A good flower garden design encourages beginners to get their hands dirty, and it never gets boring for those who are seasoned gardeners. Explore 27 beautiful flower gardens that will get you out of bed early on the weekends just for the chance to see what new blooms opened with the sunrise.
Go Bold With Color
What’s happening in the large flower garden? Oftentimes, the unfortunate answer is, “too much.” It’s easy to let a large flower garden get out of hand, but some aggressive editing can bring order to the chaos. Save the healthiest trees and handsomest shrubs, as these will be the backbone of the garden. Choose two contrasting colors, or one color family (like purple and pink). Add perennial flowering plants in groups of three to five; the repetition is pleasing to the eye. Finally, focus on regular weeding, because today’s weed is tomorrow’s weed patch.
This flower garden from My 100 Year Old Home consists of 26 terracotta pots with a DIY distressed finish set in a vintage plant pot holder. The freestanding flower garden can work as part of a larger garden, or as an easy small space solution for those without much outdoor room.
Make It Edible
Hiding the vegetable garden in the back forty is so yesterday. Potager gardens celebrate the fact that gardens can be beautiful and delicious, while playing up the symbiotic relationship between vegetables and flowers. Veggies get a huge boost in productivity when pollinators that are drawn to nectar-rich plantings get busy swapping pollen on tomato, squash, and cucumber blossoms too. What’s more, the beneficial insects that rely on floral nectaries (think parasitic wasps and ladybugs for starters) help keep vegetable pests under control, allowing a reduction in pesticide use.
Create an English Garden Feel
This backyard flower garden from My 100 Year Old Home is inspired by the organized chaos of an English garden with a jumble of plants on the ground, suspended in hanging baskets, and climbing the walls of the home that give it a romantic feel.
Plant a Tiered Garden
Afro Bohemian Living planted the retaining wall of this tiered backyard and patio with a multitude of green plants and white, pink, and purple perennials for an energizing and effortless feel.
Choose Soothing Colors
The tiered stone retaining walls and galvanized metal pergola in this Seattle backyard patio and outdoor entertaining space from KG Designs are softened with a multi-level flower garden planted in shades of purple and white.
Fuzzy, glossy, silky, waxy, puckered, and prickly blooms and leaves contribute a subtle interest to the garden that contributes to the overall design. Here, the spiky blue flowers of globe thistle contrast with the waxy petals of the tiger lily, creating a lovely but low maintenance partnership in the sunny flower garden. You can discover other fun flowering textures with the fuzzy lamb’s ear, the ruffled fringed tulip, the frizzy liatris, or the velvety cockscomb.
Try a Trellis
Have your roses the way you’ve always wanted them: up close, where you can enjoy their silky petals and perfume as you pass under the arbor. Every garden should host a flowering vine, as the small footprint of a vine takes up no more space than a small container plant. You can grow a trellis-filling vine in one season from seed with a morning glory or moon vine, or you can invest in a perennial vine that will return for many years when you plant a clematis, honeysuckle, or climbing hydrangea.
Raised Garden Beds
My 100 Year Old Home planted a spring flower garden in a series of DIY raised garden beds on the side of the backyard driveway, an ideal solution for amateur gardeners who want to keep things simple.
Make a Rain Garden
Like a little ray of sunshine, a rain garden or bog garden brightens up a soggy spot. When planning a bog garden, consider plants that love both full sun and wet soil, like the stunning candelabra primrose pictured here. Flowering plants that thrive in bog gardens also include cardinal flower, yellow iris, and leopard plants. A fun and funky addition to the wet garden is the carnivorous pitcher plant. These look like something out of a jungle, but are hardy down to zone 5.
Your bog garden must never dry out. A natural bog garden will be replenished by rainfall, but if a dry spell hits, you will have to help out with the hose. Some standing water indicates a healthy bog garden. The presence of frogs, salamanders, or even turtles also tells you a bog environment is present. If you wish to cultivate bog plants but don’t have a natural depression that collects water, create one by sinking a plastic kiddie pool into the ground. A pond liner can also serve as a bog garden beginning. Disguise the edges with rocks, and fill the bottom with peat moss and sand.
Forge a Path
What lies at the end of the flower garden path? Even if it’s nothing but a dead end, the mystery that paths provide give the garden a sense of place, and also define borders against which to plant flowers of varying heights. How wide should you make your path? A comfortable path can accommodate a wheelbarrow or garden cart with room to turn around.
Plant a Butterfly Flower Garden
Have you ever noticed that some of the most beautiful flowers fall flat when it comes to attracting butterflies? The anatomy of the butterfly proboscis is designed to extract nectar from particular flower shapes, which means that some blooms sound the dinner bell, while others miss the mark. Although butterflies do appreciate bright colors, it’s also important to include flowers that have rich nectar stores that are easily accessible in shallow flowers. This garden full of bee balm and verbena bonariensis is busy with butterflies and other pollinators throughout summer. Add some milkweed to nourish Monarch butterflies, which have declined by 90 percent since the early 1990’s.
If the thought of all that fertilizing and deadheading takes the wind out of your gardening sails, consider the merits of the wildflower garden. Native flowers developed with Mother Nature to thrive in your region, meaning they are ready to grow in your soil type and with your typical rainfall.
Don’t discount wildflowers as less showy than hybrid flowers; the exuberant hues of standout varieties like blanket flowers, tiger lilies, and coneflowers will make the butterflies and bees wonder why they went anywhere else. For exceptional height, grow the perennial sunflower Helianthus, which can grow up to eight feet tall by the time autumn arrives.
Finding Lovely lined the flagstone path leading to the gated vegetable garden with two generous rows of white tulips that echo the farmhouse feel of the property. A flower garden doesn’t have to be multi-colored to make a bold statement; committing to a choice and going big will have an outsize impact.
Make It Formal
The clean lines and tidy layout of a formal garden provide a respite from the stresses of modernity, but the addition of flowers is a welcome counterpoint to a sea of grass and carefully trimmed boxwood shrubs. Stick to one or two flower varieties in the formal garden; those with neat growing habits will complement your scheme the best. Lavender, rose topiaries, tulips, hydrangeas, and salvia are a few flowers that have been used to great effect in the formal garden. You can mass these flowers around a central fountain, use them to edge paths, or fill in geometric hedge plantings with blooms.
Embrace Cottage Style
The free-form nature of cottage gardening is an invitation to try many classic flowers in the landscape. Cottage garden design values fragrant or heirloom varieties, like old English roses, lavender, Shasta daisies, foxgloves, and hollyhocks. To make sure there’s a method to your madness, repeat plant varieties throughout the border or bed and stick to a simple color palette.
Plant a Cactus Garden
Cacti are flowering plants that thrive in desert settings like this sloping backyard Palm Springs pool area from Michelle Boudreau Design.
Use the Space You Have
You can plant a flower garden anywhere that you have enough sunlight. This dense flower garden covers a steep tiered slice of land off to the side of the driveway of this Southern California home from Home Consultant.
Go Wild With Topiaries
A flower garden hugs the curved hedge and manicured topiaries of this German villa backyard with formal landscaping that matches the elegant setting.
Use Warm Colors
A a retaining wall is planted with pink, red, and purple flowers to add warmth and color to the cool neutral stone and glass stairway leading to the backyard in this property from Fantastic Frank.
Line the Path
The path to the outdoor play space in this backyard from Emily Henderson Design is planted with a casual arrangement of flowers and plants to make it feel special on the way to and from the
DIY Flower Beds
These DIY flower beds from A Beautiful Mess line the front and sides of the home, a simple way to boost curb appeal with seasonal flowers without breaking the budget.
Embellish the Front Yard
Planting a generous and colorful front yard garden like this one from Lady Landscape will boost your home’s curb appeal and make guests feel welcome before you even open the door. And with no grass, there’s no need mow.
DIY Hanging Basket Garden
This DIY hanging basket garden from A Beautiful Mess mixes herbs and flowers, a simple way to add a mini garden to a small space that was designed to be toddler- and puppy-safe.
A vertical garden with climbing vines and flowering plants like this Spanish island home from Fantastic Frank is a space-saving solution that will make your outdoor space feel cozy and inviting.
Keep It Contemporary
A minimalist dose of flowers can soften a contemporary space, like this four-story Lisbon home from Fantastic Frank that includes a minimalist garden in the central courtyard, and vibrant purple flowers that climb the walls all the way up to the rooftop pool deck.
Add a Bucolic Birdhouse
Becca Interiors used this bucolic backyard flower garden in the backyard of a Victorian Colonial Revivalist house in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY as inspiration for the nature-inspired color palette of the interiors.