No matter your style of gardening – formal with straight edges and defined beds or more natural with meandering pathways and clusters of plants – achieving maximum success from your flower beds requires adhering to certain guidelines for maximum effect.
Be it from scratch or making adjustments to an existing flower garden layout, planning is always the starting point. Decide on what size bed will be created, whether its edge will be straight or curved and what kind of edging will best meet your needs.
Once selected, carefully consider which plants would make eye-catching focal points in your garden. Take into account height, bloom time and year-round interest as well as color combinations. It may be useful to sketch a plan before digging begins in order to test out different configurations and color schemes before making final selections.
A thoughtfully planned flower garden features a balanced design to attract the eye and provide a visually stimulating experience. Consider placing taller blooms at the back while shorter varieties in front for a layered effect.
Flower gardens should blend into their surroundings without becoming an eye-sore of color, and be placed appropriately for whatever flowers you decide to grow.
Location is of vital importance as soil can determine whether your plants thrive or wither away. Make sure your bed is located in an sunny area, free of any weeds or debris which might impede planting, and free from potential roadblocks such as fence posts.
Cowan emphasizes the importance of proper soil preparation as an essential step in any garden or flower bed, including an herbaceous border. This involves clearing away grass and adding organic matter.
According to Benzakein, plants in a garden should be organized based on their bloom times so as to maximize color throughout its entirety when certain flowers complete their respective seasons. This way, no areas of your garden go without color when something like an annual or biennial is done flowering for that season.
Flower gardens come in all shapes and sizes, from expansive rectangles to intimate corner beds. When planning the perfect garden for yourself, start with the essentials.
Consider the heights of each plant when designing your flower bed design, placing tallest plants towards the back and shorter ones closer to the front. Layering creates an appealing and balanced arrangement as soon as the flowers bloom into bloom.
Color is also important: flowers with complimentary hues such as blue and purple flowers or yellow and pink blooms look gorgeous together. Foliage textures add dimension, from sword-like gladiola leaves to lacy bleeding heart foliage. Finally, think about adding pollinator-friendly blooms such as native phlox or butterfly weed; these blooms feed butterfly larvae while drawing pollinators to your garden.
Flower gardens should be part of any landscape design and complement other features like trees, shrubs, bluestone patios or shade gardens. Their designs should provide color throughout the growing season while fillers for arrangements. A good design starts with a clean weed-free bed; subsequent steps should include regular watering, removal of spent blooms from arrangements as well as regular weeding and pruning to promote plant health.
When planning a flower garden, take height into consideration. Remember that taller plants should be placed towards the back while shorter ones should be closer to the front for maximum visual impact and well-roundedness. Also take into account what shape (or form) each of your plantings takes; some grow as cushions, mounds or clumps while others stand up straight with spikey tops.
Design of flower garden layout can be complex. While proper soil preparation and matching plants to the site are essential components, how your garden appears ultimately lies with you.
Piet Oudolf, an esteemed garden designer, recommends starting by considering shape when designing your flower bed. He suggests grouping perennials by their most prevalent shapes – like spires, bellflowers, daisies and buttons. Color is equally essential; shades adjacent on the color wheel like purple and red can work beautifully together.
Diversifying plant heights and sizes adds interest to a flower garden, especially if you include shrubs with structure. Aim for odd numbers of each kind of plant–they’re more pleasing to the eye than even groupings and feel less congested than even groupings.