How to design a flower bed

Updated February 21, 2017

When you are ready to add colour and beauty to the landscape of your home, plant a flower bed. Flower beds enhance the look of a house, fence, vegetable garden or outbuilding. A fence, shrubbery or building provides a background which highlights the colourful flower garden. Tall or mass flowers also are used as a background for the remaining flowers in the bed. A planned design will be an aid for a successful flower bed project.

Choose a style that reflects the look you want for the flower bed. The style of the bed should blend with the lay of the property, buildings and your personal preference. Choose the main look from a formal, straight-line composition or a profusely flowering cottage garden bed.

Draw up a simple to detailed sketch of the shape of the garden bed. Measure the area with a tape measure in the space where the bed is to be on the property. The measurement and the specifications of plant growth measurements will help in the decision-making process when selecting plants.

Write a list of plants that you would like to have in the flower bed. An ideal flower bed will have blossoming flowers or attractive greenery from spring to fall. Use seed and plant catalogues and gardening books to get measurements of the size a mature plant will attain after it has been planted in the garden.

Sketch out a plant type, height and colour pattern for the flower bed on paper. Make several sketches before the final decisions are made.

Consider a mixture of annuals and perennials to fill in the garden if the budget is restricted for the first year of design and planting. Annuals are an asset as you build the garden and experiment with colour and flower types. Pay attention to the requirements that the plants have, including shade, partial shade and full sun in the planting location.


Use coloured pencils to make a colour sketch of the flower bed.


Pay attention to underground electrical, water and cable lines along with existing tree root systems when designing a flower bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed and plant catalogue
  • Tape measure
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About the Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for various websites. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.