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Get Inspired! Flower Garden Ideas & Designs

Plotting the picture-perfect flower garden is not an easy endeavor. With an endless amount of plants and planting considerations to ponder, one of the biggest hindrances in establishing a garden can merely be figuring out where to begin. It’s time to get inspired! Flower garden ideas & designs are compiled here to persuade and motivate you to get started creating your flower garden sanctuary.

A summer garden with pink flowers

Flower Garden Ideas

Sometimes exploring a few different types of flower garden ideas can help you get inspired! Flower garden ideas & designs are geared to foster an influx of new concepts, themes, flower selections, and more to spur creativity for your own backyard masterpiece. You may jump all-into a theme or take highlights from each and develop your own design. We’ve highlighted a robust list of themed garden spaces to inspire you and help you on your journey to carving out your personal backyard haven.

First, let’s go over the elements of different plant selections that make up a garden. They all come together to formulate a garden space. Discover new plants, diversify your plantings, and get inspired!

  • Somewhat permanent plants like grasses for lawns, various ground covers, shrubs, climbing plants, and trees.
  • Temporary herbaceous plants, such as the short-lived annuals
  • Perennials, bulbous, and tuberous plants, which return with new growth year after year.

Woodland Flower Garden Ideas

We have some fantastic woodland flower garden ideas. Recreate the reclusiveness of the woodlands and turn a low-light area of the yard into a shady wonderland. By selecting shade loving plants and flowers, you can create a private, relaxed and comfortable setting that feels like you are in a relaxing wooded area.

Use existing trees and add some of these shade adoring favorites to create your happy place. Add a seating area or a hammock with accessories that bring in the wildlife, like a birdbath or feeder. A rustic winding pathway, curved garden bed edges, garden gnome, or fairy house can also add whimsy among layered vegetation.

These flowers will make perfect additions to your woodland flower garden design:

  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendron
  • Primroses
  • Bleeding heart
  • Astilbe
  • Oxalis
  • Hostas
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Coral Bells
  • Jack in the Pulpit
  • Wildflowers

English Flower Garden Designs

English gardens prominently feature perennials, followed by annuals, herbs, roses, veggies, shrubs, and grass. They usually feature distinct shapes, which can be attained by having manicured shrubs, topiaries, boxwoods, garden statues, birdbaths, and other geometric features. The garden bed lines can be either traditional and well-defined or carved out in winding pathways and curved-edged beds.

Close up of a flower garden with clay pots.

Cottage Flower Garden Ideas

Cottage flower garden ideas, we have those too! Cottage flower gardens are romantic, carefree, and enjoyable flower gardens. Accents such as weathered wooden fences, natural branch constructed arbors, and adorable gates can add charm to lush foliage and striking blooms.

A cottage garden is meant to look unplanned, although careful planning is essential to ensuring that plants work cohesively. Plant flowers with shrubs and climbing vines while varying the textures and colors of annuals, perennials, and foliage superstars, so they look misshapen.

Some cottage garden favorites include:

  • Wisteria Vines
  • Clematis Vines
  • Hydrangea
  • Calendula
  • Cornflowers
  • Flowering Herbs

Tropical Flower Gardens

Create a tropical paradise right in your own backyard.  Tropical gardens are full of color and exotic blooms that boast flashy foliage. Tropical plants need heat and humidity to thrive. Even if you don’t live in the tropics, you can mimic this atmosphere by planting the garden in full sun and using surfaces in the area that retain a lot of heat like concrete, pavers, and stone planters.

Plants in tropical gardens also crave moisture and humidity, so a birdbath, koi pond, or active water feature can bolster the feel and needs of a tropical oasis. Check with your local extension center for what tropical plants can grow in your climate.

Alpine rockery plants and flowers

Rock Gardens

There is something serene about a rock garden. Rock gardens feature both hard-scapes and soft-scapes that work together in harmony to accentuate one another. You can use gravel, boulders, assorted rocks in combination with drought-resistant plants that are compact, creeping, eye-catching, and thrive in well-draining conditions.

Here are some rock flower garden ideas:

  • Succulents
  • Yarrow
  • Coreopsis
  • Sedum
  • Salvia
  • Shasta Daisies
  • Rudbeckia
  • Lamb’s ear
  • Jacob’s Ladder
  • Columbine

Creeping flower plants such as these also make great additions to a rock garden:

  • Carpet Phlox
  • Creeping Stonecrop
  • Alyssum

Add flowering herbs to your rock garden for extra beauty and blooms:

  • Catmint
  • Lavender
  • Russian Sage

How To Plan A Flower Garden

As you get inspired, flower garden designs and ideas are best carried out when you adhere to a few tips and points to ponder. To get the most out of your new flower garden, remember some of these key gardening elements.

Visit your Local Extension Office

While you are developing flower garden ideas, visit your extension office and talk to the experts. Extension offices can offer invaluable information for local gardeners. They provide more pinpointed and localized information that can significantly enhance your gardening experience, help you avoid pitfalls, and give you the tools that you need to become a successful gardener. They can guide you to plants that do well in your region, native plants, test your soil, and much more.

Where To Plant A Flower Garden

Before selecting plants, determine how the sun hits your sought-after garden location. Pick plants that match the sunlight requirements that they will receive in that location.

Small waterfall surrounded by red and yellow tropical flowers

Caring For Flower Gardens

Follow the guidelines that come with each plant and plant them according to their soil, lighting, and space preferences. Water new plants in well and apply one to two inches of organic mulch after planting. Mulch helps keep moisture levels balanced, retains water, regulates soil temperature, and helps combat erosion.  As mulch breaks down, it also feeds the soil and improves its soil structure.

Adding Whimsical Props To Flower Garden Designs

Adding fun props and repurposing them as planters can be an exciting way of personalizing your flower garden. So, look around at what you have and get inspired! Flower garden ideas and designs can come from just about anywhere.

  • Plant a flower bed in an old bed frame to create a true ‘garden bed.’
  • Place a decorative tub or bucket on its side and plant things like creeping phlox to create a spilling out effect.
  • Have an old bicycle with a basket? Prop up the bicycle and plant flowers in the basket.
  • Carve out a hole in an old chair and rest a planter full of flowers in it.
  • Use a vibrant old rainboot as a planter!
  • Add garden statues, gnomes, and fairy statues amid your flower garden.
an old walled garden in a country house

Adding Vertical Structures To Flower Gardens

Climbing structures can make great focal points in any flower garden. They also add height and drama to the landscape and help you layer your plantings.

Consider adding:

  • Pergolas
  • Arbors
  • Obelisks
  • Trellises

Plan For Staggered Bloom Times In Your Flower Garden Design

Plant your flower garden with the intention, staggering your plants so that they have varying bloom times.  This way, your garden will have visual interest via pretty blooms across the seasons. You can achieve this by adding different plant types to your garden.

Some ideas include some spring-blooming bulbs and flowering shrubs combined with some annuals, perennials, and even some fall-blooming bulbs.

Flower Garden Height Considerations

When planting the tallest plant varieties in the garden, consider your garden location before setting plants in the ground.  In a free-standing garden, taller plants or climbing plants should ideally be placed in the garden bed center. If a garden is near the house, wall, or fence, plant tallest varieties along the garden’s rear and graduate the other plants’ heights forward.

Spacing Plants In Your Flower Garden

Following the plant spacing guidelines when planting is crucial to a plant’s success. Of course, we all want instantly lush and full gardens, but plants need time to mature and space to reach their fullest potential.  Avoid the urge to overplant your garden space, crowding plants together, forcing them to compete with each other for sunlight, nutrients, and hydration. Space plants according to their planting specifications.


Share The Garden Love


Close up of flower garden bed with clay pots.
Multiple images of different flower gardens.

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    • Hi Lisa, we’re so sorry for the inconvenience. Your email address has been added, and an email was sent to you with a link to download the guides. Please let us know if you do not receive an email or have any questions. Happy Gardening!

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