Flower beds are larger areas of land dedicated to showcasing one or just a few varieties of flower. Beds are planted with large numbers of flowers set close together, with the resulting mass of color creating an attractive focal point for the property. Flowers with bright prominent blooms do best in beds, as do those of moderate height.
Petunia is a popular common flower for beds. It blooms from early spring right through summer and loves sun to partial shade. Petunia can bloom in shades of red, purple, yellow and white, as well as multicolored pinwheel designs. Varieties can grow to 18 inches tall, and will tolerate dry conditions fairly well.
Marigolds come in a variety of warm colors, from orange and gold to lemon and white. You don't have to buy seedlings to plant marigolds; they grow well from scattered seeds. French marigolds are smaller, growing 5 to 18 inches, while American marigolds can grow up to 3 feet tall. Marigolds like full sun and are known to repel insect pests.
Many people think of chrysanthemum, or mum, as a fall flower, but they can be grown in almost any time of the year that the weather is warm enough. Mums will flower about three months after they have sprouted. They come in a large variety of shapes, such as daisy, pompom, button, spider and spray. Their color can range from dark maroon and bronze to pale yellow, orange and white.
One of the most popular spring flowers for bedding is the tulip. Tulip bulbs are planted in the autumn, and stay in the ground all winter before sprouting in the spring. There are around 3,000 different species of tulip, with an array of color from white and pink to deepest purple and black. Tulips will bloom from early spring through mid-summer, depending on the variety, and their strap-like leaves are attractive even after the flowers have gone.