It has been said that flowers not only provide beauty, grace, and fragrance, but can also give our spirits a lift. An annual flower bed is a fantastic way to boost curb appeal, welcome visitors, provide a burst of color year-round, and to top it off, they are great for pollinators. Ready to add a pop of color at your home or business? Here is our guide to designing and planting an annual flower bed.
Choose a location
A colorful flower bed can make a statement and really provide a wow factor in your landscape. Consider placing your bed near areas that will welcome visitors and provide curb appeal, such as near the entrance to your home, or surrounding a porch or patio. The real wonder of an annual bed is that they look marvelous almost anywhere!
Select your flowers
In Colorado Springs, we are limited as to which flowers grow well during each season. Consider using our guide to flowers by season for help selecting what to plant for a boost of color year-round. Color combinations are plentiful and personal preference plays a big role. You may consider planting complimentary colors, a bed consisting of all one color, or a multitude.
Plant growth patterns are also an important consideration when making selections. You will want to select a variety of tall, medium, and ground covering flowers.
Sunlight requirements of plants must also be kept in mind. While some do well in full sun, others are happier in shade.
Plan your layout
If planting a circular bed or one that is viewable from multiple angles, plant tallest flowers at the center of the bed. You will then stagger the sizes so that the shortest plants are along the front edges of the flower bed. For beds that are meant to be seen from one side you will simply plant the tallest flowers at the back of the bed and shorter varieties at the front. To add visual interest, consider creating blocks of color or even planting flowers in a wave or pattern.
Prepare the soil
Before planting, a layer of compost or other garden soil should be mixed into existing soil. This will provide your annuals with a great boost of nutrients. If you do this, the loosened soil will be much easier to plant in.
Plant your flower bed
It is best practice to strategically place your flowers in the bed to get a better idea of your layout before you start throwing plants in the ground. As many plants will fill in over the growing season, it is important that you read the planting labels to ensure that plants are given proper space to grow. You won’t want Auntie Marigold overtaking Grandma Petunia.
Weeding & Deadheading
Weeds should be removed by hand or carefully sprayed as to not damage nearby flowers. Deadheading, or removing dead blooms, will provide your plants needed energy to continue blooming. We recommend completing this task once per week.
We recommend using a special “bloom boosting” fertilizer once per month to keep flowers blooming throughout the growing season. If your bed is damaged by hail or a rough summer storm, this will help it to recover more quickly.
Newly planted beds will need to be watered well as they become established. It is ideal that soil is kept moist, which in our dry climate in Colorado may mean watering 3 days per week or more. Each time you water your flowers, make sure that the soil is moistened well below the surface to reach the roots.
Should you like help with the design and maintenance of your annual flower beds please contact us!