Establishing a flower garden can be both exciting and fulfilling, but requires meticulous planning in order to succeed. Take accurate measurements and create a rough sketch of your space in order to accurately determine the size and shape of beds for your beds.
Experienced garden designers take into account year-round appeal and staggered bloom times when selecting plants for a flower garden design, so your flowers will continue to provide a vibrant display from spring through autumn.
Lay Out Your Space
Flower gardens add beauty and vibrancy to any outdoor space, drawing people in while creating an eye-catching spectacle. When planning for any garden – from perennial cutting gardens, low maintenance landscapes or pollinator habitats – it’s essential that you know which types of flowers you desire as well as their visual complement.
Make sure your plants are flourishing by understanding their sun and water requirements, and your USDA growing zone. Doing this can also help you select plants which thrive in your yard.
Before planting, remove all grass or weeds and add compost to improve soil quality and drainage. Organic material helps prevent compaction while improving drainage.
Decide on a Focal Point
Gardeners who dream of creating their own flower beds often draw inspiration from local gardens and magazines, arboretums or public gardens in their area and more. Visits to these establishments will allow you to visualize what an ideal completed bed would look like from height, colors and texture perspectives.
Once you know the size and location of your garden, begin selecting your color palette. Most flower gardeners opt for monochromatic schemes using various hues of one hue – for instance pairing white perennials such as daisies or hollyhocks with annuals like alyssum, impatiens and petunias is often successful. Or try pairing complementary hues such as purple with blue (as shown here), orange with yellow, or contrasting them against each other!
Determine the Height of Your Plants
Flower gardening utilizes design concepts like line, form, texture, scale proportions transitions and unity just like landscape design. Color wheel can help guide your decisions when selecting pleasing combinations of hues.
Yellows, oranges and reds are generally considered warm hues – they energize us visually. In contrast, blues and purples offer a refreshing contrast against these hotter hues.
To determine the growth rate of a plant, measure each stem every two or three days and record them on a chart.
Create a Color Palette
Color is often the first impression people have of a flower garden, so a simple color wheel can help you choose plants with pleasing combinations of hues.
Warm colors (yellows, oranges and reds) draw the eye and add energy to a planting, while cooler hues (blues and greens) offer a relaxing contrast that helps temper their intensity.
Repetition of certain flower types within the bed creates visual cohesion and makes planting seem less scattered and disorganized.
Add shrubs with interesting bark or twisty shapes for year-round interest and to fill out space around your focal point. Plus, these plants can offer shelter and food to birds and other wildlife!
Plan for Four-Season Interest
Flower gardens should fit seamlessly into the overall plan for any landscape feature; an uncoordinated arrangement would look unfinished at best and just plain unsightly at worst.
Reach for four-season color display by using flowers that bloom throughout the year and evergreens to your advantage. Select a palette featuring warm hues like yellow, orange, and red; cool hues like greens, blues, and purples; as well as white as a complement.
Before planting, take time to ensure the plants you select can reach their mature heights in their current light conditions (refer to planting drawings for assistance). Bring along a journal or spreadsheet when visiting garden centers so you can record each bloom time and shade requirements of every plant you purchase.
Add Hardscape Elements
Accurate measurements and an organized layout are key to creating an ideal flower garden. Experiment with different layouts until you find one that best meets your needs; take into consideration what height each plant will reach at maturity when making decisions.
World-renowned designer Piet Oudolf suggests starting your design from shapes. Seek flowers that share similarities such as spires, plumes, daisies buttons or globes as possible starting points.
Planting a combination of heights, colors, sizes and textures adds variety and interest to a garden in all four seasons. Consider including shrubs that provide four-season interest like berrying holly and evergreens with twisty foliage as well as native perennials to provide bee-, butterfly- and hummingbird-friendly habitat.