Make your own flower bed for a better yard

Want to hide some problem areas in your yard or just jazz it up a notch? Use these tips to get started on making your own flower bed.

Make your own flower bed for a better yard

Solving problem locations

  • Protect new plants from sliding down a hill in the rain by embedding plastic netting in the soil.
  • Put plants that tolerate more moisture at the foot of a hill where runoff accumulates.
  • Situate plants that like dry soil in front of a wall. The soil there warms up more, especially if it receives plenty of direct sun.
  • Lay dry-soil plants at the corners of a garden, because the corners often dry out quickly.
  • Create shade for sensitive plants in very sunny gardens by using shrubs and small trees.

Planning the layout of a flower bed

Use a detailed plan to make your work much easier. It will save you cash as well, because you'll end up getting the right plants in the right quantities. If you're a beginner at gardening, start with a few fairly easy-care varieties.

  • First prepare a sketch complete with a planting diagram. Take into account the size of the plants when grown and sunny or shady areas.
  • Bear in mind that flower beds should never be too narrow. Many plants like to spread out, so leave enough space between them.
  • Use a vertical planting scheme for a tiered effect: set out taller plants in the centre of the garden or at the back edge, place medium-sized plants in front of them and put the lowest plants in front.

Making and maintaining the bed

A flower bed doesn't have to be angular. You can create precise outlines in other shapes, too.

  • Map out straight edges by driving two stakes into the planned ends and stretching a string between them.
  • Lay out round, oval and elliptical beds by using a garden hose as a guide.
  • Create irregularly-shaped flower borders by outlining them in sand or stones.
  • Use stepping stones to make it easier to access hard-to-reach spots in your garden without trampling the plants. They also keep the soil looser as you won't compact it by walking on it.
  • Lay a layer of mulch between plants to keep soil damp and hold weeds at bay.
  • For a more formal or Asian-style flower bed, use white gravel or ballast stones as mulch.
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