The basic eight steps of this guide below will help you to plan and start your new flower garden in a more efficient and productive way. Let’s get started:
1. Starting Small
The first part of the project, of course, is the planning side of things. Before you even think about laying anything in the ground you should consider the immediate ramifications of how you will be building your garden.
I recommend that you start small – people will commonly get too ambitious, burn themselves out, and never return to the garden plan that they had. Instead of letting this become the common problem that you suffer from, why not use the power provided by starting small to help move you along and get things put into action?
The whole idea of starting small is quite simple – you will be able to experience a uniquely challenging process of having to try and fit what you want in instead of having to try and create new ideas on the fly just to fill in all of that empty space.
Gardens can shock you with the size they are, and it can be hard to fill a garden that you have underestimated. To avoid this from happening you need to consider the perfect way to move forward – it’s all about starting small, and building up from there.
Burning out on your garden is very much possible if it just feels as if you have too much to conquer and deal with. To avoid this, you should really consider building up and building intelligently with the help of starting small.
I would recommend that you create a series of four small sections, all of which will have a specific style to them. Then, you can compartmentalize the whole garden whilst making sure that you have given yourself a small enough task in each area to make it fully complete. There is nothing worse than burning out and leaving your garden sitting there half empty, not full!
2. Choosing the Location
Next, you have to choose the location of your garden – the location is vital to making sure this is going to be a success. I would recommend that you start to think about the little things before you begin and the easiest way to do this is to simply create a detailed landscaping plan which will then allow you to consider everything. Using 3D software or even just a pen and paper you can easily draw out and map the entire idea for your garden out.
Then, I would recommend getting outside and laying down some markers so that you can see what position you are in at this moment in time. To do this properly, you need to understand that choosing the location will all come from being able to visualize what you are doing. Get some props like a garden hose and use that to try and create a minimap of what it is that you wish to create. Always just go along doing these little props to help you try and visualize the space of any particular object that you may want to add into your garden.
By doing this, you find it much easier moving forward to create something which will be a lot of fun for you to take part in.
A big factor that comes into play, though, is how the sun will reach the garden. When making up a flower garden especially you want plenty of sun so it can make sense to let the location be chosen in this fashion – this creates prime land that is easy to consider and work with, and just a few hours of sunlight each day will be enough to give the plants all the vitality that they need.
The more sunlight you get, the more specific you need to be about the kinds of flowers that you use. Some can survive in 12/12 sunlight, whereas others simply wilt in the heat.
Always try and avoid being any closer than 3ft from any particular utility line or something similar; doing this will ensure that you can easily plan it out and avoid making any errors that could cut off a resource like power, internet etc.
These are just the basics, though, as you also need to consider things like the quality of soil in certain areas or how it’ll impact your view.
Now, let’s move on to the next point – testing that soil in the first place.
3. Soil Testing
Next, we need to take a good look at the state of the soil. Soil testing is a vital part of this process as without doing this you leave yourself open to building up on poor land that will hamper the potential for success that you may have.
Take the time to understand this and you will be far more likely to succeed in the long-term plan of setting up that garden. By doing this, you make sure that typical problems with your garden are dealt with and that the most common issue – poor soil – is discovered long before you start doing any of the actual practical work.
Whilst just about all soil can be improved upon, you should purposely avoid any soil that is too rocky, too shallow, too steep a slope or where the soil is perilously close to a water feature. Also, avoid using any soil up to 20f/6.1m away from a tree larger than average size and up to five feet away from a bush of any kind of size.
This is because your garden will be using a lot of its resources in that neck of the woods to try and feed the trees with the nutrition they need – adding more competition in the form of a flower garden means that nobody will be getting 100% efficiency.
It really is the worst of both worlds to do that, so try and find space for creating soil testing that will ensure the soil is none of the above.
You should consider picking up a soil test, too. Sure they might cost a few dollars but it really is worth it – you will now know what kind of soil you are dealing with and what it might need if you need to toughen it up and make it stronger. They will ensure that you now have a strong list of the nutrients that your own soil needs so that you can go to a gardening store and make sure it gets just that. If you really need help on this we recommend, if you, either contacting or a gardener or hiring the Department of Agriculture – your local branch, anyway – to help you work these things out.
They may not sound too important but it can make a massive difference to your chances of success.
Finding the Best
This step is vitally important so make sure you don’t hover by it or skip over it – getting the best soil that you can is going to be a major determining factor in just how successful the garden you want is going to turn out. To avoid this problem and stop yourself from getting caught up like this, we recommend that you take a further look at finding the best soil kinds for your area.
Depending on where you live, it should be easy enough to get some more local advice – I really do recommend you look for local advice, though, as every garden can be different.
4. Creating the Layout
Now, we discussed above how to start creating the layout for your garden but this is such an important part within the process.
Go and take some photos from an elevated vantage point of your garden – the second story of your home, for example. By doing this you can get a much clearer image of your garden and the space that you want to work with.
Now, take that photo and either create a birds-eye view drawing on the PC or create the drawing on paper. We spoke about this earlier but creating the layout now that you know the logistics is going to be very important.
This is where we need to know what kind of look we wish to go for, though. Try out a few doodles and see what you can come up with but make sure you use the design that you created on the above to get yourself spotted. It will ensure that you have no problems whatsoever in building a way forward, as having a plan makes it more likely you’ll stay on target.
Using a Professional
Sometimes, you cannot have the vision and the artistic style to draw out what you need – I recommend hiring a freelancer online to do the doodling for you, then. Explain to them what you wish to use and what it should look like and they can great a solid diagram for you to follow. I recommend using someone from popular online freelancing websites; for just $5 you’ll be able give someone the details, and they can get the drawing created for you.
A visual guide is so important to making this work in your favor here.
Following the Guide
Once you have that guide in your hands you have to follow it – it has to be easy to look at and simple to understand, too. Make sure that everyone who is going to be landscaping with you can look at it and get the bigger picture; they need to be able to translate what they see into the actions they will carry out when gardening so make sure you go through each section with everyone so that they can see what the idea is. If you do this there is less chance of mistakes or problems later on down the line.
Whilst it can be hard to put all of this in place at first, it’s worth doing so – even if you have to pay someone a few dollars to do it for you – as it will ensure you are going to get the result that you need from the garden. When you all start getting to work it will pay off, too, as the idea will have a reference point and thus you can take the right starting point along the way – it works just the way you need to guarantee your project is consistent.
5. Digging & Cultivating
The digging and cultivation of your garden is going to be one of the most labor-intensive parts, so it’s important that you take this into mind before you start. Do you have the team on hand who can help you do just this? If you need to consider getting a few friends to help out then you should – just make sure that everyone has a brief read through this before they take on any work!
One thing that really struck me when I first started the actual digging process was just how challenging it can be if you are working with the wrong kind of soil. My first garden experiment was a mess as I avoided the soil test, so was working with totally unsuitable selections. Therefore, be sure to check this out before you do start taking on any actual cultivation.
To start the digging process properly, simply start off by working down all of the boundaries with something that you can follow and not lose track of, and then you need to start removing all of the debris around you. Get rid of pieces of grass, weeds, sod and everything else that can start to build up within the area and ensure it’s more or less perfectly clean. Then, start using a garden fork or a spade, dig around eight inches deep into the ground but if you can go down one feet as it will give you a much clearer and strong cut in the future.
More on Digging
Then, begin to remove all of the debris that can slowly build up and cause you so many problems. It won’t take you too long to do this but you should have no problem at all in controlling and designing this particular asset.
By doing this and going through such a process, you’ll be sure to have a much cleaner angle to actually dig and work through – the whole process will soon become ten times easier if you just start to build with this mentality in place.
When you first take on this part of the process and you start digging properly, you need to understand that the weeds will begin to re-sprout as soon as it possibly can if you don’t really remove them from this area. This will tamper with your success later, so don’t try to cut corners and leave weeds in there.
Taking the time to handle all of this really will do you such a massive favor in the long run, as it will ensure that you have no issues in controlling and then mastering the process as you begin to move forward and witness these changes occur. The whole process will also make sure that you are going to have a much smoother process in the future when it comes to cultivation.
So, now we’re ready to plant, what should we plant? Let’s take a look at the various options open to you when you’re planting flowers.
6. Choosing the Contents
When you are trying to pick what will make up your garden, I would strongly recommend that you take a look at the fertilizer before the plants. If you know what kind of fertilizer you will be using it soon becomes much, much easier to control the narrative over what you want to implement and what you think is going to benefit your project the most. So, the best way to pick fertilizer is to understand the numbers behind the bags.
Typically, commercial fertilizer will come in three types – 12/12/12, 5/10/5 and 4/12/0. These numbers, in order, stand for;
The percentage of the nitrogen within the bag.
% of phosphate within the bag.
% of potash within the bag.
Whatever kind of plants you are going to be using they will all need something from the above – the challenge, then, is working out what kind of fertilizer you will need for the plants that you intend to pot. If you do this then you will get a lot more help in understanding your position as much as anything else and it will also limit the chances of making a mistake with the fertilizer that your plants will need.
Organic or Chemical?
The next big question with regards to fertilizer is whether you should use organic or chemical. It all depends on what you want – organics are slower but naturally better for the plants, whereas chemical sets are quicker acting but tend to use more energy, and tend to require more work on your end as they offer no real long-term benefits to the soil or to you the plants.
The Plant Choice
The next part of the process is working out what kind of plant you want to go with. I recommend that you pick up plants and seeds from various different locations and styles so that your garden blooms at various points in the year. Instead of having a theme that only looks good for one of the four seasons, you can have a balance that will look strong and vibrant in all of the seasons instead.
Always try and place the plants from the smallest at the front, tallest at the back – like a school photo! The plants will also have to be placed with consideration to how far they grow so make sure you read the label to decipher just how big they are likely to become at any given time. Taking the time to do this is far more beneficial to your chances of success than just planting any old thing.
The best way to get help with plants is to drive around your local community and have a look at what others are doing – what is blooming at this time of year? Do this for each season and you’ll find that in no time at all you have a catch-all flower garden that has something blooming at all times, always giving you a unique look that captures the depth and beauty of your home.
The actual planting process is relatively simple – you just need to follow the guides given with each plant that you buy. Given the huge range of flowers and other forms of options that you can pick from, though, it’s nearly impossible to give a legitimate set of plans for you to follow on with. What I do recommend, though, is that you take the time to discuss each kind of flower you buy with the people you buy them from.
The staff at local garden centers tend to be passionate and knowledgeable and can help you understand what you are dealing with. This will certainly be a big help to you in the long run and will ensure that you have no problems at all with connecting and commanding the entire garden as one.
Always take the time to research every plant that you buy, though, as the planting process can change a lot depending on what you are having to deal with.
The digging that we done earlier will save us some time, but the best way to start with this is to start siting the plants. It will take a bit of time to plan it out but siting plants before you start is going to ensure that you get your spacing spot on so that you can make the plants connect up with each other accordingly to ensure that they look great and that they can come together in the right way.
The Hardest Part
Your main challenge, then, will be making sure it all tallies up together and actually works well as a single look. This is naturally quite tough so it will ensure that you need to do a bit of research into the plants themselves before you plant them. I recommend that you start to loosen up the entire process of the plants before planting them as the roots will be harder to get in once you get them into the ground – otherwise it can be a bit of a nightmare making it all sit at peace and look the part.
So, the hardest part of the planting process is doing it by simply moving forward in the right way. Once you are done, add in some mulch on the top as it can be very powerful and very effective at ensuring your plants are never ruined by the ghastly sight of weeds seeping through accordingly.
The last thing that you need to consider with your plants is the strong and safe maintenance of them. You will have to put in the hard work and the hours to make sure it all goes together, and maintenance all comes from being able to give the plants the nutrition and the help they need depending on the time of the year.
To start off with, you should definitely be mulching to make sure it all operates in the way that you had first intended. Using mulch will look great in a flower garden, sure, but it will also provide that much needed protection to keep yourself from having to deal with this challenging, frustrating issue.
By doing this you reduce the massive amount of work that you usually would have to put in, and it also ensures that you can greatly reduce the work needed as plants will now stay nice and cool and moist, meaning that the soil can better prevent the growth of weeds and stop insects from coming in and having their fun.
Also, you can add some extras in there like shredded leaves, pine needles, straw and dried grass to add more strength to your mulch – each of these selections will, in time, give you the help that you need in understanding just how important this part of the process is. If you want to make sure your garden is well protected, start mulching immediately.
Also, you need to regularly use fertilizer to ensure that the soil will stay nice and rich and that it won’t struggle at all with keeping its shape and style. Whilst it’s not required it will ensure they get more nutrients and that the better balance can be provided to the way that they look. It can be time consuming and a bit of a challenge at first but you will really benefit from the use of fertilizer along the way as it will ensure that your garden maintains that rich beauty for longer.
Lastly, you should pay attention to deadheading your plants. This is when they die off as they are out of season or something similar – make sure that you keep the whole thing looking as comfortable as you possibly can. In time, it will ensure that you have a garden which stays alive and lacks the problem most flower gardens do in having too many dead flowers.
So, we hope that you enjoyed reading through this guide! It will hopefully have served as a useful planning tool for you to use with your family and your loved ones later on down the line. By doing this, you get to ensure that you have an easier route to success and that you can easily control, manage and utilize the right level of success as you begin to move forward with your project.
Now, you are no longer going in blind and instead can use an easy to follow and very simple guide to make sure you’re moving together positively.
The best thing that you can do, then, is build up a platform for yourself using the deep energy and format that comes with planting in the modern world. It’s very easy to do and you need to approach it in the right manner to make it easy as you possibly can. The whole program, when managed in this manner, will be much simpler to make a key part of your position.
If you want to do this and you wish to have some fun in making sure that it all comes together in the right manner, stick to this basic guide and you’ll have the makings of a stunning garden in no time at all!
Also, read our tips on improving your gardening experience.