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How to Plant Flowers Tall in the Back & Short In the Front

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017
The most beautiful flower gardens are well planned.

A flower garden is a living work of art. And, a well-planned garden is a reflection of the personal style of its creator. Flower gardeners play with flower types and colors, plant height and dimension, bloom time and length to create their own masterpieces. Before you start your garden, take the time to plan exactly how its elements will come together to make its visual statement. Mistakenly plant tall flowers in the front and short flowers in the back and half of your flower garden's visual appeal will be lost.

Make a list of the ultimate height, width and spacing needs of each of the flower species that you will have in your garden. Be sure to also include the number of each plant that you intend to plant.

Draw a scale pencil sketch of your garden using a sheet of graph paper. Use circles to symbolize each flower (and accurately reflect the flower's adult width) and sketch the layout of your garden so the tall flowers are in the back of the garden (the top of the two-dimensional sketch) and the short flowers are in the front (the bottom of the two-dimensional sketch). Take care to allow ample growing room between each flower; some flowers do not like to be crowded.

Dig the holes in your garden to reflect the flower placement in your garden sketch. Start digging at the back of the garden and make your way to the front. Survey the garden to make sure the spacing is satisfactory and in line with the needs of each of your plants. It is relatively easy to make changes at this point.

Lay all of your plants or seeds out along the side of the garden in the approximate order that you will plant them as you move from the back of the garden to the front.

Plant the flowers in the holes you have prepared. Start with the tall flowers in the back and then move forward until all of the flowers have been planted. Again, survey your work to make sure you are satisfied. You can still re-arrange your flowers without shocking them.

Water your flower bed so the soil is moist but not soaking.


Things You Will Need

  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Spade
  • Water

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.