Although flower gardening didn’t become common in North America until the 19th century, flower gardens are now a key component in modern architecture and landscape design. Extremely sophisticated flower garden designs can be found in many businesses, but flower gardening for the home is also very popular, and easy.
With a little bit of planning, home flower gardening can be a simple way to add a vibrant look to many areas surrounding your home. Flowers can be picked for specific colors, bloom times, and other characteristics that will make your flower garden a unique feature that enhances the landscape. Both annual, needing to be replanted each year, and perennial, reappearing every year, flower gardens can be planted depending on climate and specific needs.
Flower gardening is a beautiful hobby, and it’s not just for professionals. Beginners need to understand the very basics of this endeavor to be on their way.
Flower Garden Ideas
Whether to provide a bright display of multiple colors or a subtle background for the surrounding landscape, there are a variety of flower garden ideas that can help create just the right space for your home. Taking some care in choosing the plants and flowers that will produce the colors you want and at the times you want, will go a long way in producing your dream flower garden.
Choosing appropriate plants
- Flower gardening works best when plants with similar needs are grouped. Flowers should be grouped based on water, sun, and nutrient needs.
- Flowers should also be grouped based on how quickly they grow. Very vigorous flowers will overgrow others that aren’t so they should be separated for best results.
- Another good flower gardening idea is to group plants that propagate similarly together. That way if you have to dig up the bulbs for some, you won’t disturb the roots of others.
Types of plants
- Bulbs: These will usually require lifting every three years or so but can typically be established if the right conditions are present in the beginning. They are often more expensive than annuals as they will continue to grow year after year.
- Annuals: These are easy to grow once established but are short-lived, usually lasting for just one season. They provide a great deal of color quickly and can be replaced as soon as they complete flowering. Annuals are usually very inexpensive and can be purchased in packs of seeds or as seedlings.
- Perennials: Perennials typically grow quickly and flower frequently. Many become dormant in the winter but re-sprout in the spring or as the weather warms. Some self-seed while others can be lifted and divided during the cooler season.
- Woody plants: Wood plants usually live a very long time and become larger. Correspondingly, they are typically more expensive to purchase and make take multiple years before the first flowers are produced. These are usually left in place permanently and for long periods. Rose bushes are an example of a woody plant.
Choosing flower colors
- Try not to pick bloom colors that will clash or distract from the other blooms that are in the flower garden. Some color combinations that are may look out of place in a flower garden, right next to each other, are blue and orange or mauve and yellow.
- Flower garden ideas are typically built off of one color scheme that runs throughout the flower garden. Shades of primary colors, using hot colors (yellows, oranges, and reds), or cold colors (pinks, whites, and blues) are all color schemes that can be applied to your flower garden.
- The colors of your flowers should also fit in with your home and the surrounding landscape colors. For example, cold color blooms should be used near a house that is painted light blue while hot color flowers would be more appropriate for a house painted in a shade of yellow.
Whatever flower garden ideas you use, the most important rule is to make sure you choose something that you will enjoy and that will be pleasant for you to look at throughout the year. Your flower garden should be a reflection of your personality and accommodate your tastes and styles. Choose locations and colors based on plants that appeal to you, but be sure you understand how to care for them properly.
Flower Garden Design
Flower garden design incorporates many features that combine function and appearance to make your flower garden look its best, while also providing easier ways to maintain everything. Taking proper care during the early planning stages of your flower garden, when the design is so important, will make your garden an enjoyable experience by limiting the amount of time needed to care for it.
The first step in flower garden design is to build your garden around a central point. Your flower garden could be built around your house, a gate, a tree, or even a fence as long as it will provide the space required. The best flower gardens include a central point that immediately catches the eye. Larger gardens can have more than one focal point but try to stick to one in smaller flower gardens.
Flower garden designs often operate around a color scheme or various related color schemes as well. Some plans use different shades of the same color, while other designs call for multiple, complementing eye-catching colors.
Flower garden design tips
- Make the flower beds as wide as you possibly can. Many first-time gardeners make the mistake of not making the flower beds wide enough which limits the opportunities to plant flowering trees, shrubs, or other plants that can be layered. Ideally, flower beds should be at least 5 or 6 feet wide.
- Make sure to establish lines and curves that set sections of the garden apart from other areas of the garden. This provides for unity and definition throughout the entire flower garden and will make it more appealing to the eye. Avoid snaking or inconsistent lines and try to stick to smooth curves or straight lines.
- Planting in groups is an effective part of flower garden design for both functional and aesthetic reasons. Groupings by color provide unity while grouping by plant needs can make maintenance much easier. Flower gardens that contain just one or two groupings tend to look jumbled and many experts recommend planting in groups of three or more. Also, repeating various plants or colors adds texture and unity and is another feature of flower garden design.
- Think of the plants that will go in your flower garden as plants that will be used for edging (in front of the garden), filling (in the middle), and background. Taller flowers should generally be planted towards the back but can occasionally be left to grow near the middle or front too.
- Spacing your flowers an appropriate distance apart is an important part of flower garden design. Improperly spaced plants will compete for nutrients or allows more vigorous plants to overrun others. Flowers should be planted as far away as their eventual spread will allow.
- Balance and unity are important features in flower garden design and shouldn’t be neglected. Try to create symmetry by using the same plants on the sides of walkways, paths, or gates. To create more unity throughout your flower garden, plant in groups of three and blend complementing colors.
- Keep in mind that the design of your flower garden will need to be maintained as plants grow or die. Flower garden design is never actually finished and is more of an ongoing project that will need to be kept up over the years. As long as you start with a good design and keep an eye on your flower garden, you’ll notice when more color is needed or new plants should be added.