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Planting design starts with a design concept

What You REALLY Need Before Planning Your Flowerbed

garden design basics

Where would you start if you had two rectangular planting areas over 1000 square feet / 100 square meters in total to fill with perennial flowers? Or a more reasonable-sized flowerbed to plant?

Maybe you have already chosen a place for your new planting area. You have dug and prepared the soil to be ready to plant the flowerbed you have dreamt of creating.

But now, the empty patch of dirt is staring you straight into the eye, and you feel overwhelmed.

It would be time for action - planting the plants - the activity you love, but you become hesitant about:

  • How to combine the plants?
  • How to place them?
  • And how to make your flowerbed flower from spring to fall?

Do you feel defeated by the vast number of options when visiting the garden center? There are plants for every situation and style in all possible colors. Perennial flowers have different flowering times and heights, and it's challenging to know where to place the plants and how to create stunning combinations!

Planning A Flowerbed Starts With A Vision, aka A Design Concept

To make designing fun, easy and inspiring, I love to use my imagination, and I begin to think with the 'What if….' sentences. They help me create a story that leads to a desired outcome.

Starting with questions and 'What ifs' I weave a story, draw, and write down the big ideas to describe the flowerbed's essence.

I think about the style and mood I want to create. I think about people using their garden, their preferences, and hobbies. It's important to know when they are seeing and enjoying the view. Do they pass the flowerbed after a long working day or sit beside it while the sun sets, with a mug of tea in their hand?

It's simple like that!




How To Craft A Design Concept For Your New Flowerbed

Think of yourself admiring the flowerbed from your outdoor sitting area or energizing you when leaving for work. What do you want to see? What kind of a mood do you want to create?

Weave your story with questions like:

  • 'what if my dream flowerbed would soothe my senses after a long day when I finally sit in the garden with a good book in my hand?'
  • How would it look?
  • What colors would it have?….

That's how I work with my consultation and coaching clients. I have designed gardens 1:1 for my private clients for almost 20 years.

We dive deep into preferences, wanted moods, inspiration, and ways of using the garden. We want to create a space they genuinely enjoy by weaving a story with 'what ifs …'. And it really gives satisfying results.

So create the design concept that captures your flowerbed's soul and gives you a clear vision of how you want your dream flowerbed to look and what kind of plants it should consist of to meet your preferences.




Let The Design Concept Make Your Dreams Come True

Your vision might be to bring a certain mood or design style  into your garden. Or it might be based on an idea of an abstract painting, a garden you fell in love with in the movie 'Practical Magic,' or support your aim to help biodiversity.

I practiced my own approach when planning two over 65 feet / 20 meters long perennial flowerbeds for a historical allotment garden's 100th Anniversary.

I started imagining and writing down my answers to questions like:

'What if the flowers would delight people from the moment they enter through the main gate and see the impressive central axis with the redesigned flowerbeds? What would the flowerbeds need to look like?

What if the other plants would highlight the cherished, old peonies? Could the peonies be at the center stage? 

What if people would feel inspired by continuous blooms every time they walk along the gravel path between flowerbeds? Do I create a constant flowering or highlight a particular season?

What if the long strips of flowers were something children would get excited about experiencing? I imagined children stopping to admire the peonies' huge pink flowerheads and watching butterflies in the lollipop-like blooms of alliums.

When you got a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, you have a solid place to start planning your new flowerbed.


Take action:

1. Imagine a flowerbed that makes you feel good.

2. Then write down your vision and plan accordingly to make your garden look and feel like you. Let your dream garden reflect your values, dreams, and lifestyle. 







Turn your Pinterest board full of garden dreams into reality with a set of solid guidelines to follow. It takes only 3 minutes, but the results will serve you for a lifetime.