Flower Gardening 101

Overview

Planting a flower garden is an enjoyable activity, but can be scary if you have only limited experience in gardening. When planning that first flower garden, be sure to choose flowers that have the same needs, such as water and fertilizer requirements, recommends the Maholo website. Before planting, new gardeners should study the basics in flower gardening for creating an attractive bed of blooming plants that contribute to the beauty of a landscape.

Size

Think small if you're a novice gardener. The Tips on Flower Gardening website recommends having just one flower bed instead of digging up several beds. Taking care of one bed is much easier than caring for many flower beds. This way you can determine if you really love to garden, rather than just like it. Buy only a few basic tools. If you need a particular tool, try borrowing it from a neighbor so you can experiment before making a purchase.

Types

Flower Gardening Made Easy recommends starting with annuals, such as cosmos. Annuals, which are plants that complete their growing cycle in one season, are easy to grow and widely available. Summer bulbs are similar to annuals, although they need to be replanted each season when grown in hardy northern areas. They include flowers such as dahlias and gladiola bulbs.

Geography

The time of year to start planting a flower garden depends on where you live. Gardeners living in Illinois may start planting in March or April. On the other hand, gardeners who live in warmer climates, such as Florida or Southern California, can usually plant flowers throughout the year. The key to knowing when to plant is found in climatic zones, which are based on a region's frost-free dates, notes the University of Illinois Extension. Visit a garden center or contact your county extension agent to find out which climate zone you live in.

Considerations

Land slope is an important consideration when planning a flower garden. It's easier to establish a flower garden on level or somewhat sloping ground, notes Cornell University. Steep land slopes create particular problems and may need to be terraced in order to prevent a flowerbed from losing soil. Sun requirements are another consideration, as different plants have different light requirements. Most flower gardens do best in full sun with at least six hours of exposure daily.

Warnings

Don't plant flower gardens during spring thaws or in areas of standing water caused by heavy rainfall, cautions Cornell University. An exception could be if you intend to use only those plants able to tolerate wet soil conditions. Color schemes look best when large masses of color are used, rather than single plants or blooms. For greatest impact, group plants in drifts.

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About this Author

Venice Kichura has written on a variety of topics for various websites, such as Suite 101 and Associated Content since 2005. She's written articles published in print publications and stories for books such as "God Allows U-Turns." She's a graduate of the University of Texas and has worked in both Florida and Connecticut schools.