Flower gardens can be the most beautiful part of a backyard landscape, but an appealing flower garden design won't happen on its own. Careful planning and consideration must be taken into account - a flower garden will only be truly pleasing to the senses if it is designed as an architectural whole. By utilizing a few easy techniques and easy to control flowers, designing a flower garden can be easy.
The Level Rectangular Flower Garden
A straight grass pathway runs from the entrance road to the house up the center of the garden. This is partially shaded by a wide rose-covered pergola. Only one variety of climbing or rambling rose is used,
On either side of the path are narrow beds in the alternating light and shadow of the pergola frame. These are planted with tall lavender bushes.
Beyond the lawns on either side of the pergola, the garden's rectangle is filled by wide borders with their edges curving gently in and out of the lawns. The borders are backed by solid hedges, but the hedges can hardly be seen through the rich thick filling of the borders. They have been planted with small trees, shrub roses, flowering shrubs, lupins, phlox and delphiniums. The trees have been chosen for their foliage, such as the copper red small Japanese maple, or for the beauty of their bark, as with the dwarf yellow birch.
At regular intervals along these borders there is a repeated theme of silver-blue planting, which holds the scheme together â sea holly, cardoon, echinops bannaticus, Pritchard's Variety campanula, the grey foliage of verbascum olympicum, purple sage (which is silvery, not purple). These architectural plants, of different heights but all with different shades of silver-blue, tie the borders together.
In the lawn areas are planted a few old pear and apple trees which give height to the garden and fill the garden with sweet-scented blossom in the spring.
A Sloping Garden
In this garden the house is slightly raised above the garden. The rectangular walls of the house are softened by flowering climbing plants, wisteria and, above all, several varieties of clematis. A broad gravel walk lies between the house and the garden, with shallow steps down at either end and in the middle, to the lawn below. A narrow border below the walk has a few climbing plants, jasmine, honeysuckle or a pyrus japonica that rise above the coping of the retaining wall.
In the lawn there are a number of island beds, arranged so as to look as if they have been placed haphazardly, not in straight rows. The beds themselves are oval, or tear shaped, or curved. Between them are left wide expanses of turf so that people can walk among the beds with ease. (The garden also has a good number of wooden benches on which to rest for a while.) Each bed is devoted to only one kind of flower. In modern times this is unusual but it forms a pleasing contrast with the next, wilder, area of the garden beyond the lawn. There is a rose bed, a tulip bed, an allium bed, a bed of asters and chrysanthemums, a bed of sweet peas, a bed of lilies â the possibilities are endless. Each bed will, of course, have a different height â this is part of the aim.
The lawn, with its array of flower beds, slopes down to a rough area where orchard trees have been planted. These have been chosen more for the beauty of their flowers than for their fruit, although the two are often compatible. There are apples, pears, cherries, and a medlar. The grass below them has been allowed to grow, in contrast to the smooth lawn we have just left, and a rich variety of spring flowering bulbs have been planted under the trees, snowdrops, narcissus, wild daffodils, all of which have naturalised in the grass. Their flowering season comes early in the year when the beds in the lawn are dormant. Narrow paths are kept mown through the grass, and once a year, in late summer, the grass is scythed . Otherwise it is left undisturbed. Usually in a garden, naturalized bulbs and wild flowers do not do well together, but in an area such as this, the annual scything will lead to a natural seeding of wild flowers which will bloom among the grass throughout the summer and offer a sharp contrast to the mono-plant beds in the lawn above. Although it may be difficult to construct a desirable flower garden design, with a few simple tips and tricks, impressing your neighbors can be simple.