Flower gardens should blend into their surrounding environments rather than being isolated units, adhering to sound design principles.
Start by taking note of how much sun your site receives; this will have an enormous effect on which plants you can cultivate there. Aim for a mix of heights – taller plants at the back, medium height in the middle and trailing flowers up front.
Step one in designing a flower garden is selecting an ideal location. A sunny spot should receive direct sun, without shade from nearby trees or structures, to allow full sunshine. Check that the soil can support your desired species of flower and amend any clay or sandy spots with organic material like well-rotted manure or garden compost to improve drainage and texture.
Begin by becoming acquainted with your USDA growing zone to learn what plants will flourish under the conditions you plan for, while keeping in mind your region’s first and last frost dates when making decisions about which to plant.
First, clear out the space by clearing away any existing grass that’s there and using a rototiller to loosen its roots. Select a planting design that takes into account both height and spread of each flower; larger plants should be placed towards the back or center, with medium-height and shorter flowers moving gradually forward.
Plants chosen for your flower garden should complement each other in terms of maintenance requirements and bloom times; color schemes; height; texture; fragrance or the ability to attract butterflies, hummingbirds or other pollinators species should all be taken into consideration when selecting plants that make an impressionful display.
Make the most of your flower garden by choosing perennials with staggered bloom times and annuals to fill in gaps between them. Threadleaf coreopsis varieties like ‘Moonbeam” and “Zagreb” produce small daisy-like blooms throughout summer if deadheaded; you could then add colorful annuals as fillers.
Retired garden designer Donna Hackman suggests choosing perennials with different colors, textures, and heights for an engaging show. Additionally, flowering shrubs provide structure and four-season interest; easy-to-grow rose shrubs, lilac bushes, deciduous trees with colorful bark provides winter interest while adding dimension and unifying the entire garden together.
Soil quality and pH levels are of vital importance in flower gardens, with some species needing particular types or levels. Most blooming plants thrive best in well-draining sandy loam soil that contains plenty of organic matter for improved structure and nutrient provision.
An ideal mixture for flower gardens combines sterilized topsoil, compost and peat moss in equal parts to prevent insects and weeds from invading the soil while improving drainage and aeration.
Before planting, test the pH level of your soil to see whether or not it’s acidic or alkaline and check for any underground utility lines before beginning your dig. After surveying your garden space, create a rough sketch of your flower beds’ layout to include mature plant sizes, color combinations and any focal points you would like to include.
Rule number one in flower gardening is to supply your plants with enough water. This requires keeping the garden within reach of a spigot and regularly monitoring soil moisture levels.
Arranging plants in your bed is also vitally important. Aim for a layered arrangement with taller plants at the back and shorter plants up front, to add depth and create an overall well-rounded effect in the garden.
Not planting flowers too closely together could hinder their growth and make them appear crowded, so when choosing where to place them consider their height at maturity. If flowers aren’t full grown when put into the ground they may look sparse initially but will soon fill out and become more visually pleasing over time. Also make sure each plant gets enough light – most flowering plants thrive under direct sunlight for six or more hours every day while some prefer shade as their preferred environment.