Unless you're striving for the sort of wild, chaotic look that typifies English cottage gardens, it's a good idea to have a color scheme in mind when planting flower beds. If you need help with plant selection, browse through my flower pictures for some ideas. My color scheme in planting this flower bed was blue, purple and gold. Note that I am considering the color of the plants' foliage, too, not just flowers.
I am killing two birds with one stone in using the iris (see photo above) I selected (Iris pallida 'Aureo-Variegata'). Its flower provides purple color, but its variegated leaves also give me a light gold color. In addition, its large, blade-shaped foliage makes for a nice contrast in textures with my other plants.
We'll look at the other purple and blue elements of my color scheme later in the tutorial. But in Step 3, let's go for the gold...!