Flower gardens are an effective way to add both visual interest and curb appeal to your property, but before planting begins you must plan how best to design the bed.
Piet Oudolf, one of the premier Dutch garden designers, advocates designing with shape. Plant different shapes together for maximum impact and beauty.
When planning a flower garden in direct sunlight, the key to success lies in selecting plants suitable for their environment and soil type. You should also keep soil type in mind as certain varieties thrive better in moister, loamy or clay-like soil conditions than others.
Spend some time exploring your backyard to determine the ideal spot. Search out areas with six hours or more of direct sunlight each day; ideally, this should mean no shade from a fence or tall tree so your flowers receive all of their required energy from sunlight.
An essential aspect of any garden is creating an aesthetic design. While this may be challenging, with creative planning you can achieve it successfully. Finding the ideal combination of colors, textures and sizes will make your new flower garden shine.
Accessible gardening may seem an impossible feat at first, but with some careful thought and planning it can become achievable for any. The key is ensuring everything can be reached easily: plants as well as pathways and edging.
Paths should be wide enough for anyone using a wheelchair, wheelbarrow or buggy as well as two people walking together. Paved using permeable materials such as gravel, sand or clay and free from debris is ideal.
Consider which flowers you’d like to incorporate. Their number, size, year-round appeal and bloom time will play a significant role in shaping the design you create.
Experienced garden designers use perennials and annuals in combination with shrubs for structure. When planting, consider both light and shade conditions; layer your look by using filtered or dappled sunlight in west-facing beds, for example.
Focusing your garden with a focal point can help draw the eye, direct it and create an organized and more inviting landscape. Without such an element in place, everything in the landscape may appear disjointed and disorganized.
A focal point in your garden is defined as any feature that draws the eye immediately and stands out in terms of color, shape, texture or form. This could include existing features like trees or boulders as well as anything you add that draws instantaneous interest from passersby.
Focal points in any garden may also include collections of various plants, objects such as statues or artwork, fountains or ponds – the possibilities are limitless!
Focal points should match your landscape’s overall theme and be appropriate in size according to its size – for instance, an eight-foot statue might make for a striking focal point in a formal garden setting, while being too grand could overwhelm smaller cottage gardens.
As you design a flower garden, keep in mind the desired look that you wish for it to achieve. Are you creating a grand entrance with bright flowers bursting forth like fireworks, lining a driveway or pathway with blooms, or creating layers against walls for visual impact?
Choose plants that flourish well in your climate and soil conditions, with bloom times taken into consideration.
An effective design should include springtime perennials and summer annuals in equal proportion, along with bloom-staggered plants to provide year-round interest.
Not only should color be taken into consideration, but so too should foliage texture and shape. Plants with various leaf forms and textures – like sword-like gladiolus or bleeding heart’s fine lacy leaves – can add visual interest and contrast to your overall flowerbed design.
Repeating key colors, shapes and plant species helps create visual unity – especially important when designing a flowerbed on an uneven slope that may prove challenging to maintain.