Building and designing flower beds is a fun way to add a focal point right outside your home. It is, however, time-consuming and requires careful planning to ensure that the flower bed complements your home’s style.
A flower bed full of beautiful flowers is the key to highlighting your home and setting it apart from that of your neighbors. A bed of bloom that complements your home is also an excellent way to welcome visitors.
In this article, we’ve covered some useful tips that will help you create a flower bed in front of your house.
Factors That You Need to Consider
When you are ready to create a flower bed, you need to consider the following factors
1) The Flower Bed’s Location
When you are prepared to plant a flower bed, it is important to determine a spot where you want it to be. This can be anywhere: in the front entry of your house, beneath a tree, around a property fence, or on the backyard. When choosing a spot for your flower bed, be sure to keep in mind the height of the plant, traffic safety, and salt spray as this can kill the plants.
2) The Amount of Sunlight the Area Gets
Basically, a good number of flower bed plants, especially annual flowers, require full exposure to sunlight. This means that you need to create the flower bed in an area where the plants can get a minimum of at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. You can also choose to build the flower bed in a shady or partly sunny area; however, your choice of plants will be limited.
3) The Type of Soil to Use
Before you start planting on your new flower bed, make sure you do a soil test to determine if the soil has enough nutrients. Basically, most perennials and annuals do well in loamy soil with added compost. Begin by removing debris and rocks from the site and break up large particles of dirt before adding plenty of compost to the soil. This will enrich your bed and ensure that your plants are healthy and happy.
Flower Bed Building Methods
Before you build your flower bed, you first need to get rid of grass-based on the size of the bed, its location, and whether you are going to use containers or not.
There are three methods of removing grass on the inside of your flower bed. They are the following:
1) Digging Out the Grass
To achieve this, you can use a flat shovel. Start by digging out the perimeter of your bed to approximately 4-5 inches (10-13cm). For larger flower beds, dig out the inside section and lift up the turfgrass or sod that is within the outline.
After that, you need to get rid of any debris and loosen the soil before applying organic matter to give nutrients to the soil. Then, lay out your chosen plants and water thoroughly, especially during the first few weeks.
2) Using a No-Dig Design
Another way to build a flower bed is through the no-dig method. Just like the previous method, this one begins by removing the grass. To do so, you need overlapping sheets of newspaper or cardboard. Lay out the cardboard or newspaper 6 pages deep and water well. Then, cover with about 6 inches of rich soil or compost and add a layer of organic mulch on top.
The buried grass will die in several months while the newspaper or cardboard will decay and add nutrients to the soil. You can then build your new flower bed in the next season if you use the no-dig method or plant right away if the grass was removed via the dig-method. For the best results, it is a good idea to cover the entire area for a year before planting your flower bed.
3) Building a Raised Flower Bed
There are a few ways to make a raised flower bed. The first method includes using wood boards to build a raised flower bed in the shape or size that you like. On the other hand, a more straightforward solution is using raised flower bed kits that provide you with everything you need to create a raised flower bed.
The kit creates small rectangles and squares and eliminates the need for sawing or hammering. However, with this method, you won’t be able to build your flower bed based on your liking.
Step 1: Planning
If you are designing your flower bed by yourself, you have to start by sketching out different ideas of your front yard to scale on a graph paper. Sketch out the front of your home along with the area of the yard where you plan to place the flower bed.
If you opt to work with a landscape designer, provide him with a sketch of your front yard and home together with the measurements of your front yard, home, and ideal bed size.
Step 2: Bed Preparation
Using a tape measure, measure the bed and mark the outline with chalk. Begin digging the new flower bed with a fork and spade. We dug 12 inches into the soil as we eliminated the grass and weed. This is no doubt one of the hardest parts of building a flower bed, especially if the soil has never been dug.
You can use a fork to break up the soil or rotor till at the end to break down the soil further. This is also the best time to make some soil amendments to your bed if necessary.
Step 3: Hard Edging
After preparing the beds, it’s now time to set up immovable elements like paths and edging on the flower bed. For our flower bed, we opted not to use hard edging as we wanted to achieve a more relaxed look. However, we decided to include a river rock path on the side of the flower garden since our dogs kept running to this spot.
Step 4: Plant Selection
Once you have edged your site, it is now time to choose plants suited for your flower bed. Ensure that the plants you choose are suited for your flower bed’s location as well as the climate. You also want to plant different perennials in order to get flowers at different times of the year.
Step 5: Arranging the Plants
In order to get an idea of what the finished flower bed will look like, lay out the plants on their planned spot while they are still in their pots. This way, you can make any changes based on the visual flow that you want to achieve. Also, make sure that you lay the plants in their specified distances away from each other, especially when planting different types of plants in a bed. Determine the plant’s mature size to identify the right distance that it should be from other plants.
Step 6: Watering
Watering your flower bed once you have sown the seeds is very important, especially during the first few weeks. Daily watering is also necessary if the weather has been dry. New plants need water each day to prevent drying out and allow the roots to be established in the ground.
However, you should not overwater them. It is best to spray the water slowly to allow the soil to soak in the water.
Step 7: Mulching
The last step is to add 2 to 3 inches of mulch on your plants to help the soil retain its moisture and temperature. The mulch should also complement the style and color of your home as well as add a pleasing finish to the flower bed.
There is no better way to make a strong first impression and express your style and personality than with an aesthetically pleasing flower garden in your front yard. Although creating your own flower garden can seem intimidating, it is a straightforward process.
Start gardening today and create a charming flower garden that will add to the curb appeal of your home and make you an envy of the whole neighborhood.