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Flower Borders: Ideas to Make Your Landscaping Sizzle
Photo: spring perennial bed. This example has tulips and creeping phlox.

This spring flower border sizzles with the dynamic colors furnished by tulips and creeping phlox.

David Beaulieu

How are your flower borders looking these days? Are they an exciting component of your landscaping? When you pass by them on the way to your mailbox, do they put a smile on your face? They should. If they do not, then you're in need of some ideas to jazz up these areas that are so critical to the overall appearance of your yard.

The purpose of this 15-page tutorial is to supply you with just such ideas. There's a photo of a sample flower border on each page, so feel free to just flip through the pictures first, to gain some immediate inspiration, if you like. Just make sure you return here to Page 1 afterward and begin reading all the text, too, because each image is meant to illustrate one or more ideas I discuss that will help bring some sizzle to your plantings. Follow the links within my text to access additional resources that expand on the concepts and plants presented here.

Note that the present article deals specifically with flower borders, which are garden beds that can be grown anywhere in your landscaping. If you are seeking information about how to landscape boundary areas (a different kind of "border"), you'll want to check out my article on how to landscape property lines. Likewise, if you're more interested in shrub lines, please consult:

Let's begin with a look at some flower borders that shine especially brightly in particular seasons of the year. The planting in the picture above is obviously geared to spring. By planting tulips and creeping phlox, this homeowner has made it possible to enjoy two of the springtime's favorite blooms in one bed.

Tulips are one blossom that I prefer to see displayed in mixed colors, as here. The creeping phlox is short enough to furnish an effective foreground, hiding some of the tulip's rather mediocre foliage but not obstructing the beauty of the flowers. Just as importantly, the phlox's cascading habit allows it to hang over the stone wall, thereby softening its edge.

On Page 2 we'll see another example of a spring flower border....

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