25 Flower Bed Ideas That Will Inspire Your Garden Design

Create a beautiful flower garden with these design ideas.

<p>elenaleonova / Getty Images</p>

elenaleonova / Getty Images

Flower beds have endless design opportunities, which can be exciting but also overwhelming when you consider how many ways there are to fill them. Whether you're hoping to complete an existing bed or design an empty one, creating a beautiful flower bed starts by considering what you want out of the space. Do you dream of pollinators fluttering around your landscape? Do you want cut flowers for homegrown bouquets? Or maybe you want to plant for four seasons of colors. To help you nail down your vision, we're sharing our favorite flower bed ideas that will inspire your own garden design.

Related: 16 Raised Flower Bed Ideas That Will Add Dimension to Your Garden

Plant Wildflowers

<p>Jacky Parker Photography / Getty Images</p>

Jacky Parker Photography / Getty Images

Bring a natural, untamed aesthetic to your garden by planting wildflowers. "They offer a vibrant array of colors, heights, and textures," says Carrie Spoonemore, co-creator of Park Seed’s From Seed to Spoon app. "They also support pollinators, birds, and local ecosystems." A wildflower flower bed is ideal for busy gardeners looking to grow low-maintenance, low-water plants.

Related: How to Plant and Grow a Wildflower Meadow

Lean Into Native Flowers

<p>Jacky Parker Photography / Getty Images</p>

Jacky Parker Photography / Getty Images

Fill your garden bed with native flowers, which bring more than just color to the landscape–they attract pollinators, are drought-tolerant, and improve biodiversity. Native plants will vary depending on where you live, so it's important to know your growing zone before planting these beauties.

Find Your Growing Zone Here

Welcome Pollinators

<p>DebraLee Wiseberg / Getty Images</p>

DebraLee Wiseberg / Getty Images

Welcome wildlife, like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden by planting pollinator-friendly plants, including bee balm, butterfly bush, asters, and more. "Pollinators contribute to the overall health of your local ecosystem and foster biodiversity," says Spoonemore.

Create an Herb Garden

<p>LeliaSpb / Getty Images</p>

LeliaSpb / Getty Images

Create a garden that is beautiful and functional by planting flowering herbs. "Turning a sunny flower bed into an herb garden offers multiple benefits—herbs are edible, aromatic, and beautiful," says Spoonemore. "Combine flowering herbs like lavender, chamomile, and sage with culinary herbs like rosemary, thyme, and basil for visual appeal and practicality." Not only will you attract pollinators, but you'll also have fresh ingredients on hand for cooking.

Related: 10 Indoor and Outdoor Herb Garden Ideas That Guarantee Fresh Basil, Parsley, and More All Year Round

Start a Border Garden

<p>skhoward / Getty Images</p>

skhoward / Getty Images

Boost your home's curb appeal by planting a border garden. "Border gardens frame your landscape with a burst of color and texture, creating a seamless transition between different areas of your yard," says Spoonemore. "They can serve practical purposes, such as defining boundaries, preventing soil erosion, and providing a habitat for beneficial insects."

Mix Edible Plants With Flowers

<p>Philippe S. Giraud / Getty Images</p>

Philippe S. Giraud / Getty Images

Planting vegetables in your flower garden is a beautiful way to add texture and dimension to this space. What's more, some flowers can even protect the edible plants in your landscape from curious pests like deer and rabbits. "As long as growing conditions are compatible and growth habits are harmonious, there is nothing to lose by pairing a lantana with a potato," says Spoonemore.

Related: Companion Planting Is the Key to a Thriving Vegetable Garden—Here's How to Pair Varieties to Deter Pests and Attract Pollinators

Design a Cottage-Inspired Flower Bed

<p>Andy Roland / Getty Images</p>

Andy Roland / Getty Images

Embrace the cottage-core trend in your flower beds by mixing roses, daisies, foxgloves, and delphiniums for a charming and informal display, says Kelly Funk, Jackson & Perkins. "These flowers offer a romantic and whimsical aesthetic that contributes to an enchanting cottage garden look," she says.

Related: How to Create an English Cottage Garden Wherever You Live

Create a Bed for Cut Flowers

<p>sarahdoow / Getty Images</p>

sarahdoow / Getty Images

Make a homegrown bouquet with flowers from your very own garden. "A cut-flower garden bed enhances the beauty of your outdoor space and allows you to enjoy freshly cut blooms indoors," says Laura Walsh of Oasis Forage Products. "It encourages regular pruning, which promotes healthier growth and more abundant flowering." Even better? Cut flowers straight from your garden last longer than store-bought ones.

Plant Fragrant Blooms

<p>wichatsurin / Getty Images</p>

wichatsurin / Getty Images

Fragrant flowers will make walking through your garden feel even more serene. Blooms like jasmine, gardenia, sweet pea, lilies, and lilac will indulge the senses and create an aromatic oasis in your garden, says Walsh. "Bonus: cutting these flowers to enjoy indoors brings that intoxicating aroma to you all day," she says.

Grow Mediterranean Plants

<p>Rasa Petreikiene / Getty Images</p>

Rasa Petreikiene / Getty Images

Growing a garden filled with Mediterranean plants, like lavender and globe thistle, will create a natural color palette of purples, blues, and greens. "Key factors to consider for Mediterranean plants are making sure there is plenty of drainage and choosing a warm sunny spot to get the most out of the color and also scent," says Rebecca Lane, arboretum supervisor at Kew Gardens.

Plant for a Year of Flowers

<p>elenaleonova / Getty Images</p>

elenaleonova / Getty Images

Create a flower bed that flourishes in winter, spring, summer, and fall by growing flowers that bloom across all four seasons, says Simon Thompson, botanical horticulturist at Kew Gardens. During colder seasons, hellebores are a great choice, as they are well known for their winter flowers. "Spring and summer are the main events for many flowering plants, so there will always be a lot of choice for these periods," says Thompson.

Create a Drought-Tolerant Bed

<p>Photography By Tonelson / Getty Images</p>

Photography By Tonelson / Getty Images

Gardening can be very time-consuming, so growing drought-tolerant flowers in your beds will help make maintenance more manageable. Compared to other planting styles, drought-tolerant planting requires minimal maintenance, as tasks like irrigation and mulching are unnecessary. "Additionally, the stressful conditions created by drought naturally reduce weed growth, further simplifying upkeep," says Lewis Barrett, botanical horticulturist at Kew Gardens.

Plant a Living Mulch

<p>Ali Majdfar / Getty Images</p>

Ali Majdfar / Getty Images

Plant a ground cover like comfrey or clover in your flower beds to create a living mulch that builds and helps maintain healthy soil throughout the season. "These low-growing plants act as nature's blanket, protecting soil from erosion, retaining moisture, and enriching it with essential nutrients," says Brandy Hall, CEO and founder of Shades of Green. "With living mulch, you're not just cultivating a garden, but you're fostering a thriving ecosystem where plants work together to create a sustainable and beautiful environment."

Use Bunching Grasses

<p>Photos by R A Kearton / Getty Images</p>

Photos by R A Kearton / Getty Images

Create structure in your flower beds by planting bunching grasses like little bluestem and muhly grass. "Bunching grasses also help to stabilize the soil, provide essential habitat for beneficial insects, and attract pollinators and birds," says Hall. "Bonus: they’re low-maintenance too."

Plant Aromatics for Pest Control

<p>Valeriy Lushchikov / Getty Images</p>

Valeriy Lushchikov / Getty Images

Keep pests out of your garden by growing aromatic plants in your flower beds. "By strategically planting aromatic herbs and flowers like lavender, rosemary, and marigolds, you not only create a sensory oasis but also naturally deter pests," says Hall. "These fragrant plants emit compounds that repel common garden pests like mosquitoes, aphids, and beetles, effectively reducing the need for synthetic pesticides."

Related: How to Plant and Care for Marigolds, Splashy Bedding Plants That You Can Grow in Almost Every Hardiness Zone

Add Containers to Flower Beds

<p>Rosemary Calvert / Getty Images</p>

Rosemary Calvert / Getty Images

Containers filled with colorful annuals can add dimension and height to your flower beds, especially if there are any bare spots you want to conceal. Change the flowers out seasonally for beauty that lasts from winter to fall.

Create Texture With Stones

<p>amite / Getty Images</p>

amite / Getty Images

Create a walkway in between your flower beds by laying down pavers. This will make it easier for guests to meander through your backyard and enjoy your plantings. Just make sure you choose paving stones that are permeable so water doesn't pool in your yard.

Plant for Color

<p>Darrell Gulin / Getty Images</p>

Darrell Gulin / Getty Images

Fill your garden beds with color by planting flowers that are known for their showy blooms, like dahlias, zinnias, pansies, and hydrangeas, which are available in a range of hues.

Related: 15 Colorful Flowers That Will Brighten Up Your Garden

Create Height With a Pergola

<p>Darrell Gulin / Getty Images</p>

Darrell Gulin / Getty Images

If you have limited room in your flower beds, make use of vertical space by adding a pergola. Around the structure, grow climbing plants, like bougainvillea, clematis (one of Martha's favorites), and mandevilla. Over time, these flowers will climb the pergola and create a beautiful display that also provides you with added backyard privacy.

Make Gravel Garden Beds

<p>Darrell Gulin / Getty Images</p>

Darrell Gulin / Getty Images

If you're hoping to create a garden that is low maintenance, a gravel garden is the way to go. This approach involves growing mostly native plants in a bordered section of gravel that is laid over your landscape's natural soil. These beds are designed to thrive without the input of additional water, fertilizer, or other chemicals. Gravel garden beds also make it more difficult for weeds to get through.

Grow Flowers in a Raised Bed

<p>Darrell Gulin / Getty Images</p>

Darrell Gulin / Getty Images

Raised flower beds are a wonderful alternative to in-ground beds. Not only are they less strenuous on your back, but they also allow you to control your soil composition and provide protection from weeds. You can fill them with the same flowers you would an in-ground bed.

Play With Height

<p>Jacky Parker Photography / Getty Images</p>

Jacky Parker Photography / Getty Images

Rather than planting flowers that are all the same height, create dimension by growing blooms that are various sizes. Taller varieties planted behind dwarf varieties ensures all of your flowers get their time in the spotlight.

Grow Flowers That Engage the Senses

<p>dirkr / Getty Images</p>

dirkr / Getty Images

Plant flowers that engage multiple senses to create a space that promotes mindfulness. Opt for colorful blooms that activate your sense of sight and flowers with soft textures you enjoy touching. Between flower plantings, grow ornamental grasses that rustle with the wind or shrubs that produce fruit. Before you know it, you'll have your very own sensory garden.

Add a Bird Bath

<p>peplow / Getty Images</p>

peplow / Getty Images

Give birds a place to preen by setting up a bird bath in your flower bed. Not only do these structures increase your garden's wildlife population, but they also provide a soothing water feature that will make the space feel serene.

Create a Seating Arrangement

<p>erperlstrom / Getty Images</p>

erperlstrom / Getty Images

Who wouldn't want to enjoy a meal surrounded by flowers? Place bistro seating near your flower beds so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor up close. Watch bees, butterflies, and birds flock to your blooms as you sip on your morning coffee or evening glass of wine.

Read the original article on Martha Stewart.