How to Design Flower Beds & Shrubs


Your yard and landscape often provide visitors with their first impression of your home and its inhabitants. This outside setting incorporates living plants with permanent structures. A good landscape design reflects the personality of the owner. A large variety of plants, such as trees, shrubs and flowers provide homeowners with numerous landscape choices and considerations. Decide which plants to incorporate into your landscape during the designing stage to avoid disappointment and surprises later on.

Step 1

Sketch a layout of your home and yard on a piece of paper. Draw in any permanent structures, such as buildings, driveways, and sidewalks. Select the best location to place your shrubs and flowerbeds by marking out traffic areas. Avoid placing plants in areas that block or impede the natural flow of traffic. Draw in shrubs in areas near property lines or bare sections of your yard. Sketch in a few flowerbeds near the front of your house or other areas where you wish to create a focal point. Take the time to plan your landscape on paper before planting.

Step 2

Select flowers and shrubs that complement each other. Consider the color and blooming season when picking out these types of plants. Choose blossoming varieties that enhance the appearance of existing colors, such as the siding on your home or garage. Consider following a single color scheme throughout your landscape, or choose contrasting colors, such as purple lilacs behind yellow daisies.

Step 3

Create a design that enhances your yard every season of the year. For instance, select spring bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils to display color in the spring and include some evergreen shrubs to provide greenery during the winter months. Select both annual and perennial flowers to enjoy blossoms every year. Create a nice backdrop by planting a row of shrubs behind a flowerbed.

Step 4

Place drought-tolerant varieties of shrubs and flowers in proximity of one another. For ease in maintenance, plant selections in groups according to their water requirements. Make one area of your yard an arid garden for plants like yuccas and scrub oaks, while placing your high-maintenance plants together in another area. Do not plant invasive flowers or shrubs near other plants. Contain these varieties in a separate location.

Step 5

Plant your shrubs and your flowerbeds according to each plant's size and light requirements. Avoid planting sun-loving flowers, such as daisies, in shady areas of your yard. Choose shade tolerant varieties, such as hostas for these areas. Consider the mature size of shrubs before planting. Avoid shading smaller shrubs or flowers with large, overhanging shrubs. Use a line of shrubs to form a hedge of protection near the outer edges of your yard or bordering your flowerbeds.


  • Colorado State University: Sustainable Landscaping
  • University of Maine: Designing Your Landscape for Maine
  • Oklahoma State University: Plant Care and Tips
Keywords: landscape design, design flowerbeds, shrubs and flowers

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.