Creating beds and borders with flowers and mulch around your home adds an extra dimension to your landscaping. The bright flowers add color while the mulch adds a finished look. Mulching isn't just for appearances. Used properly, it also helps simplify the maintenance of your flower beds as it prevents weeds and retains soil moisture. Designing with the right flowers and mulch also ensures that your beds look their best regardless of the season and what's blooming.
Choose the viewing side of the bed. When framing the house, this is the side facing the lawn with the walls of the house as a backdrop.
Pick out plants that grow well in the available light the beds receive. Choose shade plants for north-facing beds or those under the shadow of trees. Choose full-sun flowers for south-facing and sunny areas.
Prepare the beds for the type of flowers chosen. Most prefer rich, well-draining soil. Till the beds to an 8-inch depth with a hoe or power tiller. Lay 3 inches of mature compost on top of the bed and till it in.
Choose a mixture of annual and perennial flowers. Plant spring-blooming bulbs between annual plantings as these will provide color early in the year; then the annual plant foliage will camouflage the wilting bulb foliage in early summer.
Plant taller plants in the back of the bed with the shorter plants near the front of the bed. This prevents plants from shading one another and ensures all your flowers are visible.
Lay a 3-inch layer of mulch over the beds and around the base of the plants. Use an organic mulch that complements the flower beds and the colors of your home. Use red bark mulch, natural-wood colored or black mulch, depending on the colors present. Matching the mulch to existing home woodwork ties together the look.
Use mulch and edging to shape the beds so they aren't just straight lines. Curve the edging out and around nearby shrubs or trees and fill with the same mulch that is in the flower beds. This pulls all your landscaping plants together and gives a finished look to the yard.
Things You Will Need
- Annual plants
- Perennial plants
- Hoe or power tiller
- If planting a perennial bed that will take several years to reach maturity, fill in around the plants the first 2 or 3 years with annual flowers. Stop planting the annuals once the perennials reach full size.
- Choose plants with different blooming periods. A mixture of early-, mid- and late-season flowers ensures there is color all summer long.
- Do not place mulch over the top of the crowns of the plants. This may encourage disease or insect depredation.
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