Flower gardens require careful thought and planning just like any garden does, to ensure a successful design. Before making a commitment, it’s crucial that one understands how plants grow and their individual requirements before creating the layout of a design plan.
Before designing your flower garden, start by considering each plant’s mature overall size and how its parts can be arranged – for instance using repetition of color or plants with similar growth habits as ways to help bring unity and unity to the overall arrangement of plants.
Step one of designing a flower garden is determining its location. Think carefully about its appearance from both inside your home and any private outdoor spaces; also keep maintenance access in mind.
Consider how your flower garden will change throughout the seasons, with experienced garden designers including blooming flowers that bloom at different rates to keep a garden full of color all year.
Consider how much sunlight your flower bed receives before choosing which varieties will thrive there. Certain blossoms require full sun while others thrive under partial shade conditions.
Plants come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from spires to daisies to buttons to globes to clumps. Garden designer Piet Oudolf suggests grouping similar-shaped plants together to achieve harmony and balance within the garden, using foliage for visual texture purposes after its flowers have died away. Foliage also adds dimension long after flowers have wilted.
Knowing your growing zone can help ensure that plants that will flourish will be selected. Becoming familiar with its characteristics will prevent purchasing unsuitable plants for your yard.
Garden design expert Piet Oudolf of Holland suggests an excellent place to begin is with shape; perennial flowers should have “spires, plumes, daisies, buttons and globes.” Combining flower shapes will add visual interest even after blooms have faded away.
Flower beds should generally follow a general plan that incorporates taller plants in the back and shorter ones nearer to the front for layering – this allows you to see all angles of beauty when viewing plants from all directions. Edging your bed also plays a key role in its aesthetic appeal – you can achieve this using flat spades, half moon edgers or border products such as bricks, field stones or pavers for instance.
An effective flower garden requires plants that thrive in your local climate conditions – heat and frost alike. You should also familiarize yourself with your USDA growing zone and know when the last frost date occurs in order to select flowers at their optimal level of performance.
Use a combination of plant heights and colors. Shades of the same hue work beautifully together, as do those from across the color wheel (such as purple and red). Remember to add foliage for added interest once blooms fade.
Use perennials (such as peonies, chrysanthemums and tulips) for long-blooming color (peonies, chrysanthemums and tulips), while annuals will add bursts of bloom throughout summer – such as zinnias, petunias and nasturtiums). You could also add spring-planted bulbs for bursts of early color before other perennials or flowers begin to fade in late summer/fall (such as peonies or blooming annuals). Be sure to select plants suited to how much sun your garden receives.
Hardscape elements — inorganic materials like stones and wood — provide structure to support and separate the living parts of a landscape, such as lawns, paved pathways, walls, fences, benches, bridges and seating areas.
Experienced flower garden designers incorporate plants that provide year-round interest and staggered bloom times, preventing their gardens from appearing dead or barren come autumn or winter.
Arrange your flower bed according to its height and structure; tall plants should go in the back, with medium-height and shorter flowers or ground cover nearer the edges or front for a natural, balanced appearance and to ensure all plants receive enough sunlight. This creates an eye-pleasing display while simultaneously guaranteeing everyone gets ample sunlight exposure.
Color combinations are key when it comes to designing a flower garden. Utilize the color wheel as a resource in finding harmonious hues; using shades of the same hue, such as pink, is often effective, as are colors opposite each other, such as purple and red. Don’t forget the foliage color either!