One of the easiest and most effective ways to beautify your outdoor space is to add flowers!
White roses, orange canna lilies, deep purple bellflowers, colorful zinnias — beautiful flowers come in all shapes and sizes and can truly transform an outdoor area.
Whether you have a small yard or a large one, garden beds full of your favorite flowers are a nice touch. The flower bed ideas we’re about to share are easy to incorporate and make your own to fit your space.
But before we share our pretty flower bed ideas, let’s cover some useful tips that’ll help you plant a successful flower bed.
Tips for a Successful Flower Bed
Before you start planting a garden bed, there are a few things you should do to set yourself (and your garden) up for success:
- First, turn over the soil to ensure it’s in the best possible condition! To do this, dig and shake up the top few inches of soil. Then, add fertilizer to it. This will aerate the soil, clear it of weeds, improve the drainage while adding nutrients.
- Next up, it’s time to start planning! A little bit of preparation can go a long way when it comes to creating the perfect flower bed. Before you start planting, research what will thrive in your conditions. Find out what is native to your location, what plants need direct sunlight versus some shade and think about what colors you’d like to incorporate.
- Now onto the fun stuff! It’s time to think about the flower bed design. Our top tip is to remember to layer! Put tall plants in the back, mid-height plants in the middle and low ground cover in the front to create a full look.
- You also need to remember to take seaonality into consideration. Think about the bloom times for the flowers you are planting so you can have visual interest all year round. Incorporate a mix of perennial plants as well as annuals. And your evergreens are important for some green in the deep winter.
- Once your flower beds are planted, regular maintenance will ensure they thrive. Use mulch, which will help plant roots retain water and deter weeds, weed your garden and water as needed.
Now that we’ve shared our top tips, here are some flower bed ideas to consider.
#1 // Pollinator Flower Bed
Wildlife lovers should consider a pollinator flower bed. What’s more fun than creating a beautiful flower bed that will attract wildlife?
Before you get started, think about what you want fauna you want to attract, such as butterflies, bees or songbirds, and then do some research on what plants attract these critters and what is native to your area.
If you want to attract butterflies, for example, try planting cornflower. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, love salvia.
#2 // Low Maintenance Flower Bed
Want a gorgeous outdoor space with minimal effort? Create a garden bed with low-maintenance flowers that are native to your area.
The flower bed will look great — and since native plants are designed to thrive in their local environments, it’ll be easy to maintain!
#3 // Layered Flower Bed
Create a layered flower bed by planting flowers in rows. Use contrasting colors for a bold look, or try various shades of a single color to create an ombre effect.
#4 // Line a Fence
There’s no better spot for a flower bed than along your fence line. Use some taller plants or ornamental grasses in the back if you want some additional privacy and then add shorter colorful flowers in front.
You can even create a vertical flower bed that grows up your fence.
#5 // Flower Bed with Unique Edging
At Tilly, we love a clean edge because it creates order within your space and distinguishes your flower bed from the rest of your yard.
You can have fun with your edging and make it reflect your style by using materials like bricks, wood or stones.
#6 // Add a Retaining Wall
Similar to the unique edging mentioned above, adding a more substantial retaining wall (or a few levels of walls) to your lawn can create more usable space if you have a sloped yard. The yard beyond the wall is a great place to hold flowers. You can use a wide range of materials to create your retaining wall, such as limestone or concrete and feature any flowers native to your area.
On the other hand, if you already have a retaining wall in your yard, beautify the grassy area above it by growing flowers there and creating a bed.
#7 // Flower Bed with No Edging
While we love the definition edging creates, your garden area can look just as lovely without using materials to edge. Instead, you can create the appearance of a clean edge with flowers neatly planted in a row and using a spade to create a crisp line between the soil and grass, as seen in the photo below.
#8 // Tree Base Flower Bed
Here’s a fun flower bed idea: Arrange flowers around the base of a tree trunk. This will add a nice pop of color to your yard without taking up too much space.
You could also plant some flowers around a tree stump and place a flower pot on top! Or, use a hollow log from an old tree and fill it up with soil and flowering plants.
Think outside the box and use what you have within your outdoor space.
#9 // Side Yard Flower Bed
You probably put a lot of thought into the landscaping of your back and front yard, but don’t forget about your side yard!
This often overlooked area is still an important part of your overall yard space and deserves some attention too. Planting flower beds is an easy and effective way to spruce up your side yard.
#10 // Single Species Modern Flower Bed
Here’s another fun flower bed idea: If you love a particular type of flower, dedicate an entire plant bed to it!
If roses are your favorite flower, for example, fill your garden with them and nothing but. For a little variation and visual interest, plant roses in various colors, such as white, pink and red.
Peonies are also showy enough that they look great on their own.
#11 // Shade Lovers Flower Bed
If you have an area that is shaded and maybe not used as often as you’d like, consider turning it into a shade-loving flower bed area. Impatients and begonias are just some of the many different types of flowers that love shade.
#12 // Create a Flower Bed-Like Space with Flower Pots
Create the appearance of a flower bed with flower pots. This is an excellent way to spruce up your space, and you can easily change it up as you go.
Have some fun with this as there are SO many different options of pots – clay pots, textured, every color – mix and match for a fun, eclectic look. Just remember to select flower pots that have drainage holes at the bottom so you don’t get water logged.
A fun idea for the eclectic gardener, plant flowers in an old wheelbarrow to create a wheelbarrow planter. You can grow flowers around the wheelbarrow, too, so it feels like a thoughtful, well-incorporated part of your overall design. This look isn’t for everyone, but can pull off a great cottage charm in the right space.
#13 // Line a Walkway
Make your walkway a focal point in your yard by lining it with flowers! This is a fun way to create interest and add color to your yard.
#14 // Add Style to Your Steps
If you have steps between a higher and lower elevation area in your yard, line the sides with a flower bed similar to how you would a walkway.
#15 // Capture Your Style Flower Bed
Have fun with your gardening and create a space that reflects your personal style.
Whether you prefer bright, colorful flowers or white flowers, you can incorporate whatever you love most into your garden.
Maybe you want a dynamic rock garden or a zen garden with room for a yoga mat. Or perhaps you’re interested in a rain garden. Prefer succulents over pretty pink begonias? No problem! At the end of the day, gardening should be fun and personal.
#16 // Improve Your View
Who doesn’t love a room with a view? Create a garden bed you can see from a picture window or a window you spend a lot of time at! This way, you can enjoy your garden inside and outside.
#17 // Unique Shaped Flower Beds
Don’t feel like you have to stick to square or rounded flower beds — have fun with the layout of your space!
Incorporating a curved or round flower bed can make a space feel extra intimate. As we mentioned earlier, try a flower bed with no edging for a unique look.
#18 // Fill in a Slope
Flower beds can come in handy if you have an awkward part of your lawn, such as a sloped area, that you aren’t sure how to use. Fill it with flowers!
This is also true for small spaces that don’t get much use. It’s amazing how a simple flower bed can transform a space and bring any area of your yard to life.
#19 // Go Natural
If you want your flower beds to feel more natural and less planned, stick to natural landscaping. Try using smaller stones, river rocks or mulch.
#20 // Embrace the Wild Side
If a wild-style garden is what you’re after, try planting wildflowers for a fun and carefree look. No one said your flower beds have to be neat and tidy!
#21 // Monotone Flower Bed
A garden bed that uses one color can be just as striking as one that features many colorful blooms! Just make sure you have many different plants with contrasting textures and shapes.
#22 // Spruce up an ADU
If you have an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) in your yard, make sure it is incorporated into your overall landscape design so it doesn’t feel out of place. Adding flower beds around it is a great way to do this.
You can also place a white fence — or any fence — around the building and plant flowers around it to make it feel even homier.
#23 // Go Vertical
If you’re short on space, a vertical flower bed is an excellent option. Grow a garden up a trellis or arbor or build planters onto a wall for height.
Raised beds are another smart way to incorporate plenty of plants and flowers into a vertical space.
#24 // Don’t Forget to Decorate
Take your garden beds to the next level with a few strategically placed decorations, such as a garden gnome, an old wheelbarrow, clay pots, a fountain or a bird bath.
#25 // Channel English Style
Turn your backyard into an English cottage garden with flower beds full of pastels, and large groupings of your favorite flowers. These gardens are picture-perfect, with flora organized in a way that feels both thoughtful and carefree.
#26 // Enhance Your Entertaining Space
If you have a patio or deck where you like to entertain, try planting flowers around it to add definition and visual interest to the space. The addition of pretty plants and flowers will create a chic, relaxing area your friends and family will love spending time in.
If you have an outdoor dining table, try framing it with flower beds to create a pretty backdrop and add ambiance to your space.
Raised beds are another great option around or near an entertainings space.
#27 // Create a Gravel Yard
Gravel is an inexpensive way to add another patio or entertaining area. Adding flowers around a gravel space is a great way to elevate the area.
#28 // Play With Texture
Make your flower bed more interesting by incorporating various textures. Mix ornamental grasses, such as miscanthus grass, with a range of flowers and shrubs.
#29 // Built-In Flower Bed
If you’re thinking of adding a deck to your backyard, try one with built-in planters to create the illusion that the plants are growing right out of your deck. This is a great option if your yard is on the smaller side or for city living.
#30 // Mailbox Flower Bed
A quick and easy way to boost your curb appeal is to plant a flower bed around your mailbox. Stick to shorter flowers that are bright and eye-catching.
#31 // Follow Your Own Path
If you have flower beds spread throughout various areas in your yard, connect them all with pathways. Make the pathways out of mulch, stone, gravel or any other material that suits your space.
#32 // Create a Romantic Escape
Create a romantic escape right in your backyard. Plant a flower bed full of roses and lavender and add a cozy seating area, such as a bistro table and chairs, a lounge chair or a stone bench.
Add a trellis covered in flowers or a water feature, such as a fountain, for even more charm.
We hope this roundup of flower bed ideas has inspired you to start planting and transform your outdoor space.
If you need help designing your dream flower garden or figuring out how to incorporate some of the above flower bed ideas into your yard, you’re in luck! Tilly’s expert team of designers can assist you in bringing your flower garden ideas to life.