite hearty.

He has been planting flowers for decades. It's a tradition passed on from his late mother, who previously owned the home Ashby resides in. He and his brother share ownership of the house.

"We're a corner lot, we're sort of like the entrance to our neighborhood," said Ashby, 70. "We feel we have an obligation to keep the property looking as good as we can, which helps everybody."

His neighbors find time to compliment him on his flowers and ask where they can find similar flowers.

Follow Caleb Amick on Twitter @AmickCaleb. Contact him at caleb.amick@heraldbulletin.com or 765-648-4254.