Flower gardens are objects of beauty, pleasure and relaxation. Well done, they will not only decorate your yard, attract birds and butterflies, but will draw also your neighbors' compliments. To make your flower garden a success, spend time preparing first, then choose your plants. Preparation to make yourself knowledgeable will go a long way in saving you time later and helps prevent loss of valuable plant stock.
Research your hardiness zone: To avoid losing stock, cross check the US National Arboretum USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for your local area with the requirements of the flowers you want to plant.
Analyze your soil: Learn about the soil in your area and how to change it. If need be, supplement with sand, compost and mulch.
Survey your yard: Sun plants like wide-open spaces in the middle of your yard or on the south side of your home. The north side or under large trees is perfect for shade plants, whereas both the east and west sides offer great growing conditions for partial shade plants.
Decide your preferences: Choose perennials if you like consistency. They will grow lusher every year, creating a feel-at-home look. Choose annuals if you like change. This gives you the opportunity to change colors and arrangements every year. Choose wildflowers if you like cut flower arrangements. Many wildflowers, such as bachelor button, milkweed, yarrow and sweet William make beautiful bouquets. They are usually easy to grow in abundance.
Select flowers together with their companion plants to avoid pests: Companion plants will not only create beautiful color matches, but also attract insects that are mutually beneficial to the flowers in a group. What may be a pest on one plant will be food for the insects on the other.