A welcome burst of post-winter color comes courtesy of early-season flowers.
- Not all plants in a flower garden need be in the ground; here, the pretty blooms of Endless Summer hydrangeas fill a row of containers. Bonus: The pots can be moved to add color to other sections of the garden.
- A short row of boxwood, planted in the middle of a flowering bed, offers visual relief.
- Plant in waves of color when designing a flowerbed. These pink and yellow tulips provide a first, early burst of blooms in the spring.
- If a garden bed is large, paths should be a part of its design to enable visitors to see the plants from the path and to make maintenance easier.
- Pastel hues -- yellow, pink, lavender -- in lighter tones blend well in this plant assembly.
Video: Make a Fragrant Garden
Watch this quick video for easy tips on adding sweet scents to your flower garden.
Undulating borders contain beautiful blooms.
- Mulch is an essential; it keeps weeds down and conserves moisture. Here, it also provides a tidy element between plants.
- Use geometry to contrast or complement; here, the flowerbed's curving borders repeat in the gentle edging of lawn.
- Plants chosen in mostly similar hues -- lavender, light purple, and fuchsia, for example -- offer a soothing palette for the garden.
- Access to, around, and through the garden is essential; a series of round paving stones leads visitors through the grass border.
- Hardscape structures -- such as this garden's tall birdhouse -- add whimsy with function.
Blooms brighten a casual flowerbed,
- In place of a formal material, gravel paths meander through the casual garden plantings.
- Meadow rue, planted at regular intervals along the back of the bed, provides vertical interest in the garden.
- A large decorative urn segues between planted and paved areas.
- Remember the rule of three: Group three of one plant at a time for visual consistency. Here, black-eyed Susan offers a cheery base for other plantings.
- Low-growing catmint gently transitions between ground and plants.
Room for a View
Prolific, sun-loving flowers surround a table and chairs.
- Flowerbeds and furniture are good garden partners; here, a seating area is surrounded by a lush growth of blooms.
- If trees and shrubs aren't used to define a back border, use another hardscape structure, such as the purple trellis here.
- Planting one flower in a variety of colors can make an impact; here, masses of pink, yellow, and white daylilies charm.
- Densely planted flowerbeds help to keep down weeds and conserve moisture; decrease the recommended spacing by half for growth that fills in quickly.
- Choose furniture in colors that seamlessly blend into the landscape, such as the pretty sage green, purple, and peach in this garden.
Around the Bend
Pretty plants supply a boundary for a walkway.
- A relaxing garden bench under a sheltered pergola supplies a scenic resting spot.
- Plant a dramatic tree to give height to a bed planted mostly with flowers. A Japanese maple, for instance, offers both color and seasonal foliage.
- Annuals, such as lavender and fuchsia petunias, fill bare spots in a perennial garden.
- When choosing plants for a flowering garden, include vivid hues -- the yellow of black-eyed Susan, for example -- to attract birds and butterflies.
Where the Garden Grows
A pretty cast of perennials takes center stage in this flowerbed
- Gravel fills the space between the irregular-shape paving stones, and offers a soft edging to the lush flowerbed.
- A boxwood border divides the bed from the wired pergola structure.
- Delicate pansies fill in spaces until perennials come to full bloom in summer.
- Add plants that offer vertical growth, such as purple salvia.
- A dappled willow's variegated foliage provides a color counterpoint to the deeper shades at the front of the bed.
Gorgeous blooms fill a narrow stretch of yard.
- A paved walkway provides a geometric contrast to the more casual planted bed.
- A climbing rose rambles up a wall to supply height and color.
- A small tuteur adds an unexpected element to the lush garden.
- Ivy climbs over the door and window awnings. Its green is a warm complement to the home's neutral wall.
- Planted with succulents and blooms in the same colors featured in the garden, moveable containers furnish additional blooms.
Evergreens offer an interesting focal point in a beautiful flowerbed.
- Pines trimmed into a triangular shape offer dramatic visual interest.
- Annuals, perennials, and bulbs provide a garden with dramatic color and interesting shapes. Here, gladiolas neatly contrast with the foliage and blooms around them.
- Look at plants for their sculptural value. Large swaths of color offer a soothing, restrained scene for this garden.
- Plants need not rely on similar colors in order to work in a garden. For example, here the white gladiolas contrast with the red dahlias.
- If you're content with minimalism, large groupings of a similar flower offers a fuss-free, showy landscape solution.
A dramatic front yard flowerbed provides a constant stream of color.
- Gently transition from lawn space to flowering space with a planted edge. For example, a miniature boxwood hedge offers an understated border between the two spaces.
- Breaking up a large flowering area with hardscape elements, such as short stretches of white picket fence, can provide welcome visual relief.
- Tall shrubs, loosely shaped into mounds, offer a backdrop to the waves of flowers.
- A trellis up one side and over the front door provides an easy, inexpensive way to train a climbing vine.
- Repeating plants and colors, such as patches of Endless Summer hydrangea, daylilies, and astilbe, maintain consistency in the large front yard garden.
Nestled next to a small pond, a garden grows with goodness.
- Spots to rest and enjoy a garden are key; here, a stone bench provides a view toward both the plants and the water feature.
- Even though it's nearly disguised by shrubs, a gazebo supplies an interesting hardscape element in this easygoing landscape.
- If a garden is big enough, a path can diverge into two separate fingers, as in this garden.
- Rocks serve as another edging material.
- The foliage and flowers of coreopsis, phlox, coneflower, and feather reedgrass offer pretty blooms and attract birds and butterflies, too.