Melinda's Moment: Flower Garden Design

Flower Garden Design Basics

Creating a beautiful flower garden can be overwhelming, but understanding a few key concepts can make it much easier.

Color is one of these.  Warm colors of orange, red and yellow grab your attention creating a focal point in the garden.  They also make large areas appear smaller.

Cool colors of blue, green, and violet are peaceful and make an area seem cooler and larger. 

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the artists color wheel and as the name implies they go well together.  A good example is blue salvia and yellow ranunculus. 

Color echoing is a great way to provide unity and a sense of continuity in a garden or landscape.  The blue of a dwarf spruce can be echoed by the blue flowers of Walker's Low catmint, tall nepeta and clustered bellflower in a mixed garden bed.

Use fine textured plants to create the illusion of depth in a small garden.  Include bold textured plants to create a focal point.  And combine the two to maximize their form and beauty.

A bit more information:  Design with maintenance in mind.  Make sure all parts of the flower garden are accessible for weeding, deadheading, dividing and other maintenance tasks.  All the plants in an island bed 3 to 6 feet wide are within arm's reach for most gardeners.  Wider island beds or borders over three feet wide will need strategically placed steppers or pathways to allow you to access all flowers for routine maintenance.

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