Everyone loves sitting out on their deck or patio and seeing the beauty of an organic flower garden. The colors, the scents and the visitors (butterflies, etc.) they bring add hours of joy to any day. Here are ten simple tips for successfully designing your flower garden.
1. What’s your style? Should your garden match your home’s design or your personal style? If you’re matching it to your home’s design, traditional homes may look best with a cottage-style garden, full of bright colors, planted in a mix-and-match, free-form style. If you have a contemporary home, flower bed shape and color selection is much more important.
2. Shape, size, and where it draws the eyes are other important considerations. How much space do you have available for your flower garden, etc.? This is a fun part of the process! Take a garden hose and “sketch” out shapes to see what you like the most. If you’re going for a larger garden, you may need to include a path so you can tend to the plants in the center. Pro tip? Don’t overdo it! Start small and expand. Consider where your eyes are drawn when you first look at your garden. This focal point could be a flowering shrub or a large patch of one type of flower in the middle of the garden. It could also be specially-chosen plants at the corners of the beds.
3. Do your homework! Now that you have a general idea of bed size, etc., learn about the different flowers you can plant. There are short-lived annuals, long-lived perennials, vines, ornamental grasses and seasonal bulbs. You need to know each plant’s needs in terms of light and space, as well as what colors and scents you’ll be getting.
4.How does your garden grow? Ideally, you’ll have a garden that provides joy in every season. Plants with staggered bloom times are the way to go. Another key point is choosing different plant types. A good plan could include : spring-blooming shrubs (that also provide structural beauty in winter), summertime perennials and bulbs that bloom in the fall.
5. Height matters. Where you plant the tallest plants in your garden depends on your garden shape & location. If you’re flower garden is an oasis in your landscape, plant the tallest plants in the center. However, if your garden borders your home, plant the tallest plants in the back. Bear in mind that they shouldn’t block windows or doors! Remember: some shorter plants may not grow so well if shaded by their taller neighbors.
6.Pay attention to color and texture. We suggest finding a color wheel to help. If you plant in shades of the same color, such as purple, you’ll have a visually pleasing garden. Likewise, colors across from each other on the wheel like yellow and purple, work well together. The same is true for colors next to each other on the wheel, such as red and purple. Pay close attention to the texture of the plants’ foliage. Unique textures make for visually striking gardens, even after the flowers have faded.
7. Be a little odd – in numbers, at least. A good rule is planting three or any other odd number of the same type of plant (varying colors) either spaced apart or next to each other. It’s a designer’s trick that results in a more visually appealing garden.
8. Prepare the space and hit the store! While the research is fun, the shopping is even more fun! There’s still a bit of work to be done before you shop, though. Get the area ready by getting rid of old plants, including grass, and installing some edging like pavers or stones. Once that’s done… Go shopping!
9. Proper planting. Follow the directions that come with each plant and plant them where they belong in your design. All newly-planted flowers need some extra help until they’re established. Apply at least an inch of organic mulch after watering them well. The mulch helps keep in moisture and cut down on water use. Your flower garden should get around an inch of water per week, whether that’s from Mother Nature or your garden hose, or both.
10. Add some solid elements. Add trellises, arbors and pergolas, all of which are great design elements. Arbors with climbing vines or roses also add a touch of natural privacy to areas of your garden.
Enjoy creating your gardens!