When planning a flower bed, the most important step is to be able to imagine what it will look like in the future. Patience is the key. While your flowerbed might not look like much the first time you plant it, it will be a lot fuller, taller, and more colorful in a few months – if that’s what you want. The key is to anticipate the heights, colors, textures, and dimensions of all of the different plants.
The best flower bed ideas usually have smaller, more dainty plants in front, medium tall varieties in the middle, then tall plants and flowers in the back to make sure you can enjoy the blooms in all their glory.
1. Use flower beds to line a garden path
Whether planted in Raised beds Or directly in the ground, flower beds can make extraordinary partitions for one Garden path. This is especially true if you are adding tall, architectural plants to the mix.
Here the 60 meter long flower beds are full of lupins, inula, campanula and meadowsweet. In addition to a freshly mowed lawn, the lively colors provide an additional dose of visual interest.
It’s a nice way to set the boundary of a walkway. In addition, it will continue to offer color and texture as the seasons progress, while the different plants are in the spotlight.
2. Create interest with architectural plants
Not all flower beds have to have bright, strong flowers. Dramatic and elegant architectural plants add structure and create a contemporary planting style that is easy to maintain and creates year-round interest.
In the design world, they are indispensable for creating sculptural beauty and drawing attention to certain parts of the garden. Which plants are considered “architectural” is a matter of opinion, but most professional gardeners would agree that hardy evergreen exotic species such as palm trees, bamboo and musa basjoo are the main players. Perennials with large leaves such as Rodgersia and Rheum and large, strong flowers such as Kniphofia and Allium are also possible, as are topiary pyramids, spirals and spheres.
3. Grow fruits and vegetables in raised bed containers
Fruit and vegetables can be grown between ornamental plants in garden beds or raised beds. Go for compact varieties like black currant, colorful plants like the bright scarlet goji berry, and bold versions of everyday plants like the beautiful “All Gold” raspberry with amber-gold fruits.
If you choose to use raised beds, you don’t have to step on the ground to care for your plants, which saves you having to aerate the soil by digging. They can set attractive accents on their own, for example built from old railway sleepers or used as a border for a patio seating area.
- See: Garden edging ideas – for clean, tidy and decorative borders
4. Opt for traditional rectangular flower beds
Both parterres and traditional potagers are timeless and formal at the same time, with their decorative arrangement of rectangular beds filled with flowers, fruit, herbs or vegetables, separated by straight paths made of grass, gravel or bricks. Both offer versatile frames that can be scaled down or enlarged to accommodate different sizes and shapes of garden, but still work if the proportions are kept. Height is added to flower beds with clematis, roses or sugar peas raised steel or wooden obelisks.
5. Create structure with a formal flower bed
A formal layout and structure looks great, built from traditional materials like tile, brick, and wood in natural finishes that compliment the plants. Flower beds can be held simply by tough landscaping or within sharp-cut box hedges, a formal element useful for connecting any informal planting together.
6. Add a difference with one standout feature – surrounded by beds
A key feature adds a hub around which the design flows. It can be as simple as a round fountain surrounded by perennials, or as dramatic as life-size topiary figures – birds, chess pieces, and abstract shapes. Ornaments such as statues, balls or bird baths also set eye-catching focal points if they are raised high enough on a pedestal and embraced by plants.
Proportions are paramount, and while a feature should be large and elaborate enough to grab attention, it shouldn’t be so imposing that it overshadows everything else.
7. Plant a perennial flower bed
The great thing about perennials is exactly that: they are perennial. They do their thing, filling the garden with fantastic flowers or long-lasting brightly colored leaves – and then again and again the next year and then the year after. There are two options when choosing perennials. You can decide which traits your plantings are missing and choose perennials that offer those traits. Or you can just choose perennials that you really like, that grab your attention, and then look around the garden and find a home for them.
Don’t let the ancients bind you too rigidly big-back-short-front Idea, of course it makes sense, but short, early flowers such as hellebore form impressive clusters on the back and later like the shade of larger perennials. Tall, transparent perennials such as Verbena bonariensis can be placed in front.
8. Plant ornamental grasses to contrast with summer flowers
The popularity of ornamental grasses is well deserved. Ornamental grasses are useful as both garden flowering plants and foliage plants, with many being strikingly colorful while others have waxy, blue-green leaves. If you’re growing them primarily for use as pruning material, a spare plot of land out of sight is fine so you can hack over the debris left behind without worrying about what you want. But those perennial grasses used in a border shouldn’t be separated in their own beds, I suggest.
A cluster of many grasses together looks messy. It is better to leave them in a mixed border, in which the foliage and growth contrast effectively with the broad leaves of hostas, for example, or the bright color of tiger lilies, phloxes and other summer flowers.
9. Introduce a sensory element
Increase the sensory appeal of your garden flower bed to make it a richer, more playful space. Sensory gardens Use plants and features to appeal to all five senses and be a joy for everyone, especially those with sensory disabilities. A flower bed filled with old-fashioned scented plants, such as lily of the valley, can stimulate memory in the elderly and those with dementia. Edible plants will inspire children to explore with touch and taste. And textures and rustling leaves provide a great way for the visually impaired to experience the garden.
10. Light up a shady place with hostas
Surprisingly, flower beds can work wonderfully in the shade – all you have to do is make sure you choose the right plants.
Hostas are the perfect plant for a shady garden. Lush, green and sculptural, these shade-loving plants add depth and drama to the garden. Be aware that hostas are snail magnets – but they don’t all love hostas. Some of the most popular hostas, such as ‘Halcyon’ and ‘Hadspen Blue’, are among those with the most reliable, bluish, snail-proof leaves.
Browse through our Shadow garden ideas for more advice on planting a shady spot.
How do you make a flower bed look beautiful?
The best flower beds have been carefully crafted to contain a collection of plants that offer variety in height and structure, as well as tonal and seasonal variations. Above all, this includes a number of plants that make great bedfellows sitting happily next to each other.
By slightly moving the plants, they can all be adapted to your own garden beds. Generally speaking, you should keep taller plants in the back of the bed – but avoid too rigid if you want a softer, more natural look. And if you’re lucky enough to have large flower beds, just increase the number and add more of your favorites.
What should I put in my flower bed?
There are so many plants to put in a flowerbed so that it will bloom all year round.
See: Ideas for the rose garden – for a colorful and sweet smelling outdoor area
It should be noted that soft-stemmed perennials (which usually die off every winter) grow faster than shrubs. However, shrubs – especially evergreens – are interesting all year round, so their value shouldn’t be ruled out.