Plan ahead: Each fall, gardeners at the LDS Church headquarters and Temple Square will prepare the beds for a brilliant springtime garden. New bulbs are placed in the ground, and spring flowers are planted. The goal is to allow the flowers to establish their root system before the freeze and thaws of winter. In the spring, the flowers should be vibrant and strong.

Prepare your soil: Is the dirt in your area sandy, made of clay or really loose? Either way, adding a mixture of organic material to the soil will assist plants in getting the nutrients they need to grow. The flower beds maintained at Temple Square and other downtown LDS Church-owned areas have imported soils that range from 4 inches deep to as much as 48 inches deep on some rooftop-garden areas.

Steady maintenance: Weeding, pruning and watering once a week just won't cut it. Go out in your garden for a few minutes each night and look things over. Pull a few weeds. That way the job won't become a chore.

Unique arrangements: Perhaps a trick for the more advanced, but Larry Tavenner, one of six stewards who oversee the church gardens in downtown Salt Lake City, said he enjoys arranging flowers with hues that are just slightly dissimilar in adjoining flower beds. It tricks the eye to look twice at the garden, he said.


SOURCES: Eldon Cannon and Larry Tavenner, LDS Church ground services