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Flower Garden Design Basics

Creating a beautiful flower garden can be overwhelming, but understanding a few key concepts can make it much easier.

Use warm colors of orange, red and yellow to create a focal point in the garden, make large areas appear smaller and feel warmer and more energized.

Cool colors of blue, green, and violet are peaceful and make small areas feel larger and the space seem cooler. 

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the artist’s color wheel and as the name implies they go well together.  A good example is combining blue salvia and yellow threadleaf coreopsis

Color echoing is a great way to provide unity and a sense of continuity in a garden or landscape.  One color is repeated in the flowers and foliage of various plants or accents throughout the garden or landscape.

Use fine textured plants to create the illusion of depth in a small garden.  Include bold textured plants to create a focal point.  And combine the two to maximize their form and beauty.

A bit more information:  Design with maintenance in mind.  Make sure all parts of the flower garden are accessible for weeding, deadheading, dividing and other maintenance tasks.  All the plants in an island bed 3 to 6 feet wide are within arm’s reach for most gardeners.  Wider island beds or borders over three feet wide will need strategically placed steppers or pathways to allow you to access all flowers for routine maintenance.

Upcoming Webinars & Appearances


August 4 - 14
Wisconsin State Fair

CLICK HERE for additional information on Melinda's presentation topics

Sept. 10
Pasquesi Home & Gardens

Sept. 24
Ebert's Greenhouse Village

Sept. 25
Historic Milwaukee Doors Open
at Sanger House Gardens

Oct. 14-16
NARI Milwaukee
Home & Remodeling Show

Oct. 26

Webinar: Year-round Perennial
Garden Maintenance


Nov. 2
Webinar: Boosting the Beauty of
and Propagating Houseplants


CLICK HERE for pollinator gardening webinars, videos & DIY projects

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