Flowers brighten up the landscape. Annuals grow quickly from seed, and are ideal if you want to cover a large space on a budget. Perennials are slow to get started the first year but reward your patience and efforts by returning year after year. Flowering trees and bushes are another option. And don't forget to plant bulbs for spring and summer flowers.
Many flowers are edible and add a bit of color to a salad or flavor to a main dish. To spray the flowers, use only pesticides designed for vegetables--the label should say that it can be used up until the day of harvest. Place tall edible flowers like daylilies and roses in the back of the bed. Medium-height flowers include carnations, chrysanthemums and bachelor buttons. Most herb flowers are edible as well. Segregating the edible flowers from the rest of the flower garden ensures you won't mistakenly eat flowers that can make you sick.
Reflect one of your children's favorite fairy tales in a special flower bed. For example, a "Peter Rabbit" flower bed would include a white picket fence with carrots, radishes and beans edged with marigolds and nasturtiums. Construct a child-size scarecrow with a small blue jacket and a pair of shoes. The story tells how Peter lost them escaping from Farmer McGregor. Add a few pots of flowers and some chamomile herbs. A nice touch is to add a small table and chairs for afternoon snack time.
Plant the flowers in a design, such as concentric circles, forming a pattern or even a patriotic flag. Short to medium-tall flowers work the best, because the design is viewed from above. It's more difficult to see the design when flowers are more than 18 inches high, unless you're looking from a deck or the flowers are on a lower terrace. Select flowers that bloom profusely like petunias, or low-growing flowers like dianthus or dwarf zinnias.
Roses are a favorite of many gardeners. Roses require a sunny location and rich well-drained soil. Choose varieties that are disease resistant. Pick a theme for your rose garden. Grow old roses, very fragrant roses, tea roses, miniature roses or a combination. Try an all white rose garden or all red. Select types that will provide blooms all summer long. Plant shorter roses toward the front of the bed and taller ones in the back.