A flower bed offers a variety of design options. Depending on what you want to plant on this flower bed, there are a few things to consider beforehand. For example, sun-kissed plants should not be planted in the shade and shade-loving plants should not be planted in the blazing sun. Just as important as the location are the demands of the respective plants on the soil conditions. If necessary, the soil must be upgraded or enriched accordingly.

combinations in the bed

A combination of flowering plants and evergreen plants of different sizes and shapes always works particularly well. It is important to note that if you mix larger and smaller plants, the larger ones cannot crowd out the smaller ones and don’t rob them of sunlight. For this reason, the plants should not be planted too densely.

Unfortunately, no flower lasts forever and eventually fades. Accordingly, even before planting a flower bed, you should think about plants that will ensure an uninterrupted flowering sequence from spring to autumn.

Types of plants for designing a flower bed

When designing a flower bed, a distinction is made between three different types of plants, the main, the companion and the filler plants. Properly combined and placed in the right place, all three should ultimately result in a harmonious overall picture. This can partly be achieved by a balanced staggering of the heights of the respective plants.

Leading or scaffolding plants Leading plants are high-growing plants that dominate or characterize the appearance of a flower bed or a border. These are usually larger perennials. The extent to which key plants dominate a flower bed depends on their number and their location in the bed. A leading plant should have a central position in the bed. All other companion and filler plants should be grouped around or in front of them. Lead plants can be, for example, torch lily, phlox, delphinium, astilbe, silver candle, poppy or steppe candle.

Companion or group
plants Companion plants make up the middle of a flower bed or border. They are often low to medium-tall, sometimes variegated perennials. Such plants are planted in large numbers and their color should harmonize with the lead plant. Accompanying plants could be, for example, daylilies, girls’ eyes, bleeding heart, coneflowers or summer daisies.

Filler or
scatter plants So-called filler plants, as the name suggests, fill small gaps in the bed. Ground cover, bulbous flowers or low, richly flowering perennials or those with decorative foliage are usually used here. Depending on the size of the flower bed, these are then planted in larger numbers than the companion plants.

Combine colors in a targeted manner

  • Each color has its own mode of action.
  • For example, red has a diminishing effect.
  • Blue, on the other hand, has a magnifying effect.
  • White separates the different colors from each other.
  • Strong, rich colors are particularly effective in sunny locations.
  • Yellow and pastel colors develop their full effect in shady locations.
  • Green emphasizes shady areas.

Design tips for a three-season perennial bed

The selection of perennials is almost inexhaustible. However, even the most beautiful perennial withers within a few weeks. Accordingly, perennials with different flowering times are ideal, so that an uninterrupted flowering sequence from spring to autumn is guaranteed.

Perennials make different demands on location and soil, so care should be taken to select perennials with the same or similar requirements. Equally important is good soil preparation, as well as the quality of the plants and the space they require.

The growth habit and height, shape and color of the flowers and leaves as well as the type of perennials, whether they are clump-forming or runner-forming perennials, must also be taken into account. Perennials that form runners, such as periwinkle, sometimes spread so much that they can easily overgrow and displace other plants. Horst-forming, on the other hand, are relatively easy to keep in check.

Before you create such a perennial bed and start planting it randomly, you should make a plan if necessary, noting the size of the flower bed, the respective perennials and their exact placement.

Once the right location has been found, the soil prepared accordingly and the border of the bed attached, you start with the main perennials. Depending on the size of the flower bed, these can be placed in the middle or grouped with 1-3 plants in the background. A candelabra or Bach prize of honor, mullein, steppen candle or larkspur are suitable for this. Lead plants should be planted 60 cm apart from other plants. The leading, companion and filler plants for a three-season perennial border should always consist of early, summer and autumn bloomers.

Companion plants were planted in front of or around the leader plants, grouped about 40 cm apart. These include, for example, sun bride, asters, day lily or girl’s eye. Larger gaps between the accompanying plants are then fitted with appropriate filler plants, such as Christmas roses, cushion asters, liverworts, soapwort, ornamental sage or lady’s mantle. These should be placed at a distance of 25 cm from other plants.
To begin with, it is better to plant a few plants less and wait and see how they develop, because a flower bed needs to grow. You can then replant next year if necessary. Until then, remaining small gaps can be filled with annual summer flowers. Finally, it is advisable to cover the soil around the plants with a layer of mulch.

Design tips for a rose bed

The rose is rightly considered the queen of flowers. Here, too, the variety and color selection is very large and the right location for the rose bed is a prerequisite for long and lush flowering. The optimal location should be sunny and sheltered from the wind. Roses should not be planted where roses have previously been, or the soil in this area must be completely replaced with fresh, permeable and loose soil.

Choosing the right roses is a bit more difficult, as you are spoiled for choice between bedding, shrub, noble, standard, climbing and ground cover roses as well as between single and multiple flowering roses. Your own taste and imagination play a decisive role in the selection. Furthermore, the question arises as to whether one would prefer a lavish blaze of color or a special fragrance experience. If the scent should be in the foreground, you can choose different scented roses.

Pure bed of roses

  • A bed of roses consists entirely of roses.
  • This comes into its own when you combine low-growing with tall-growing strains.
  • Here, too, the smallest should form the outer edge of the bed.
  • For flower beds in front of a wall or other shrubs, always place the smaller varieties in front of the larger ones.
  • The best time to plant a rose bed is from October to November.

Combine roses with perennials

In combination with low perennials or grasses, these can particularly emphasize the beauty of the roses. Magnificent perennials such as delphiniums, irises or yellow yarrow set special accents in a rose bed at the beginning of summer. Since roses are usually a little bare underneath, an underplanting with different colored sweethearts, nasturtiums or the blue-flowering maiden in the green can set additional color accents.

It is particularly trendy to combine tone-on-tone roses and perennials in a bed. The color white is particularly popular. For example, white roses can be combined with silvery-leaved and creamy white or pure white flowering perennials such as the white spurge. Yellow or orange roses, on the other hand, can be combined with lady’s mantle, among other things.

Striking color contrasts can be achieved, for example, with yellow roses and blue delphiniums. A special effect is also achieved with the round blossoms of the roses in combination with candle-shaped blossoms of various perennials such as the silver candle.

Combine roses with herbs or grasses

You can also combine roses with various herbs, such as lavender, curry herb, mountain or pineapple mint or purple fennel. Among the herbs, roses come into their own and some of these herbs, thanks to their essential oils, can keep predators away from the roses.
A combination with grass covers the mostly bare stems of the roses and gives them more volume. For example, the tufts of pennisetum (Pennisetum) or love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis) can caress the rose bushes. The blue fescue with its blue-grey foliage or the ornamental millet (Panicum) with its impressive foliage, which changes from a lush green to a radiant red in the course of the summer and remains so into the winter, have a very special ornamental effect.

island bed

A so-called island bed can be seen from all sides. It can be triangular, round or irregular in shape, with geometric shapes being more suitable for well-structured gardens and round ones better for gardens that are less strictly structured.

In a typical island bed, the tallest-growing plants are placed in the middle of the bed. You can combine plants from different plant groups with each other. Staggering plants with different growth heights and flower colors is also particularly effective here. Despite everything, the planting of an island bed should be adapted to the rest of the planting in the respective garden.
Medium-sized plants such as daylilies, autumn anemones, asters and masterworts are then grouped around the tallest plants in the middle, such as larkspur or mullein. The smallest ones, such as ground-covering perennials, cranesbill, rush lily, Christmas rose, catnip or sweet pea, are planted around the outside.

Bed delimitation and bed border

In addition to the location, soil and choice of plants, the question of a suitable border or border may also arise. A corresponding border clearly delimits the flower bed and also makes it easier to mow the lawn around the bed. As far as the material is concerned, you are spoiled for choice here too and can choose between classic wood or willow, stones and concrete, stainless steel and metal or plastic.

Wood and willow
Classics for the garden are certainly wood or willow. Both are natural building materials, which usually harmonize very well with the flower bed in question, but also with the rest of the garden, for example in the form of palisades as a bed border. Bed borders made of willow are particularly flexible and rustic. The corresponding willow branches can be bent into all imaginable shapes, so that you can design a bed edging individually in shape and size.

Stones and concrete
A bed border made of stones or concrete is above all very durable and weather-resistant. It is available in different sizes and shapes, such as square or round palisades, as well as in subtle colors and fits into almost any garden.

Stainless steel and metal
Stainless steel and metal as border for beds are more suitable for more modern gardens. This material is also weather-resistant and durable, but radiates a certain coldness and thus forms a strong contrast to a flower bed or the rest of the planting in the garden.

Another alternative is a bed edging made of plastic. This is probably the cheapest, but doesn’t last very long. For example, intense sunlight can lead to fading and in some cases to deformation. Due to greater temperature fluctuations, cracks or other damage to the plastic can also occur. The plastic becomes unsightly and may need to be replaced several times.

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