How to Create a Flower Garden

Green foliage is all very well… but you prefer a riot of colorful flowers to boring old bushes and shrubs. Some people mix and match non-flowering plants with blooms, others just go for the flowers and to hell with the rest. Here’s how to create a stunning flower garden that delivers color and interest all year long.

a riot of colorful blooms

Want year-round color? Here’s how to create a flower garden

First, find out what kind of soil you have in your backyard. Depending on the underlying geology, and the way the land lies, you might be fortunate enough to have several different types in one place: rich humus where vegetation has rotted down year after year, well drained areas where the sun shines all the time, damp places that don’t get a lot of light…

Creating the right conditions for your flowering plants

If your soil isn’t too good, you’ll need to improve it first. While some flowering plants demand very specific conditions, mnost are pretty unfussy and will grow anywhere as long as the soil has enough nutrients and the light levels are right. You might like to create several different zones, each with a different type of soil or different conditions: an ericaeous area with acidic soil, an area with alkaline soil, a purposely damp area where there isn’t much sunlight, a well-drained area achieved by adding sand and gravel to the soil, and so on. If that’s too much like hard work, just try to achieve a good balance with good quality dirt.

Picking your flower specimens

Now you’ve created the right kind of spaces with the right soil, you can go choose your flowers. This is the fun bit. You need to track down specimens that will flower in spring, summer, autumn and winter, so you get a gorgeous display twelve months of the year. And they will all have their own particular instructions for planting out, and for ongoing good health and wellbeing. You don’t have to know about plants to follow the planting instructions, and they’re usually pretty simple. Plant them in the right soil, with the right amount of moisture and sun, and it’s hard to go wrong.

Fill every bed with year-long color

Make sure you place them carefully, so that every bed and area contains plants that’ll flower at different times of year. Then you’ll never have a bare bed to look at, they’ll always be full of color and interest. Bear in mind that many annual and native plants self-seed, so you won’t have to re-plant every year. You can use annuals and biennials to fill in the gaps between your perennials.

Plants that flower in spring and summer

There’s no problem finding flowering plants that bloom in the spring and summer, the times of year when the world is naturally a green and lovely place. The daisy family is always a good choice, with more than 23,000 species to choose from and flowers in every color of the rainbow. Many of them are purple, a color that insects love and find easy to spot. For these times of year, the world is your oyster – you’ll have a fantastic time choosing bulbs and plants that give their all when the weather’s warm and sunny.

Plants that flower in the fall

  • Autumn crocus
  • Hardy plumbago
  • Nerine
  • Salvia blue enigma
  • Sternbergia
  • Cyclamen hederifolium
  • Clematic cassandra
  • Gladioli murielae
  • Anemone honorine jobert
  • Begonia
  • Dahlia honka
  • Chilean jasmine
  • Astilbe
  • Helenium
  • Lonicera
  • Agastache black adder
  • Azalea encore
  • Crocosmia

Plants that flower in winter

  • Winter aconite
  • Cyclamen coum
  • Snowdrop
  • Pansies
  • Hellebore
  • Calendula
  • Iceland poppy
  • Winter jasmine
  • Heather
  • Japanese quince
  • Viburnum
  • Daffodils
  • Chionodoxa
  • Daphne
  • Algerian iris
  • Sweet Box
  • Skimmia japonica
  • Winter sweet
  • Rhodedendron Christmas cheer


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