Free Ideas for Flower Gardens

Flower gardens add color to a landscape and curb appeal to any home. Gardeners can design flower gardens to suit almost any space. Add a bench or a shaded pergola and a flower garden becomes a pleasant retreat from everyday stress. Some flower gardens provide cut flowers for arrangements while others attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Shade Garden

Shady areas of the yard present a challenge to gardeners, since many flowers require sun in order to bloom. However, some flowers, such as begonias and impatiens, prefer shade. Spring bulbs such as daffodils and tulips may be planted in shadier areas beneath deciduous trees, since they will bloom in early spring before the trees have fully leafed out. Hostas and azaleas also do well in partial shade.

Sun Garden

Sun-baked areas of the yard may dry out too quickly to be hospitable homes for more fragile flowers. For full sun gardens, choose sunflowers, daisies and wildflowers such as coreopsis and poppies, which will thrive in full sun. Roses, too, enjoy full sun as long as they receive plenty of water and are mulched to keep the roots cool.

Butterfly Garden

Butterflies are attracted to plants that provide nectar for their food or protection and food for caterpillars. Asters, buddleia, daisies, milkweed, Queen Anne's lace, cosmos, zinnia and butterfly weed all work well in a butterfly garden. If you want to also attract hummingbirds, add honeysuckle, sage or trumpet vine.

Rock Garden

Rock gardens aren't just for rocks. Low-growing flowers such as creeping thyme, ice plant and asters provide color from both foliage and blooms in between arrangements of rocks and gravel. Rock gardens are a good choice for sunny, dry locations in the landscape.

Bulb Garden

Bulb gardens can provide blooms from spring into the fall if you choose bulbs that bloom at different times of year. Bulbs can be layered in holes, with different bulbs planted at different depths, to make the most of limited space. Early bloomers such as snowdrops and grape hyacinth will give way to daffodils and tulips, followed by later bloomers such as allium and gladiolus.

Keywords: flower gardens, butterfly garden, shade garden, rock garden

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.