Flower Bed Styles: Different Types Of Flower Beds For The Garden
A flowerbed is the crowning glory of any garden, providing color that begins in thewarm days of early spring and continues until the weather turns cooler inautumn. Often the “skeletons” of dormant plants add texture and interestthroughout the winter and the seeds offer much needed nourishment to hungry songbirds.
Creating a glorious display isn’t as difficult as you might imagine, but there are several kinds of flower beds to consider.
Read on for information on various flower bed styles.
Different Types of Flower Beds: Borders and Islands
Bordersare flowerbeds sited against a backdrop such as a house, fence, hedge, orwalkway. This type of flowerbed is viewed primarily from one side. Typically,flower bed designs for borders include tall plants at the back and mid-sizedplants in front of the taller plants. Shorter plants, generally measuring lessthan 10 inches (25 cm.) in height, line the front of a border style flower bed.
Islandsare flower bed designs that have no backdrop. They can be square, round,rectangular, or any other shape that strikes your fancy. Unlike borders, islandflower beds can be viewed from all sides. The layout is similar to a borderflower bed, except taller plants are in the center of the island surrounded byplants that are smaller towards the outer edges of the bed.
Flower Garden Ideas
A perennial bed is filled with nothing but perennialsthat return year after year. Many perennial plants bloom throughout the growingseason while others may flower in spring, summer, or fall.
Perennials and bulbs are easily combined in a bed whereperennials camouflage the fading leaves of tulipsor daffodils.For instance, surround tall tulips with lower growing perennials.
Perennials and annualsplanted together ensure a nonstop show of color throughout the season. It workswell to have a general color scheme such as yellow and purple or pastels likelavender, pink, and peach or you can have fun with a cheery jumble of colors.
Flowers and herbs are fun to plant together but be sure theplants have similar growing requirements. For instance, you wouldn’t want toplant a sun-loving herb like thymewith shade plants such as hostas.
Single plantings tend to be most successful with big, boldplants like peonies,roses,or rhododendrons,which look great all by themselves.
Tips on Flower Bed Designs
Edgingisn’t required, but if you want to define the flower bed so it stands out fromthe lawn, edge it with rocks, bricks, or pre-made edging constructed ofplastic, wood, or wire. Another alternative is to edge the bed with low growing,mounded shrubs.
Raisedbeds are useful if your soil is poor or if there’s some other reason youcan’t dig into the soil. This is also a good solution if you want to prevent unnecessarywear and tear on your knees or back.
Plants are most pleasing to the eye when arranged in oddnumbers. However, even numbers may be preferable if you’re looking for a moreformal appearance.
Suspended Flower Beds
Utilizing air space is a wonderful way to have more than enough room for all of your favorite flowers. This suspended flower bed is made from pieces of old guttering. If you have recently had your gutters replaced, this is a great way to recycle those old pieces. Or, you can pick up gutters for just a little of nothing (since you really don’t need that much). You just have to attach them together and then choose a spot for hanging. This is a great flower bed idea for smaller yards or apartment balconies.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Good Home Design
If you are creating a flower bed from scratch in an area currently covered with grass, you must first remove the sod. One effective technique is to use a standard pointed shovel to cut out the sod in chunks (about 4 inches deep x 10 inches wide x 10 inches long). Then, lay the shovel on its side, with the blade perpendicular to the ground, and pound the sod against the shovel's blade. This removes most of the soil from the sod so that it is not wasted. Dispose of the sod by placing it in your compost bin.
Speaking of compost, it's time to add some to the soil now that the sod is out of the way. Compost increases the soil's fertility, and by working compost into the ground, you'll also be loosening the soil, making it more friable. If your soil type is clayey, add peat moss as an additional soil amendment.