Step one is being diligent about weeding and adding new plants – using plant divisions or reseeding annuals as needed to fill any gaps. Next, layer your garden: placing taller plants at the back, mid-height flowers in the middle, and low ground cover in front.
Experienced garden designers always include plants with year-round appeal and staggered bloom times to keep their flower beds looking lush throughout the season.
Choose Your Plants
Finding the perfect plants is key to creating stunning flower gardens, and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the process! So don’t be intimidated to experiment and find out which flowers look best in your own garden!
Be sure to conduct adequate research into how much light each plant requires and their ideal growing conditions, noting whether they thrive best in full sun or partial shade – these factors will influence where your garden should be situated.
Once you know where you want your new flower bed to go, take steps to clear away existing grass or weeds in that area and clear away existing debris – this step is especially important if there will be small children or pets frequenting your garden. Also check that its surroundings complement it; perhaps adding a flowerbed surrounded by hedges creates a seamless transition from yard to house!
Think About the Light
As long as proper soil preparation and matching plants to their intended sites is taken into consideration, much of the rest is up to you as a homeowner. Be it cottage-style paths and random plantings or meadow-inspired designs meant to attract pollinators butterflies, you can design a garden that reflects your style.
Keep your garden looking its best all year-round by including plants with multiple bloom times throughout the year. That way, when certain flowers start to fade or die off, new vibrant hues will step in as replacements.
According to world-renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, plant shapes play an integral part in garden design. Tall upright plants should be placed towards the back for a balanced effect with shorter medium height and short plants moving forward for an equal balance. You may use repetition of plant shapes such as spires, plumes and buttons from perennial plants as patterns to reinforce themes within your design scheme.
Create a Focal Point
A focal point in any flower garden draws the eye inward, whether that means an arrangement of plants, an overflowing planter or garden decor such as a birdbath. A good focal point can tie an entire flower garden together.
To create your own focal point, consider shape and color combinations. Cowan advises choosing plants that complement one another as plants with complementary foliage can add interest even after blooms have died off. Colors adjacent each other on the color wheel (such as red and purple) look attractive together while flowers paired in shapes such as spires and umbels often work best together as focal points.
Hardscape elements can also serve as focal points, marking the entrances to flower gardens and offering beautiful backdrops for their blooms. Gates, trellises arches, hedges and borders create attractive focal points within any yard or garden; additionally they help define areas within it or serve as borders separating beds from other parts.
Add a Backdrop
Once your soil and sun conditions have been considered, the next step should be deciding what visual statement your flower garden will make. A breathtaking grouping of blooms, an aesthetically pleasing seating area or even garden decor items could all serve as focal points in your flower beds.
When selecting a backdrop, be mindful of both the color and height of your blooms. A flower wall featuring blooms with different hues, heights and shapes will look more striking; try playing around with textures for added visual interest – mixing fine foliage (such as marigolds) with coarse foliage (canna lilies) adds contrast while providing visual weight to make an unforgettable image.