If like me you have a flower border which is looking a bit bare at present then you may want to start planning your flower border. Planning or designing your flower borders should help you achieve a succession of flowers right into autumn.
Obviously you don’t have to plan the border in exact details but you may find that it pays to do so in the long run and it’s also quite interesting and fun. You will find below my personal gardening tips on how to achieve this.
Right now my flower border is adorning a few tulips which will soon fade away (as you can see in the picture) so I need to fill the empty spaces with some more beautiful flowers and plants.
I first had a look at my border area earlier in the year and did a lot of sowings of flowers which are currently growing patiently in the greenhouse. And now I am just considering which plants will be grown in the border and as part of my simplified version of garden design.
Usually I try to plan most of my borders according to two basic principles: creativity and practicality. I don’t necessarily draw out what the border should look like but it can help to sketch it out too.
1. Be creative with your gardening
From the point of view of creativity I am looking for a theme which could be a colour or style. For example I have a blue border (with mainly blue flowers) as well as an exotic border. This usually means that I have to work out what type of colour scheme or effect I am trying to achieve. And this is the fun bit.
2. Consider practical gardening options
From the practical point of view, I need to take into account the size of the flowers which I will plant in my garden as well as the flowering season and the suitability to the area (does a particular plant need to grow in a sunny spot for example?).
So I find that in my border I have permanent flowers (perennials & bulbs) which will blossom in the future and must be taken into account. This year I have a few clumps of light pink sedums which are scattered in the border, as well as some hellebores which blossomed in winter and will constitute a green shape in my border.
The back of the border is constituted of dahlias of vivid colours (white, yellow, red) as well as apricot-coloured rose bushes of medium size which will blossom throughout summer. I also have a few left-over pink sweet williams here and there but there is still space to fill in around the plants.
So this is my plan for this year:
At the front of the border I will plant some of the lawn chamomile plants which I have sown in the greenhouse back in January. Now I have never grown these plants before but I guess that they will provide a green sheen to the front of the border and be suitably fragrant as I walk past the border. I will probably intersperse the camomile with some other flowering plants which I have not decided upon yet (yellow marigold or erigerons?)
Behind the chamomile I have already started to sow some clarkias which come in a wide range of vivid hues of pink and should be about 18 inches tall. And I shall also plant a few of the gaillardias, chrysanthemums (tricolor mixed) and rudbeckias (hues of yellow and brown) which I have in my greenhouse and were sown back in small pots back in February.
I have also bought 2 light pink crinums which I will place in the middle of the border between the hellebores and they should flower later in the year.
Now I admit that I always tend to cram too many plants in my border but the advantage of this is that it means less weeding for me since the weeds don’t have enough light to come through. Alternatively I could mulch around the plants but I like to create a patchwork effect of colours in my flower borders.
Now remember I am just not an expert garden designer but overall I think that it should be quite a colourful warm border mixed with annuals, perennials, bulbs and sizes of all sorts.
I really enjoy experimenting with colours and shapes in the garden and I believe that anyone can have a go too. And with gardening there’s always the chance for some unplanned effect or lucky growth which I welcome every year.
So now that you have read my plan do check out this diary soon to find out what my 2009 flower border eventually looks like! And as usual I welcome your comments.