A flower garden will bring you endless enjoyment. Not only is it a feast for the eyes, but it can fill your yard with fragrance and butterflies. Your friends will admire you, and you will love to relax at home while you relish your creation.
But if you create your garden haphazardly, you’ll be very disappointed. For example, if you plant the lush, tall flowers on the edges of a flower bed, they will hide the shorter ones within. If you plant a bulb in a shaded area when it needs lots of sun, it will most likely die.
So, a successful flower garden requires planning, but don’t worry, that’s part of the fun. The planning stage gives you the opportunity to bring out your inner artist and problem solver.
The Basic Design Elements
Your design doesn’t have to be intricate. A basic layout is all you need to determine what you will plant in each flower bed. In doing so, you will make decisions about the color and height of each flower, so that you choose not just the color palette of your garden, but the vertical and horizontal dimensions as well.
First, look at each area of your yard to determine the amount of sun and wind it tends to receive. In the areas of most sun, you will choose flowers that love the sun, leaving flowers that prefer shade to the other areas of the yard.
The type of soil you have is another consideration. You will probably need to get it tested in order to know what plants will work for you or whether you need to add other elements to the soil in order to grow your preferred flowers.
You can start by making a simple drawing of your yard and where you would like to plant your flowers. Again, note the amount of sun and wind each area receives, and the size of each area. Next, you might make a list of your favorite colors and favorite flowers. If you know little about flowers, do some research in seed catalogs or online. When you find a flower that you like, search for the answers to the questions below to determine if this particular flower will work in your garden. If not, move on! You will find another that you like just as well, if not better.
Choosing Your Plants
Before you begin buying plants, you need to determine how much you can spend on your garden. Work out a budget so that you don’t over-spend. Then, consider the following questions for each flower:
1. How much does it cost, and will it fit into your budget?
2. Does it grow in your zone?
3. What kind of soil does it need?
4. How much sun does it require?
5. Can it withstand wind?
6. Is it hardy, or does it require special care? If so, do you have the time to provide this special care?
7. How tall does it grow, and will you be able to accommodate its height?
8. How long does it take to achieve a flowering plant?
9. Is it an annual or a perennial, and when does it flower?
Take a look at photos of flower gardens to get ideas, and think about how many flowers you want. You may decide to frame a particular flower with greenery or separate two types of flowers with a non-flowering plant. This is what florists do when they arrange flowers in a vase or basket. They surround the blossoms with greenery almost like the matting of a picture on the wall.
Don’t forget flowering trees and shrubs. These add special interest in your yard, as they give you different vertical heights and horizontal widths. Bear in mind that they tend to take longer to achieve the flowering stage, but it may well be worth the wait. A flower garden is not created in one year’s time. This is a long process that you will always be tending, so you need to enjoy the process as much as the result.