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6 Tips for Planning Your Flower Beds

It’s the time of year we’ve all been waiting for—spring! Out with the cold and in with the color. Your flower bed is ready to shed the snow and bloom a gorgeous arrangement of floral décor, hand-selected by your exceptional tastes in gardening.

There’s just one problem…where do you start? If you’ve found yourself in this tricky position, we’re here to help! We’ve sought out the best tips and guides from gardening pros to deliver a solid list of six tips for flower bed design success. Check them out!

1. Do Your Research

flower bed 1

Every successful process begins with sufficient research. The more you know about your design and flower options, the better chance you have at getting it right. Do a little digging to find awesome flower arrangements that fit within your budget and realm of ability. Size up your garden, and consider how you’ll make your selected design happen. What flowers will you need? When will they be in season? What are their bloom times? Do they correspond with one another? How big will they get?

To get you started, here are a few plants that grow best in certain seasons that you can plan to plant in your flower bed layout:

Spring

Spring is the perfect time to plant flowers. Whether you just want a beautiful floral garden to enjoy, or you want to use them for bouquets, spring will bring forth a ton of flowers.

A few of the flowers that do really well when planted in the spring include:

Tulip
Pansy
Iris
Hyacinth
Daffodil
Blue Star
Azalea

There are plenty more flowers that can be planted in the spring, but these are just a few to get you started.

Summer

Summer is the time you can begin to plant seeds that turn into something more edible than flowers. A few plants include:

Sweet Potatoes
Peas
Peppers
Zucchini
Sunflowers

Of course, be sure to water these frequently since during the summer these plants are at a higher risk of drying out and getting scorched.

Autumn

Fall is the perfect time to plant all of those green vegetables. These kinds of plants will thrive really well during this season:

Spinach
Broccoli
Pumpkins
Radish
Carrots
Brussel Sprouts

The most important thing about planting in the fall is to do it 90 days before the first frost happens. Be sure to keep that in mind when planting and take into account where you live. Certain states get colder sooner than others which can cut the planting and harvesting season short.

Winter

Winter is the season to plant tuber vegetables (plants that grow under the ground). Plants like these do well in the colder months:

Garlic
Leeks
Onions
Rhubarb
Bok Choy
Kale

Be sure to do your research on the plants you choose to grow and the care they need during the winter months. The weather is harsher making it a little difficult for some plants to grow, but with a little love and care, these kinds of plants can thrive well in the winter.

2. Create a Design

flowering bed 2

You’ve got your inspiration, now it’s time to make your design all your own. Start by taking exact measurements of the space you’ll be working with to determine where and how you can place your flowers within it. Will you be implementing straight or curved lines to achieve your desired aesthetic? What are the shapes, sizes, and heights of your flowers? What will be your focal point and where will it be placed?

Your flower bed design also depends on the type of terrain you’re working with. Here are just a couple of ideas to get you started:

Hilly Yards

If you’re dealing with a hilly backyard, it can be difficult to establish a garden. But don’t worry, it’s not completely impossible, it just requires a little bit of elbow grease and wooden planks.

With a steep backyard, your best option for a garden is to build stepped garden boxes. Luckily, there are plenty of tutorials that show you how to build them.

These boxes will allow you to have a more even layout for the plants. Not to mention, it will help you organize what you want to plant and where.

Rocky Terrain

It’s pretty difficult to plant anything in soil that’s full of rocks. So having raised garden beds filled with fresh, healthy dirt is a great option for a flower bed plan.

You can get pre-fertilized dirt to fill the boxes to help your plants grow healthy and tall!

Plan for Animals

Don’t forget to account for animals that may find your garden tasty. This includes house pets like dogs or cats and other wild animals like deer, raccoons, rabbits, and rats. All of these animals have a chance at destroying your garden, and all of your hard work will be for nothing.

Be sure to include in your design how you’re going to keep animals out of your garden and keep your plants safe. Using fences is a great way to safeguard your newly established garden. You can also design your garden to have plants on the outer rim that animals don’t like to protect the plants located within the center.

3. Plan for Space

flowering bed 3

As with all things, flowers need room to grow. Pull the info gathered from your research phase to determine how far apart you’ll need to plant each of your flowers. Stifling their growth will hinder their ability to grow to their fullest, while placing them too far apart will leave gaps in your overall design. Know your parameters and stick within them.

Creating a flower bed design that accounts for space allows you to predict how many seeds you need to buy for your garden. If you just plant seeds without planning, you’re setting yourself up for failure and a sad-looking garden. You don’t want to have an excess amount of seeds leftover because there isn’t room for them, but you also don’t want to run out and have your garden look sparse.

4. Get the Right Tools

flowering bed 4

Whether at the gym or in the middle of a home improvement project, we’ve all experienced a moment where we didn’t know what tools we needed or how to use them. Avoid a last-minute run to the store by planning ahead and knowing which tools you’ll need and how to use them. This could vary by your design, so speaking with a specialist at your home improvement store or floral shop will help you get a better idea of what you’ll need.

Gardening Tool Starter Kit

Here are a few tools you will absolutely need when starting a garden:

Gardening gloves
Shovel
Mini rake
Clippers
Hose, watering can, or sprinkler

If you don’t want to purchase all of these tools separately, you could try a gardening starter kit. Most of these kits have every tool you would need to start and maintain a garden.

Tools are essential if you actually want to enjoy gardening as they help make harder work easier.

5. Plant in Groups

flowering bed 5

Over and over again in our search for helpful gardening resources, we heard the phrase “more is more when it comes to gardening”. This is why experts suggest planting in groups as clusters will help you eliminate unfilled space in your arrangement. Masses of blooms should be formed in clumps of drifts of three, five, seven, or more to achieve a full, thriving look for your garden. This is where your spacing planning will come in handy!

Here are a few ideas to get you started to know what’s good to plant close and what’s not:

Plant Together

These kinds of plants will grow well together in your flower box:

Onions can be planted with beets, carrots, lettuce, and peppers
Peas go well with beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, radishes, and turnips
Potatoes can grow next to beans, corn, and peas
Squash can be planted next to corn, melon, and pumpkins

Plant Separate

Mint is notorious for taking over entire gardens. Anything planted next to it will be completely overtaken by the mint.
Be sure to plant mint in its own separate pot or garden box to prevent it from killing your other plants. And don’t forget to prune it often, it tends to grow quickly!

Onions and asparagus should also be planted separately from each other.

These are just a few plants that should be kept separate when considering your flower box design. There are plenty more plants to consider putting some space in between when planting your garden.

6. Consider Maintenance

flowering bed 6

The initial excitement of a gorgeous new garden makes it far too easy to overlook the importance of regular upkeep. Research necessary maintenance for each component of your garden then set a schedule for sufficient upkeep. This may include watering, pruning, trimming, etc. Know what you need to do, and set a plan to keep your garden looking fabulous for as long as possible.

If you commit yourself to a regular watering and weeding schedule, you’re basically guaranteed a lovely garden. So grab your gardening gloves, throw on some sunscreen, and get your green thumb on!

Now that you’ve got the tips and tricks you need, it’s time to start your planning! Spring is just around the corner, bringing with it plenty of rain and sunshine to nurture the growth of a beautiful garden. That means you’ll need to take these tips and start your planning soon.

Good luck!

You might also enjoy our landscaping 101 blog post!

That being said, it’s time to thank our awesome resources:

Tips for Successful Flower Garden Design – Better Homes and Gardens

Flower Garden Design Tips – Flower Gardening Made Easy

 

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