Perennial and annual mixed garden.
image by S.F. Heron
Creating a beautiful flower garden requires time, patience and considerable effort. Flowering plants differ from their low-maintenance cousins that offer beautiful foliage without the flowers. Each person has a different definition of what makes a garden beautiful. With any garden, it should be designed for personal enjoyment and the pleasure of anyone visiting your home. Each garden might have a purpose such as a butterfly garden, vegetable plot or container garden, but every single one offers the beholder the miracle of nature. You can make a beautiful flower garden that you and your visitors can enjoy.
How to Make a Beautiful Flower Garden
Prepare your garden bed by removing as many weeds as possible using the rake and shovel. Weed removal will pay results later with less work after your garden becomes established.
Turn over the top 12 inches of soil and add organic soil conditioner or compost to the soil. This loosens and enriches the soil under potential plants, allowing for vigorous root growth.
Evaluate the sun availability in your garden area. Areas that receive no sun require shade-tolerant plants. Partial-sun areas should receive four to six hours of sunlight each day. Full-sun areas require heat- and light-tolerant plants.
Consider the time of year you'll begin using outdoor activity areas. Most gardeners prefer to stagger their plantings to encourage continual blooming throughout the growing season. Staggering means the layout of the garden allows for a profusion of plants that vary their blooms through the season.
Choose your foliage plants first. These include hosta, spikes and anchor plants such as ornamental grasses that decorate your garden for the entire growing season with vibrant greens.
Choose your initial blooming plants based on light requirements and blooming time. In most areas, this includes those spring-blooming plants such as peonies or creeping phlox that add a promise of things to come in your garden. Select a few early bloomers, then choose additional varieties that bloom throughout the remaining months of the growing season. Many perennials bloom for about a month.
Add some annuals for immediate color while you wait for your perennial blooms. Annuals such as marigolds, vinca, or impatiens add a splash of color to a greenery-heavy garden. Single annual plants placed along a border form a beautiful frame for summer blooms such as Shasta daisy or black-eyed Susan.
Perfect your design by placing the potted plants throughout your garden bed before digging. Alternate varieties and bloom times in various spots in the garden so you'll have continual flowering. It's much easier to establish an adequate layout before planting than to move things later.
Plant each individual plant according the specifications on the tag on each pot. Remember to dig an adequately sized hole for each plant. Carefully pop each plant out of the container and loosen the roots by gently pressing your fingers into the root ball.
Fill in around each plant with loose soil and press firmly. Keep adding soil until the planted area levels with the surrounding ground. Add mulch as a finishing touch to give the garden a groomed look, and water thoroughly to help the plants become established.