Flower gardens are both a beautiful and rewarding way to spruce up the front, rear and side yards. They can be as simple or complex as you like, with whatever combination of bulbs, perennials, and annuals you wish to cultivate. There are no rules regarding how to do so.
Given this freedom, some people tend to freeze, overwhelmed by their options. This is largely because the possibilities have not been fully explored. A theme is often required, to pull everything together.
A seasonal flower garden involves using and presenting flowers that bloom according to all four seasons. The space available may hamper this, but planting them all in a single unbroken ring around an ornamental tree such as a cherry, camellia, or chokeberry would is attractive to the eye.
Compose each quarter of the ring of different seasonal flowers. Use different types of groundcover for each to make it really eye-catching. Use cedar mulch for the red of summer, pine for the lighter colors of spring, grey gravel for autumn, and white sand for winter. Spring flowers are tulips, peonies, hyacinths, dahlias, and amaryllis. Summer flowers are marigolds, sunflowers, vinca, coxcomb and daylilies. Autumn flowers are stonecrop, false sunflower, goldenrod, and chrysanthemums. Winter flowers are snowdrops, honeysuckle and Christmas rose.
What could be more free than a field of wildflowers? This theme involves using lots of soil to emulate the roll and swell of unleveled land and planting wildflower seeds at random with ornamental grass seeds so that they come up simultaneously to appear as a field that occurred naturally.
Species of wildflower will, of course, vary from one venue to the next, but a few examples are coneflower, bluestar, hydrangea, horsemint, white indigo, white trillium and milkweed.
The English Garden is the Zen of the west; a sublime mix of orderly and regimented with lush and wild. Make everything accessible to the strolling viewer. Walkways are the key. Be it cut slate, Spanish tile, concrete, herringboned brick, or slabs of carved stone, the walkways are always straight and wide with edges that are kept scrupulously clear of plants and flowers that might hang over them. The garden is divided into four or more separate flower beds. Those closest to the side or rear of the home have trellises with morning glories or night-blooming jasmine climbing them.
The flower beds themselves are divided up according to color grouping: blue and white, red and yellow, etc. Rather than being placed in rows, each type of flower is placed in a clump which presses in with those around it to create an unending spray of foliage. Appropriate flowers include cornflower, candy-tuft, forget-me-not, aubrietia, sweet William, sweet rocket, and honesty. Ground coverings are not an issue as the flowers are pressed to close to allow for any.