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How To Plan Your Flower Garden

by: Sue Adler
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Flower beds add color and visual interest to your yard.  Adding a few flowers in pots, containers and hanging baskets doesn’t require too much thought or planning.  However, if you are considering adding a permanent flower garden to your landscape, it is important to put some thought into the design before you begin.  By following the steps below, you’ll be able to plan and install your new flower bed and ensure you’ll enjoy it for many years to come.

Decide on Location

First decide where you would like to have your flower bed.  Different conditions require different types of flowers, so it is important to note whether or not your new flower bed will be in the shade or in the sun.  If you’re unsure, planting under the dappled shade of a tree allows you to use plants that prefer both sun and shade.  Just plant the sun loving plants towards the outside, with the plants that prefer shade near the tree trunk.

Choose Your Color Scheme

What colors will you include in your flower bed?  Flowers come in all shades, but not all flowers bloom in every shade.  For instance, if you really want a blue flower bed, you won’t be able to plant roses because blue roses don’t exist.  Flower beds are best when they stick within a color palette of just a few shades rather than a jumble of colors.  Red, yellow and orange flowers appear closer to us than they are, while blue, purple and white seem farther away.

Choose Plants for Season Long Interest

Include a variety of annuals, perennials and evergreens so that your flower bed has season long interest.  Evergreens stay green year round, and some even provide color in the form of berries in winter.  They serve as the backbone of your flower bed.  Perennials last for many season and bloom profusely usually for two to six weeks in the spring, summer or fall depending on their variety.  Annuals bloom all season but die back once the cold weather hits.  Combining these three types of plants ensures that your flower bed will look good all year.

Consider the Shapes and Heights of Plants

Not only are the leaves and flowers important, but the overall shape and height of the plant is as well.  A flower bed where every flower is the same height is not as visually interesting as one that has a variety of heights.

Plant for Sunlight

Make sure your plants are located where they will each get sunlight.  This means tall plants in the back and shorter plants up front.  If you are planting an island bed, place the tall flowers in the middle and shorter ones around the perimeter.

Once you’ve laid out the plans for your flower bed, you can install it knowing that you’ll be happy with the results.  By taking just a little time to consider how you’d like your flower bed to look, you’ll make sure that you’ll be enjoying it for many years to come.


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