How to Start a Flower Garden


Planting a flower garden is a labor of love if you enjoy beautiful, aromatic blossoms decorating your landscape. Before you start a flower garden, pay attention to the daily light levels and make sure the soil is ready for the blooms you plan to cultivate. Know your hardiness zone and select perennial flowers that will come back year after year. Fill in with annuals that bloom throughout the season. Take care to prepare the area the right way and your flower garden can offer years of colorful and fragrant blooms.

Step 1

Select an area for the flower garden with good drainage and the appropriate amount of sun for the flowers you plan to grow. If space is limited, select flowers to match the amount of sun that the area receives.

Step 2

Excavate the area for the flower garden. Remove grass, weeds and rocks; cut back roots and any other underground obstructions.

Step 3

Turn the soil within the excavated area. Break up any clumps of dirt so that the soil is loose. Test the pH level of the soil to determine the acid/alkaline levels. Different types of flowers prefer different soil pH levels. Add lime to increase the alkaline levels and sulfur to increase acid levels.

Step 4

Mix compost in with the loose soil for added nutrition. Wait two weeks for the compost to be assimilated before planting.

Step 5

Border the perimeter of the flower garden with pavers, stones or landscape timbers. Creating an outline for the flower garden makes a decorative statement. If encroaching grass is an issue, use preformed edging around the perimeter of the flower garden. Edging is inserted 4 inches into the ground to help stop weeds and grass from entering the space.

Step 6

Cut a section of landscape fabric to fit the flower garden. This step is not a necessity, but the fabric will help prevent weeds from interfering with your flowers. Cover the area with the fabric.

Step 7

Layout the design for the flower garden by placing nursery plants on top of the landscape fabric. Follow the spacing instructions for each of the plants.

Step 8

Cut holes in the landscape fabric beneath the plants. To start a flower garden from seed or bulbs, cut holes or slits in the landscape fabric directly above where you will plant.

Step 9

Dig holes in the soil to plant the flowers, seeds or bulbs. Cover the planted flower garden with a 3-inch layer of organic mulch or decorative stones. The mulch will help retain moisture and will camouflage the landscape fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Trowel
  • pH tester
  • Compost
  • Landscape fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pavers/stones/border
  • Organic mulch/landscape stones


  • Garden Stew: How to Amend Soil pH

Who Can Help

  • Gardening Know How: How to Start Your Flower Garden
Keywords: starting a garden, planting flowers, flower garden basics

About this Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.