How to Design a Small Backyard Flower Garden


Flowers add to the beauty of your yard and can help to lift your spirits as well. Even if you're not an experienced gardener, a small backyard flower garden is easy to design and build. You can choose from hundreds of blooming annuals at your nursery and be rewarded with their multicolored hues and different flower types very quickly when you start with bedding plants. With just a few hints and tips, you'll be on your way to improving the appearance of your yard.

Designing a Small Backyard Flower Garden

Step 1

Measure the area where you want to build your flower garden. An area as small as 2 feet by 4 feet can make a pretty little bed for your new blooming friends.

Step 2

Plan for access to your flower garden. You'll need to get close to it when you water your plants, pick flowers, spray for insect damage and clean up your garden when fall arrives. You can make simple paths for access by laying down landscape fabric, paver stones, gravel or other materials.

Step 3

Assess the amount of direct sunlight that falls on the area you plan to turn into your flower garden. Some plants need more sun, while others, such as hostas and fuchsias, need partial shade or filtered sunlight. If you make note of large trees, even your house, that might shade the area during certain hours of the day, you will be guided in your selection of the plants you purchase.

Step 4

Select flowering plants that grow tall, such as delphiniums, sunflowers, foxglove and other tall plants, for the far side of your flower garden. If your garden area is in front of a fence or building, tall flowering plants can help to hide an old, peeling paint job or rotting wood on a fence. Vines are also suited to the rear of a garden, especially next to a fence, which will give them support as they grow tall. Think about passionflowers, thumbergia, mandevilla and other vining plants.

Step 5

Choose smaller, shorter plants for the front of your garden. Examples of smaller flowering plants include zinnias, marigolds, pansies, violets and many more. Shop around at your local nursery or garden center and talk to the friendly, knowledgeable staff about what's right for your unique situation.

Tips and Warnings

  • Snails and slugs are fond of many types of flowering plants. To control them, scatter iron phosphate granules (Sluggo) throughout your garden area.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Landscape fabric, paver stones or gravel
  • Bedding plants


  • Flower Gardening Made Easy: Planning Your Garden

Who Can Help

  • The Thyme Garden Herb Co.: Dark Opal Basil
Keywords: flower garden, blooming plants, design yard

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.