How to Plant Borders & Flower Beds


Flower beds and borders are a great way to add interest to your yard. They break up the monotony of a lawn and add splashes of color and texture to walls, fences, buildings and other features. When planting flower beds and borders remember to choose a mixture of both annuals and perennials so your garden will never be bare during any part of the year. Also, choose plants that will grow well in your climate zone for the best results.

Step 1

Remove all large rocks and weeds from the flower bed and borders.

Step 2

Add a 3 to 4 inch layer of compost or manure to the soil and work it in to a depth of about 5 inches. This will help improve the soil's texture and add organic material to the soil.

Step 3

Dig holes for the plants you wish to plant in your flower bed and borders. Dig the holes for the largest plants, such as shrubs or ornamental grasses, first in the back of the flower bed or border so the larger plants do not block the smaller ones. Dig the holes for the smaller plants second. Space each plant between 1 to 3 feet apart. Make sure each hole is as deep as the plant's root ball and two to three times as wide.

Step 4

Place each plant in their corresponding hole. Fill the holes with soil and pat down firmly.

Step 5

Water the flower beds and borders until the soil is moist.

Step 6

Mulch around the plants in the flower bed and border to help retain moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • When planting flower beds and borders choose plants that will grow well in the conditions available in your yard be it full sun or full shade.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Compost or manure
  • Rake
  • Mulch


  • The Sunny Border: Sun-Loving Perennials for Season-Long Color; C. Colston Burrell; 2002

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois: Designing Flower Beds
Keywords: planting flower beds and borders, plant flower beds and borders, flower beds and borders

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance for over a year and her focus' are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Hollan taught English in Japan. She has a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.