Bed design ideas and helpful tips for beautiful flower beds in the garden

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Almost every hobby gardener dreams of a beautiful garden with harmoniously designed flower beds and successful herbaceous borders. Since beautiful beds are usually not a coincidence, but the result of good planning, everyone can create their own plant oasis in the garden. All you need is a good plan for the plants and their correct design, as well as a little patience. What are the most important steps, how can you correctly combine perennials and flowers, as well as many wonderful bed design ideas and helpful tips can be found in the article!

Tips for the right bed design – make a plan


Regardless of whether you are planning a new bed or want to replant an existing one, a planting plan can certainly be an advantage. So that the bed is integrated harmoniously into the overall picture, you should adapt the bed design to the overall concept of the garden. Traditional beds in the cottage garden or country house garden differ significantly from those in the modern garden, which is why the garden style plays a major role. The bed design ideas are numerous and should always be well thought out.


In the traditional cottage garden, beds predominate, from which the residents benefit. This primarily refers to garden beds for fruit and vegetables that are grown for personal consumption. Herb gardens are another popular idea for these gardens. Of course, you can also find colorful flower beds in the cottage garden, which are considered optical highlights in the outdoor area.

With modern bed design ideas, on the other hand, growing fruit and vegetables plays a much smaller role. Modern gardens are characterized by an adjusted design with clear shapes, and flowers and perennials predominate when planting beds.


After you have determined the design of the bed, you can start with the planting plan. You can use various gardening books, magazines and of course our photo series as inspiration. First, roughly draw the outline of the bed on a piece of paper. Then use colored pencils to draw the different groups of plants. Use the same color for the same flowers and perennials to get an idea of ​​your own bedding.

Bed design ideas and tips for the location


If you have already created the planting plan, you can start implementing it. The most important requirement for a successful flower bed is the quality of the soil. To ensure blooming flower beds, the soil should be prepared first. Weeds and large stones do not belong in the bed and you should definitely remove them before planting. The earth should be fine crumbly and contain many nutrients. In this way you ensure a long flowering period for your flowers.

You need to note that soil moisture is just as important in plant selection. The bed design ideas for dry places in the garden differ significantly from those for moist ones, because every plant has different requirements. This is why it is advisable to test the soil in advance in order to choose the best plants for the appropriate location.


Another particularly important role is the exact location for the bed design. The choice of plants depends on this, as well as the overall garden design. Depending on the location of the garden, you can place the bed in a sunny, partially shaded or shaded location. There are different types of plants that will suit each location. Here are some examples:

Sunny location: If you have chosen a position for the bed that is illuminated by the sun all day, then light-hungry plants such as roses, lavender and sun hats are best.

Partially shaded location: A place with a few hours of shade a day is usually called partial shade. These are above all the places on the wall, on the house wall, or around a tree. Bedding ideas for such a location include plants such as the anemones, astilbe and monkshood.

Shady location: If you are looking for plants that like the shade, then you have come to the right place with Waldsteinien, Funkien and the Bleeding Heart. These perennials will even bloom in a spot that is in shade all day.

Bed design ideas with different types of plants


Most successful bed design ideas are an interplay of three different types of plants that shape the overall composition of the bed. These are the leading, accompanying and filling plants and each type plays an important role in the bed.


Leading plants

Every flower border needs the so-called leading perennials, which can be over 1.5 meters high and thus create the highest points in the bed. They are planned and planted first, because they are crucial for the overall appearance of the flowerbed. Since the main plants are usually large perennials, they dominate with their shape and colors. Therefore one should be careful when planting beds with guide perennials so that the other plant types are not lost in the overall composition. Because of their height, these plants can also serve as temporary privacy screens in the garden, i.e. only when they are in bloom.

Here are a few typical examples of key plants in the flowerbed: Bush mallows, feather poppies, flame flowers (phlox), thimbles, asters, goatees, ornamental grasses and much more.


Companion plants

Companion plants are all medium-high to low perennials and flowers that form the center of the flowerbed. They are considered to be a companion to the larger leading shrubs and should therefore be coordinated with them in terms of color, shape and location in the bed. In terms of numbers, the companion plants are usually the largest group of plants in the flower border.

The bed design ideas for companion plants are numerous and depend to a large extent on the selection of leading perennials. Beautiful flowers and perennials that belong to this group include, for example: sage, sun hats, daisies, sedum plants, maiden eyes and yarrow.


Filling plants

This group of plants is perfect for filling the gaps between leading and accompanying plants in the flowerbed. With the help of these little flowers, the bed gets a perfect look, because every free space is planted. The group mainly includes very low perennials and ground cover, i.e. the lowest level in the flowerbed. These little flowers are planted in abundance and usually form the foreground of your flowerbed. As with the other plant types, the filler plants should also be coordinated with the rest of the bedding and especially with the accompanying plants. Shapes and colors should match each other and create a harmonious overall picture.

The variety of ground cover is huge. Some of the typical examples are: catnip, elf flowers, bergenias, gypsophila, etc..

Bed design ideas and tips: Combine plants correctly

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And how can you actually combine the different plants in the flowerbed correctly? At this point, the color theory can come to the rescue with the so-called color wheel. He can help to find the right color combinations for the flowers and perennials in the flowerbed. Whether you have opted for contrasts in the planting or for the same color scheme, you can use the color wheel to create a successful play of colors.


With the color theory you can color-coordinate your bed design ideas and provide beautiful optical highlights in the flower border. There are usually some color combinations that you can achieve with familiar perennials and plants. The yellow yarrow, for example, can be perfectly combined with the blue flowers of the African lily. Tone-on-tone combinations are also popular for flower bed design ideas. A nice example of this is provided by yellow roses, which harmonize perfectly with the yellow-green women’s mat. Often, contrasts come into question when planting beds, such as a dark blood beech hedge and foxgloves and fire weed or plants with very dark, almost black tones combined with white flowers.


So that your flower bed exudes warmth, you can rely on plants in bold colors such as red, orange and yellow. However, this combination is unsuitable for small gardens because it makes the garden space appear smaller. To make the small garden look bigger, it is best to use purple and blue tones.

Bed design ideas for beautiful beds all year round


So that the flower bed looks beautiful all year round, you should also consider planting beds for winter and autumn. With year-round perennials, the bed looks beautiful at all times. Purple bells and begonias are evergreen perennials that ensure a colorful bed design even in winter. However, since most flowers cannot survive the frost, trees such as boxwood and holly are recommended for this time of year.


Those who are impatient for a flowering bed can opt for early bloomers for spring. With bulb flowers like tulips, the desired results are achieved very early and you can welcome spring with a blooming flower bed. The large variety of bed design ideas enables the design of so-called theme beds, which are a real pleasure for the real hobby gardener.

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For those who do not have enough time to care for the garden, bed design ideas with easy-to-care for permanent flowers are suitable. They tend to have a long flowering period and don’t require time-consuming maintenance. Examples of such perennials are phlox and maiden’s eye. However, those who enjoy gardening can opt for plants with a short flowering time and regularly redesign the bed.


If you want to realize your beautiful bed design ideas, then you only need to choose the right time to plant. The perfect planting times for perennials are either from March to mid-May, or from the end of August to October. You should avoid planting beds too early or too late, because the perennials usually cannot survive the frost failures.


If you are looking for modern bed design ideas, you can still use stones and gravel. The so-called stone beds have a modern effect in the garden and are perfect for magnificent ornamental grasses. With gravel and bark mulch, beautiful beds can be designed in a modern style, which can be combined with green shrubs and hedges.

Bed design ideas for island beds


Island beds can be created in different shapes – whether they are regularly rectangular, circular or playfully shaped. The outline should be determined to match the style of the garden. A border helps to clearly define the shape and makes it easier to mane the lawn. There is a choice between curb stones and metal rails, which are embedded in the floor and are practically invisible. Synthetic sheets are another option here, but only keep the lawn in check to a limited extent because they are not higher than the ground level.

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Long-flowering perennials such as coneflower, sheep’s ditch, catnip, taglily and others are particularly suitable for planting island beds. Otherwise, you can design a bed differently every year and only equip it with annual summer flowers. Herb bed is another particularly practical option. Rosamrin, mint and chives are sure to come in handy for cooking fans.

Bed design ideas for island beds with a round shape


Perhaps the most common shape for an island bed is the circle, although it isn’t a must. This allows beautiful contrasts to be achieved. For example, a round island bed on a curved lawn appears more natural than strict circular and square shapes. If a circular island bed is placed in the middle of a lawn, the garden appears larger – the circle attracts attention and distracts from boundaries.

Bed design ideas for island beds with a square or rectangular shape


A garden design with a plant island in a special shape allows the garden to be attractively staged. An island bed can be designed in the lawn or on a gravel surface. Measure an oval, rectangular or free shape at the desired location, mark it and remove the top a few centimeters of covering. Then loosen the soil deeply, fertilize as desired or fill up with another compost and install the selected plants. An exposed variant has a cutting effect, while a precise shape conveys a harmonious impression.

Bed design Ideas for bed strips at the house entrance

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Narrow, lush strips of vegetation can often be seen when there is a lack of space and urban areas. They are a decorative solution and are perfect for plants next to the terrace, in front of the house wall or along the garden path. In such places, weather-sensitive plants find their optimal location. Designed at right angles to the line of sight, the plant strips visually shorten the property. In a curved shape, they loosen up the overall design.

Bed design ideas for planting under trees – underplanting of trees


The dense treetop lets in little light and keeps out precipitation. This makes the soil relatively dry and the underplanting also has to compete for water, nutrients and space. In addition, trees with shallow roots are very difficult to plant under. These include: spruce, birch, hazelnut, magnolia and norway maple. Trees with deep roots, such as pine, mountain ash and fruit trees such as apples, cherries and plums, are less problematic for planting under. The underplanting of heart roots such as yew, field maple and linden is also possible. Plants that thrive in the shade are therefore suitable for planting under the tree. Forest shrubs that have little demands on soil moisture get by here: small periwinkle (Vinca minor), ivy, elven flower (Epimedium), forest aster (Aster divaricatus), Balkan cranesbill (Geranium macrorrhizum), brown cranesbill (G. phaeum ), Golden strawberry (Waldsteinia geoides).