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If you’ve ever dreamed of having a stunning flower garden, it’s the moment to make it a reality. The process of starting a garden for flowers is equally enjoyable and rewarding. Follow these steps for novices, and you’ll be on the right track to success.

Tips: How to Start a Flower Garden

Know Your Garden

Know your Place for gardening

The first step to creating the ideal floral garden would be to become familiar with the space you wish to cultivate. Architect Mary Ellen Cowan suggests, “Really be aware of your location. Take a listen to Mother Nature to learn about your land’s characteristics. Be honest about the weather, light conditions and topography.”

How to Start a Flower Garden

Be aware of your soil

A soil test is one of the most important tips to ensure your gardening experience’s success. Erin Benzakein, the owner of Floret Flower Farm, explains, “To take soil samples, make an opening 1 foot deep, take a handful of tablespoons, and repeat it through the garden till a quart container is filled. The soil can be sent to a lab for testing like at the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory ( and then use the results to modify your soil before planting.”

Learn about the flowers you love

Cowan also says, “Learn what plants grow well in your soil. Then, you’ll be able to determine what you can do in terms of design.” For example, Carol Bornstein, the gardener of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, advises “visiting the natural areas around you which resemble your environment in nature to identify the kinds of flowers you enjoy.”


Create Your Color Palette


When choosing a colour scheme, Bornstein suggests picking one that will “help unify the landscape.” Utilizing variations and various shades of the same hue can make an impact but not dominate.

Bring out the excitement

While sticking with certain colours can give a sense of harmony, colours that are opposites on the colour wheel– create the illusion of juxtaposition. For instance, the mix of yellow and blue looks bright, vibrant and warm. “In the sun-drenched area, warm tones like oranges, yellows or reds make use of sunlight, particularly during the “golden hours” which is when the sun sets or rises. On their own, the hot hues can look flat.

How to Start a Flower Garden

Blues complement yellows by creating harmony and vibrancy. Sometimes, a splash of hot red and orange give an extra jolt,” says Keith Wiley of Wildside, the garden he has located in Devon, England.

Create tranquil areas

Wiley adds that it is important to exercise moderation since the stress of having too many options can be exhausting. “You cannot have all of the noise in your garden.


Design Like a Pro

Shape-based design

When designing a flower garden, the world-renowned Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf suggests that the shape is an ideal place to begin. Perennials can be found in many basic forms: spires, daisies, buttons, globes, umbels and screens. Try mixing different shapes to see whether they shine off one another. Certain combinations will be lively and exciting, while others might cause a conflict. The planting of similar flower shapes will help to reinforce the concept.

Design that is repeated

The repetition of the same shapes or colours gives an air of tranquillity and visual harmony. In the ideal case, Wiley suggests plants that repeat should last for a lengthy season and not appear messy after flowering and flourish under the conditions of your garden. Deliberate repetition of flowers can provide the continuity of moving from one part or garden area to the next.

Design with layers Matt James, in his book How to plant a Garden, states, “When planting, try to pull one layer subtly into another — and vice versa — to create a more natural look, rather than simply arrange the layers like a staircase.” Oudolf warns that you could “lose plants in the back,” therefore it’s essential to make sure that the sight lines are clear for flowers to be seen on the other side of the border.

Design with combinations

“Think in terms of plant combinations rather than individual species,” suggests Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery close to Portland, Oregon. Mixing different plant sizes, heights, colours, scales, and textures keeps the garden lively throughout the seasons. The plants that are relaxed will give the appearance of movement, colour and a meadow-like experience.

How to Start a Flower Garden

Flower Garden Tips

To have a more successful garden and to encourage stems that are longer (better for cutting flowers and floral designs), According to Benzakein, it is best to plant flowers in close proximity. “This will reduce weeds and increase the number of flowers you produce.”

If you’re cultivating flowers to cut, “Don’t forget to grow foliage and filler plants for arrangements,” says Benzakein.

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