Flowers bring joy and beauty to both people and landscapes, regardless of climate zone. Native flowers even grow in the Antarctic, which makes it easy to imagine that some varieties will do well where you live and garden. Native species of wildflowers are a natural addition to your flowerbed, and can contribute to a low maintenance flowerbed. You can purchase bedding plants at your local nursery of such flowers as marigolds, petunias, dahlias, zinnias and many others---or you can try your hand at more unusual varieties by searching seed catalogs and starting them from scratch.
Landscaping Flower Beds
Measure the area you plan to landscape for your flower garden. It needn't be large: an area that is 4 feet wide by 8 feet long is plenty of space for a good number of different flowers. Keep your bed or beds fairly narrow so you can reach into the center to tend and pick your flowers without stepping on the soil.
Plot your planting area on graph paper based on the measurement you made. Allow about one foot between plants. If your bed is 4 by 8 feet in size, you should be able to plant up to 32 plants. This will assist you when you purchase your flowering plants at the nursery or start your seeds.
Dig a generous amount of compost into your planting area with your shovel, mounding it up to create a slightly raised bed. For an area that is 4 by 8 feet, one 5-gallon bucketful of compost should be sufficient.
Select flowering plants in a variety of colors and heights. If you group similar colored flowers together, they make a bold statement.
Plant taller plants such as delphiniums and foxglove at the rear of your flowerbed. Summer-blooming bulbs such as gladiola also look good behind other, shorter flowers. Plant your petunias, marigolds and other smaller plants toward the front. Zinnias can range in height from several inches to taller varieties, but might be a good choice for the center of your bed. Don't forget wildflowers such as California poppies, penstemon and other flowering plants that are native to your area.