Designing flower beds is one way to truly extend creativity into the landscape, and your garden can go beyond the traditional petunia mix. There are many interesting, educational and even edible ways to change up the flower garden. When designing a flower garden, select a theme and run with it. Just check all of your flowers to ensure that they will adapt to your garden conditions. Start with ideas that can be adapted to almost all growing conditions.
Flower gardens can be designed for the nocturnal. There are many species of flowers meant to be enjoyed at night. This nontraditional flower-bed idea incorporates plants that open at night as well as release their fragrance during the evening hours. Moon gardens are a night owl's delight. According to Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, there are a number of plants that open up to the moon and many more that wait for the sun to go down to release their scent. Examples include evening primrose, moonflowers and night phlox, as well as fragrant flowers like night gladiolus, fragrant columbine and flowering tobacco. CSUC recommends adding flowers as well as nocturnal vines and shrubs into a moon garden design. Examples of vines and shrubs for an evening garden include climbing hydrangea and honeysuckle, both of which release scent during the evening hours, and shrubs such as mock orange, which also offers rich fragrance. In addition, white blooms offer an excellent nighttime spectacle. CSUC lists a number of white blossom flowers that can be incorporated into a moon garden. These include summer hyacinth and bride impatiens.
Edible Flower Garden
Flowers can be admired for their beauty as well as their taste. Developing an edible flower garden allows you to incorporate beauty into the garden with culinary benefits. For example, Rosalind Creasy discusses the merits of everything from lavender ice cream to candied pansies in her book, The Edible Flower Garden. Her edible flower garden includes tulips, violas, mustard flowers and English daisies. However, there are many other edible flowers to choose from, including dandelions, roses, nasturtiums, peonies and fuchsia. You can enhance the look of an edible flower garden by placing weather-resistant teapots or similar kitchen gadgets throughout the landscape.
Whimsical Kids Garden
Children benefit from growing their own flower gardens. This flower bed idea is full of easy to grow flowers that can be enhanced with a few strategically placed pinwheels or fun garden sculptures. The Horticulture Department at Texas A&M University lists several plants that are fun for youngsters to grow. These include morning glories, pansies, snapdragons, sunflowers, zinnias, butterfly weed and salvia. Specifically, plants such as zinnias, sunflowers and snapdragons are easy to start from seed. This allows young gardeners a chance to witness the growing process from seed to flower. Planting and caring for flower gardens is a fun and educational activity in itself and future gardeners can really get into the act with these plants.