Today I am excited to share my fantastic conversation with a gardening expert, Deb Unverferth, where she shared all of her tips for planning your flower beds. Whenever I have a gardening question, I consult Deb and there is always something new to learn!
Check out the list of my favorite tools I recommend for all beginner gardeners!
Tips When Planning Your Flower Bed
Flower Bed Shape
First, determine if you want a straight line or curved flower bed. Deb prefers curved flower beds and used the shadows of rounded treetops to help create the flowing shape of their beds. Use a garden hose to help create a shape you like and then spray paint the shape. Follow the sprayed line with a shovel and begin digging out your flower beds.
When planning your garden, consider choosing native plants. This will save you money when it comes to watering because they will naturally thrive in your climate. A few of Deb’s favorite native plants are hosta, crab apple trees, lilac bushes, coneflowers, spirea, spruce trees, and pine trees.
Check out this list of perennials that can easily be divided and shared with friends and family!
When determining where you plants will go, look at the recommended spacing that comes with each plant.
Deb recommends keeping large bushes away from the windows. Large shrubs and plants work great as anchors in the corner of a flower bed or between two windows. This placement will maximize sunshine coming into your home and will not obstruct your view of the garden from inside.
Consider adding drip lines underneath your mulch to keep the soil moist and prevent evaporation. Native plants require less water and are easier to care for (in my opinion). Adding mulch to your flower beds each spring to keep the soil moist. It looks pretty too!
When it comes to mulch colors, there are lots of different options. Try choosing a color that doesn’t compete with the flowers – natural tones, like brown, that don’t have dye or pesticides.
When adding mulch to your flower bed, be careful to not lay it down too thick. If there is too much mulch next to the side of your home, it can cause moisture issues. The general rule I follow is to keep the mulch below the siding.
Consider adding a three-inch barrier between the house and mulch using rocks. There are a handful of benefits to adding this barrier.
- The barrier prevents dirt from splashing on the house and keeps it looking clean
- It reduces fire risk – In Massachusetts, it is illegal to have mulch right up the apartment buildings because it can be a fire risk if it is dry and someone drops a cigarette into the dry mulch
- It lowers the risk of pests to penetrating your home
Deb’s Favorite Plant to Use in a Garden
HOSTA! You can’t kill them, they have wonderful varieties and come in all different sizes.
They can be cut and added to beautiful flower arrangements. Here is a flower arrangement that Deb made for me last summer. Notice the hosta leaves around the base.
Toledo Nurseries of Choice
- Nature’s Corner – great for finding native plants
- Creques Nursery – Where Deb finds her lime zinnias
- Fitkins Greenhouse – Great place to find shade plants
- Lowes or Home Depot – To find perennials, fertilizer, mulch
- Whiteford Road Greenhouse – great nursery but can be pricey
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