Of all the many fantastic ways to enliven your landscape, few of them have quite as much impact as redesigning your flower beds. Details like the types of flowers you plant, what textures they have, when they bloom, what draws the eye, and even the overall shape of your bed can all have an impact on your curb appeal. Offered below are tips to improve your flower bed.
Let’s start the redesign by thinking about how far apart your plants will need to be and how high they will grow, as there is no point in putting short plants behind tall ones. The primary goal is to be able to look at the entire garden in one glance, with nothing hidden or buried behind other plants.
For this reason, look for plants that grow to different sizes. Start with the base of your garden – you should either be looking for ground covers such as vinca or pachysandra or much. From there, look for flowers a few inches high, then gradually increase height for every row in your garden. Most flower beds will have a row every 1-2 feet, so use that as your starting point when estimating how many different heights and/or rows will be necessary.
Finally, remember that heights don’t have to be uniform across a row. Having a tall center that other plants ‘fall’ away from or a ‘slope’ matching the line of your house can sometimes create more visual interest than simple rows of varying heights. Creativity and an eye for your flower bed’s unique location is key to a successful redesign.
Plant selection may be the most important decision to consider when you’re doing your redesign. The type of plants selected will differ from person to person, but in helping figure out what foliage is best for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are there any plants I want to have in the garden? Many people have personal favorites for their garden, and there’s no point in redesigning your flower bed unless it is filled with plantings you consider beautiful. If you’re not sure where to begin, pick a few plants you find pleasing to the eye and build the garden around them remembering to take into account factors like sun and shade.
- Should I change the size or shape of the plant bed? It’s not difficult to change the overall dimensions of your garden. If you want a lot of plants of similar heights, consider raising sections of the garden. If you’re extending the bed, remember that you should put new garden soil 12-18 inches deep, as it is not recommended to just clear out grass and weeds before planting your flowers.
- How much maintenance do I want to do? Some garden setups are primarily self-tending, especially if you have strong protections against weeds and pests. Other gardens are more labor-intensive. In general, gardens that require a lot of work should be kept small. You can always expand your flower bed later.
Hardscaping, which can be defined as human installed features like paths, patios, or stone fireplaces in your garden, can be another critical component of your redesign. Adding stonework throughout your garden space can add beauty and practicality. Creating a stone pathway can provide access to your entire garden. Weeding will be simplified because you will not have to trample through plantings just to pull out some weeds! Hardscaping should always add to your bed’s design, rather than detract from it.
Creating a hardscape installation and a new bed design can provide an opportunity for fun and beauty. You don’t have to be an artist to be able to sketch out your overall garden plans.
Information such as a sense of how many plants you can add, what they’ll look like, and how long it will take your garden to reach maturity will help with the overall design. Some flower beds may not have any hardscaping, blending into the surrounding natural area, while other beds are entirely surrounded by stonework creating a more defined space. Both looks can work just fine for creating a beautiful flower bed, but you do need to keep the presence of hardscaping in mind when drawing up your plans. Having all of these details written down – complete with a sketch – will save you from moving things around later.