How to Choose the Right Location
Some flowers do well in full sun, while others like morning and late afternoon sun only. If you are in the south, partial shade may be better. There are exceptions to this rule. Decide if you want a sunny garden or a shade garden. Shade plants are harder to find, but there are hostas, ferns, etc that do prefer the shade.
Keep in mind which types of plants you'd like before choosing the spot. If you have a mostly sunny yard or mostly shade, then you may not have a choice. Just choose the flowers you'd like, keeping this in mind.
Planning the Shape
Plan before you dig. Using a garden hose to plan the shape of the garden can help. Flower gardens look best without straight lines.
A kidney shape is pleasing or if the garden is going to be against a fence or building, think about a curvy line. After you shape your garden with the hose, you can change it until you get the desired shape.
Plan Before You Plant
Get out a piece of paper and pencil before you begin planning which plants to purchase. Measure the garden and then draw a picture. Get out a plant catalog and look at the plants you'd like and check the heights and widths, colors, and bloom time. You'll find more information below to help you.
Flowers look best in uneven numbered groups. It is best to start with a grouping of 3, unless it is an extra large plant like a bleeding heart.
Fill in the paper before you start purchasing plants. If necessary you can move the plants later that don't work, but it helps to do it right the first time, or browse more for online flower delivery.
A Garden that Blooms All Summer
If you'd like to have flowers that bloom all season without using annual flowers, this can be a challenge. It is do-able. Don't start buying plants and plopping them in the garden without some thought first.
Tulips and daffodils bloom early as do most spring bulbs. Many of the wild flowers bloom in the early spring. Bleeding Hearts are an early bloomer.
Next irises will bloom. Soon asiatic lilies follow. Different asiatics are available that bloom at different times. The patio varieties bloom a little earlier than the others, so think about including those.
In midsummer there is a wide variety to choose from. Daylilies, coneflowers, rudebeckia, shasta daisies, oriental lilies and the list goes on. Late blooming daylilies and mums bloom in the fall. If you've kept your flowers deadheaded after they bloom, some of these will still be blooming in the fall.
You may want to have a theme garden. A family garden is a nice idea, or for a mothers day flower. Just choose plants with the names of your family members. Many varieties of flowers have the names of people. An example is the Becky Daisy that is a tall variety of Shasta Daisy that spreads well. Daylilies are available that are named with people's names. You can use some cheap flowers for more decorations.
A memorial garden is a nice way to remember someone special that has passed away. Plant all of the flowers the person loved or reminds you of them, like a funeral flower arrangements that you seen before.
If you like to visit garden centers, stop at one on each vacation and bring back a plant to remember the good times you had.
Plant a garden in your favorite team's colors. These always look nice.
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