Flower gardening is an enjoyable way to add color and pollinators-attracting flowers to any outdoor space, yet for beginners, getting started can be daunting.
Begin by selecting flowers that thrive in your climate and soil conditions, before amending the soil with compost to loosen and amend its condition for planting.
Choose Your Site
Flower gardens offer many creative opportunities for adding visual interest and color to any landscape, whether that means lining driveways and pathways with colorful blooms or creating visual interest at corners of your property. There is an infinite number of possible types of flower gardens you could create.
Before planting flowers in your landscape, take time to consider the overall look you wish to achieve and how their blooming time can interact with other elements in your yard. It will have an immense influence on both its style and design – such as how people will use your flower garden.
Stick with flowers that thrive in your area’s climate and soil conditions for the easiest gardening experience, such as those suggested by world-renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf to add texture and size for added flair in your flower bed design. Incorporating natural elements of your site, such as six hours of sun each day protected from direct wind, and work around natural features to make gardening easy – like choosing flowers that benefit from six hours of sun per day and are easy to care for like those recommended by him to add visual interest into any design of flower beds!
Prep the Soil
Flower gardens can be an excellent project for beginners looking to expand their skills without taking on too much dirt work. Soil preparation should be carefully done, matching plants to their location (sunflowers require full sun while shade-tolerant perennials thrive under indirect light).
If you want a full-season garden, include perennials and annuals in order to ensure blooms from spring to fall. Many seeds can be started indoors before being planted out once frost risk has subsided.
Before beginning digging your garden, lay down a covering of cardboard or newspaper and cover it with 2 inches (5 cm) of compost to prevent weeds and keep soil moist until planting day arrives. When digging begins, begin by clearing away grass and loosening up top 6 inches (15 cm). This will improve drainage while making working easier for you.
Plant the Right Flowers
Planning is key when planting flowers – whether in a window box, raised garden bed, or new flowerbed. Start by finding out your USDA growing zone and selecting flowers suitable for that climate zone.
Add variety to your garden landscape by mixing colors, heights and textures together in an engaging landscape design. Grouping plants by their maintenance requirements–for instance shade-lovers together with water-wise ones–helps give the garden continuity; and grouping bloom times ensures there’s never an absence of color!
Planting with shape is another key flower gardening tip according to world-renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, who advises using shapes such as spires, plumes, daisies and buttons to add visual interest in planting your garden beds.
Donna Hackman, a retired gardener and garden expert advises making pathways between flowerbeds wide enough for mowing and walking, so as to protect flowers from being trampled during garden chores. Also consider placing an easily accessible hose or faucet within reach so as to maintain moist soil in your garden.
Care for Your Plants
No matter if your flower garden contains perennials that bloom every season or annuals that make an instantaneous statement, giving them proper care is vital for ensuring they look their best and thrive in your landscape. This guide offers essential advice to get your new blooms off to an excellent start and thrive within it.
Success of any flower garden lies with its soil health. Flowers thrive best in loose, fertile soil that has been amended with plenty of organic matter; layering this on to the top six to eight inches at planting time will increase soil structure while making it more welcoming for flower roots.
To achieve an attractive flower garden, follow the thriller-filler-spiller formula of tall plants at the back, shorter plants at the front, and colorful annuals as filler between. Ornamental grasses like muhly grass or purple fountain grass can add height while shrubs such as heuchera, nandina and loropetalum provide structure.