Shaping Your New Flowerbed

Victorian cottage with curved flower beds

A very common mistake made by beginner gardeners and new homeowners is making their gardens too small and lacking in creativity when it comes to design. What usually happens is an area for a garden gets picked and a very rectangular garden gets carved out of the grass. Later on the plants start to spill over onto the lawn and beds now have to be expanded. For some this is okay, because they have started to get the gardening bug and want to do more. For others it is just more work and they have to edge out a larger shape which usually ends up the same as the old shape just larger. This can get very expensive if using a brick or garden edging material that is no longer available and needs to be replaced.

An easy way to prevent this is to never make a garden less than 3 feet wide. In most cases the smallest shrubs are about 3 feet wide and, although there are a couple of exceptions, you may not like them in your garden.  Perennials will also work very well in a space this size and give you a large selection to work with. A great way to make a nice designed flowerbed is to disconnect your garden hose and use it to show the edge of your new garden design. Do not make this decision quickly. Take your time sit on the deck and look out at your new shape or maybe even go upstairs and look out a window for a different view. Keep moving the hose until you reach your desired design. Remember it is usually better to make it slightly bigger than you think. If later you decide you want a rock or cement block border it will still allow enough room for your plants.

Victorian cottage with curved flower beds 3

Another good idea if you maintain your own lawn each week is to make the curves of the new flowerbed lawn mower friendly. This means when you are walking with the lawn mower you never have to stop. In other words the corners are soft and flowing rather then sharp. When you get to the end of the bed try to not T it to a side walk or fence but curve it to make a gentle curve so the lawn mower will not get stuck and have to be pulled back. When edging out the grass you may find it helpful to either spray paint the line where the hose is so you can get it out of the way or flour, icing sugar or chalk powder can be used if going to dig out right away. If not in a hurry leave your hose on the grass and it will start to kill the grass below and you can simple remove the hose and start edging the shape. This also allows you to change your mind a couple of days later.

When looking to buy plants make sure you read the label for mature sizes or consult for pictures and sizes of plants that will work in your area. 

Happy Gardening!

For more ideas ask your local garden center professionals and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest for other help tips and hints.


Guest post by Rich - Bylands Account Representative

My personal garden is now 17 years old and most of the trees 19 years. shrubs, evergreens and perennial beds are all bordered with large sandstone boulders.  Two reasons I have had to replant each year are: Shasta Daisy was a white German Shepherd and Georgia Peach is a caramel with white and black Shepherd, Husky something cross.  My dogs are always named after plants.