Flower beds can provide seasonal color, serve as a boundary between outdoor spaces or fill in a bare location on your lawn. Fill a flower bed with annual flowers that provide spectacular blossoms but must be replanted yearly, or perennials that grow back year after year.
There are two ways to design a flower bed. One is to choose the flowers first and the bed second. The other is to choose the bed first and the flowers second. People who choose the bed based on the plants are typically folks who want a specific type of flower garden, such as a rose garden or a shade garden. People who build the bed and then choose flowers are more interested in filling an empty space, such as the border along a fence.
No matter how you design your flower bed, you must always work within your limitations. This means assessing the soil and light conditions that the location provides. Determine if your location offers full sun, partial shade or full shade and have your soil tested to determine the soil structure as well as the nutrient content and pH of soil. Once you know this information, decide if you want to improve your soil's nutrient structure and pH by mixing soil amendments into the soil, or if you would rather build a raised bed to overcome the challenges of poor soil.
Once you know your limitations, it's easy to design the bed. Always select plants that are adapted to your USDA temperate zone, the amount of sunlight that you receive in the location of your raised bed and soil conditions. A flower bed design should take into consideration the overall height of the fully grown plants that you are working with. Consider the color of the blossoms, shape of the bed and blooming time when designing your flower bed.
Once you have a flower bed design, it is not difficult to put together. Wind a drip irrigation hose throughout the planting bed in order to avoid the evaporation that comes from sprinkler hoses. Cover the bed with a landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from becoming established. Cut a hole in the fabric to place plants into the fabric. Fold the fabric back around the plants and cover with mulch.