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Flower Gardening - Creating "The Plan"

  PLANNING your flower garden location, design, and layout is an important, and fun, task.

The first step in planning is to visualize how you want your garden to look.

  • Where will the location be?
  • Will the garden be in sun or shade?
  • Are you starting a new bed or rehabbing an existing one?
  • What colors do you want to see?
  • Do you want flowers blooming all season?
  • What shape will look best?
  • What structures will compliment the garden?
  • Do you want to plant in containers?

These are the questions you should address when you're making plans for your new flower garden. If you start planting different flowers at random, you most likely will not get the results that you hope for.

The hardest part of planning is trying to visualize how the flower garden will look in full bloom and at different times of the season. There are software programs on the market that can assist you in this endeavor.What's fun about this is that you can work it out on your computer ahead of time, and actually see what your plan will look like in 3-D.

More importantly, if you don't like it, you can change it, until you get the plan exactly the way you want it...BEFORE YOU PLANT!


The shape of your garden plays an important role in the overall look.

Having a few smaller beds that are kidney bean shape, or oval, are more eye appealing than having one long rectangular bed.

They are also easier to maintain.

Shape can also be defined by the types of plants you choose.


Evaluate the location of your garden to see how much sun/shade is present throughout the different times of the day. This will help you make the right choices when you're ready to select your plants.

Select plants of varying height, planting the taller varieties in the center or back depending on the location of your garden bed.

To create visual interest, select plants with different textures. For example, RUSSIAN SAGE has a soft-textured look, while LADY FERNS have a sharp-textured look.

There are plenty of flowers to choose from that will bloom at different times from spring, through summer, and into fall. I prefer perennials, knowing that they will re-grow each year.

Many perennial garden flowers can be divided and transplanted, which saves in the cost of having to buy new ones every year. Of course there is always new varieties that I like to add!


Structure is another important element to consider. You can form structure by creating a berm if the area is flat.

Garden arbors and trellises are another way to add structure and are perfect for growing flowering vines.


Container gardens are a perfect home for annuals (plants that have one growth season). Some suggestions for containers include: hanging baskets, whiskey barrels, washtubs, wooden boxes, or any other object that will allow you to put drainage holes in the bottom. You can also find numerous old treasures at flea markets, which makes container gardening a fun hobby.

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