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Planting Flower Beds

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Selection and Arrangement When Planting Flower Beds
A look ahead to the finished

A look ahead to the finished layered flower bed.

David Beaulieu

This tutorial in pictures illustrates how to go about planting flower beds. In the picture above, I reveal the end result; in the rest of the tutorial, I'll show you the steps leading up to that result.

My flower bed planting consists of 2 rows of annuals and perennials in the front and a staggered row of taller plants (mainly shrubs) in the back. Note that while the latter are not, in fact, "taller" at the present time, they will, eventually, surpass the rest in height. While I could have achieved greater visual impact by selecting more mature shrubs to begin with, I felt that cost, too, should be a consideration in this project. And the fact is, the shrubs in question were selling for $5.95 (U.S.) -- making them very hard to pass up! I happened to want to grow these particular shrubs, but I could just as easily have populated the back row exclusively with tall perennial flowers (being careful to select sun-loving types, in this case).

In choosing the location for my flower bed and the placement of my plants, I followed a practice known as "layering." In the context of planting flower beds, "layering" means you put the tallest flower bed plants in the back, the shortest in the front row, and the remaining plants in between. My layered flower bed should provide maximum visual appeal when all the plants mature.

Selecting the Flower Bed Plants

But in addition to considering plant heights, the following are some of the factors that went into my plant selection, when I went to the store to make my purchase:

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