Planning Your Flower Garden January 24, 2019March 26, 2019 Daniel Rowland You’ve wanted a flower garden for such a long time. They just add so much color and interest to your yard. You have waited in anticipation through the winter to start digging a place for a flower bed, purchase and plant your bulbs, seeds or plants, and to reap the many benefits of a well cared for flower garden. But maybe you need some tips and ideas for getting started. Here are some helpful hints for you to get going on that special gardening project. It is wise to plan out your flower garden before getting your flowers. The fist step is make a sketch of your house, garage, trees, and any other buildings or landscaping on your property. An important consideration is a direction your property is facing as well. You don’t want to plant a flower garden, and then find that it doesn’t get enough sunlight for the flowers to grow. Flower gardens are also best when planted on a level or gently sloping ground because the water runoff from steep slopes will cause the soil to erode. Another thing to consider would be the style of the flower garden that you would like. Flower gardens can be straight or curved in shape, formal or casual. Your house can be a guide on deciding on your particular style. For example, if you have a traditional house, then a symmetrical, formal design might be for you. If you have a country-style house with gingerbread trim, then a less symmetrical and more casual planting maybe for you. The next step in planning your garden is to decide what kind of flower beds would be desirable to your yard and you. A flower border is set against a backdrop such as a house, shrubs, or the edge of your patio as well as other places such as property edges. This choice of the flower bed is a good option for those with smaller yards. Another type of flower bed which will work well with bigger lawns is called an island bed. An island bed is a flower bed that is planted in the middle of the lawn itself so it will give the effect of a splash of color washed up on the lawn itself. It is best to plant the taller plants in the middle of the island and to have the smaller plants around them so they will look great on all sides. It is advisable though, to avoid making the island too small and having it made in the middle of the yard when the yard is otherwise empty. When digging your flower bed, be sure to consider the width of the flower bed, so that it will be wide enough to accommodate the front, middle and back layers, and provides enough room for your plants to grow. As a rule, the longer your flower bed is, the wider it should be as well. Most flowers need well drained soil, so it is advisable to avoid locating your garden where there is standing water after heavy rains or during a spring thaw. The exception to this woud be when plants that can tolerate boggy soil conditions are desired. You should take the sun exposure into consideration as well because this is key to your garden planting. Some plants like full sun while other love shade After the flower bed is dug up, and the landscaping is in place, the next thing to consider is the plants themselves. Do you want to have color throughout the year or only in certain seasons? Do you leave town in certain times such as the mid summer? If this is often the case, be sure to obtain flowers that are low maintenance during those times, such as mid-summer or that bloom in the springtime. Flowers that bloom in late summer, as well as a few shrubs and trees that provide great autumn color can also add beauty to your garden throughout the year if year-round enjoyment is desired. Light-colored flowers, evening-scented plants, as well as garden lighting, can make your flower garden into a pleasant evening retreat after a long day at work. Now for the fun part of planning your garden begins. The overall color of your garden is very much based on your own personal tastes. However, there are a few guidelines to follow. It is not a good idea to add too much contrast or too many colors to your flower bed due to the fact that these colors will cancel out each other and will give a visual overload. However, if the contrasts are used in moderation, it can add some spark. Colors can also reflect mood as well as the seasons themselves. Hotter colors such as reds, oranges and yellows work very well in mid summer, while the soothing effects of lighter, pastel colors go well with the springtime of early summer. Or perhaps you would like a single color garden is more to your tastes.