Flower gardens add color, beauty and charm to landscapes. Their designs may range from formal to relaxed arrangements with straight or curving lines; important components in creating an effective flower garden include proper soil preparation and matching plants accordingly.
Familiarize yourself with your USDA growing zone and frost dates in order to identify which plants will do well in your region. Also make note of which flowers are perennial and will return year after year as opposed to annuals that must be replanted each season.
One of the first considerations when planning a flower garden should be its location. Flowers require ample sunlight in order to flourish, so find an area that receives full sunlight throughout most of the day.
Keep an eye on the area over several days to observe how sunlight moves throughout the day. Flowers like hydrangeas and sunflowers thrive best in areas with morning sun and afternoon shade; others such as zinnias and dahlias require full sunlight all day long.
As with any landscape project, selecting an accessible location is also key for creating the perfect flower garden. A path through your bed provides convenience while adding visual interest – something especially essential if your flower garden will serve as the centerpiece of your landscape design.
Soil is the bedrock of any flower garden, providing its plants with essential support and channeling water and air directly into their roots while also helping flowers absorb essential nutrients easily.
Start by doing a soil test; it will show what’s already there and which amendments need to be added. Flowers thrive best in soil that’s rich, loamy and contains lots of organic matter at an ideal pH level.
Choose a location for your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sun each day. Note any areas where leaves burn or growth is leggy. Most flowering plants prefer full sunlight while some, like hydrangeas, prefer early morning light followed by afternoon shade.
Flowers require lots of water in order to thrive, so the ideal time and place to water is either before sunrise or after sunset, when moisture can best absorb into the soil.
Planting rows can create a monotonous look; to add interest and diversity, mix up heights and colors by layering different heights of plants in various rows. Colors near one another on the color wheel such as pink and red often look beautiful together, while mixing perennials with annuals ensures blooms all summer long.
Keep the mature overall size of your flowering plants in mind to avoid overcrowding your garden and blocking windows or doors. Shrubs add structure and four-season color, as do evergreens with colorful bark or twisty shapes that provide winter interest.
Flowers require rich soil as well as regular watering and fertilization to thrive, with perennial blooms needing less maintenance than annuals but still having to be replanted annually. Maintenance for perennial gardens varies according to whether they’re perennials or annuals; both require water and fertilization regularly if they want their gardens looking their best.
At planting time, use an all-purpose balanced fertilizer like Pennington UltraGreen All Purpose Plant Food 10-10-10 as a general all-purpose balance fertilizer and work it into the top 6-8 inches of soil. Avoid working too wet soil as this damages its structure and decreases nutrient availability.
Learn the blooming times of your flowers so they are in bloom throughout the season, and consider adding shrubs for structure and four-season interest in your landscape. Perennials with repeat-blooming characteristics or shrubs with colorful bark or twisty forms complement flower gardens well.
Flowers that go unpruned or untrimmed will quickly become overgrown, with branches that block sunlight from other flowers or attract pests. By pruning or shaping your flower garden regularly and regularly, it will maintain its beautiful blooming season for longer.
Acquaint yourself with your USDA growing zone to select flowers suitable for your climate and soil conditions, including how much sun or shade each area receives each day.
Designing your flower garden should be enjoyable and fulfilling, with you selecting flowers that complement each other in terms of color, shape and fragrance. For instance, colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel such as yellow and purple work well together; alternatively you could try using plants with unique textures like feathery leaves to add interest and create contrast in your garden.