Flower gardens bring life and color into any landscape while drawing pollinators to your yard. Mixing plant heights, colors, and textures adds visual interest that keeps your garden enjoyable throughout its seasons.
Roll up your sleeves and get to work! Be mindful when working your soil: working wet soil can damage its structure.
Choose a location
Flower gardens come in all sizes and shapes, from expansive beds to petite corner borders. No matter their size or style, all flower gardens require careful planning in order to maximize their potential.
Establish which flowers you intend to grow and determine their needs regarding sunlight, water and soil. Hydrangeas require morning sunshine with afternoon shade while other varieties such as sunflowers or drought-tolerant succulents prefer full exposure throughout the day.
Next, determine how many plants to plant. It’s often wise to combine taller perennials and shrubs with shorter ground covers or annuals to add interest and variety.
Hardscape elements such as trellises and pergolas can add focal points in the garden or serve as transition points between spaces. Furthermore, trees and shrubs with four-season interest such as rosebushes or evergreen hedgerows should also be added for an eye-catching garden.
Prepare the soil
As with all aspects of gardening, preparation is the key. Begin by mapping out your garden using graph paper or simple landscaping plans; observe where sunlight and shade occur throughout the day to assess how much illumination each section receives; this can greatly influence what types of flowers can be grown there.
Make a list of all of the flowers you plan on planting and shop accordingly, keeping mature height in mind when purchasing plants as this will allow you to find their appropriate location once planted.
Understanding your USDA growing zone will enable you to choose plants suited to the climate in your area. Be familiar with first and last frost dates so you know when it’s safe to plant; and allow each flower plenty of room to fully flourish before blooming.
Plant your flowers
Flower gardens add beauty, color and pollinators to any landscape, but curating the perfect blooms may feel daunting to new gardeners. Where should they begin? Which varieties should they grow? Should their garden be sunlit or shaded?
Start by determining which plants best suit your climate. A quick look at your USDA zone will indicate what can or cannot thrive in your garden, as well as first and last frost dates which determine when flowers should be planted each year.
Next, carefully consider your maintenance requirements. Aim to keep your garden neat and tidier by grouping plants that share similar maintenance needs together – drought-tolerant perennials pair well with others water-wise flowers while moist annuals thrive when planted near those that crave moisture. Finally, design your garden so it creates continuity and harmony by repeating flower shapes or colors throughout its landscape design.
Care for your flowers
Flowers require regular care for optimal success. Make sure to provide sufficient watering and be aware of what requirements each type of bloom has, such as sunlight requirements. Weed regularly so as to free resources up for new blossoms; deadhead and disbud spent flowers to encourage more blooms; prune perennials when they start looking leggy.
A well-designed flower garden brings beauty from spring through frost. Mixing heights and colors of flowers provides visual interest; adding shrubs that provide structure and four-season color provides even more. Roses and cleome are excellent choices to provide summer and fall color; in cooler climates evergreen shrubs such as dwarf conifers can provide winter interest as well.
Add color and depth to your landscape by planting bulbs such as tulips and daffodils in fall, as well as summer-blooming annuals such as peonies, dahlias and cosmos that bloom all summer long. Work only dry soil – working wet soil will destroy its natural structure and make it less suitable for plant life to flourish.