The best part about owning a home is that you can give it your personal touch by creating a beautiful landscape in your front yard. You can plant trees, add stone walkways leading up to the front door, you can even add a new front porch; but one of the main displays you should create is a flower bed along the front of the house.
Gardening and planting flowers, in general, can get tricky. You need to know what flowers will be able to survive in your climate, what colors will look best against the paint on your house, where to place them in accordance with sunlight needs, and in what season those flowers will bloom.
The answers to all of these questions will guide you on the look and placement of your front flower bed.
- Knowing your climate
- Plant hardiness zones
- Drought tolerant flowers
- Frost tolerant flowers
- Flowers for average climate
- Color schemes for your flower bed
- Sunlight and shade needs
Knowing Your Climate
If you gain knowledge and an understanding of what climate you live in, you will be able to know what flowers will grow and survive in your area. Some climates require you to use flowers that are either drought tolerant or frost tolerant.
Luckily, expert gardeners and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) have put together a map that allows you to make a quick and easy determination of what flowers you will need for your climate. It is called the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
Plant Hardiness Zones
The information found on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones. Most states in the US, ones that have average weather patterns and normal temperatures, will be in about zone 4.
For colder states like Alaska and Minnesota, you will find that the zone is between 1 and 3, which require frost tolerant plants because of the very low temperatures. The hotter the state, the higher the zone number.
Hardiness zones from 9 and up need plants that are drought and heat tolerant. If you visit the USDA’s page showing the Plant Hardiness Zone Map, you can search your location by zip code to receive your zone number.
Pay attention to how much sunlight will shine on your front flower bed throughout the day. If it gets a lot of sun, you can expect that it will be hotter than other areas of the yard and may even qualify as a higher zone than what is stated for your region.
Drought Tolerant Flowers
African daisies are bright purple and grow in bunches of many flowers. They survive in high temperatures but may not live through a long dry spell.
A Penstemon plant grows lots of small pink flowers and is drought tolerant. Very little maintenance or watering is needed.
You’ll love these bright orange poppies; they bring a warm feeling to the onlooker and make an attractive addition to a front flower bed. Your goal in creating a front flower bed should be to make a more inviting entrance, use California Poppies to do so.
Flowers of the Calendula plant are golden yellow or orange. Calendulas are very easy to tend to and will not die come winter. However, they will wither in the summer if it gets too hot outside.
This is a mesmerizing flower to look at; the petals fade from purple to burgundy, and you can also find Osteospermum flowers in blue, orange, yellow, rose, or lavender. They grow up to 3 feet tall, so place them towards the back of your flower bed, against the side of the building or house.
Pansies are very popular flowers and come in many different colors. Usually, you will want to plant them in large groups, but since you’re probably working with a small flower bed, place the pansies around the edges or corners since they are short.
A flower bed is useless if you can’t view all of the flowers planted inside it. Try to think ahead about where each plant will go, by height.
Flowers for an Average Climate
These are very small white flowers that grow in huge bundles. It can survive in winter or summer and all the seasons in between. Alyssums require only partial shade.
New Guinea Impatiens
Impatiens is another plant with small to medium flowers. However, they can grow large if taken care of well. Shade is a necessity for survival, so plant them in a spot where they are either shaded by taller flowers or lie in the shadow of the building beside the flower bed.
This wishbone flower plant has flowers that are white with a purple rim around cup-shaped blooms, but it has more leaves and greenery than flowers. It’s a good space filler and makes a flower bed look more natural.
Browallia is another part shade flower. It has a lot of leaves, like the Wishbone flower, but with deep purple flowers throughout.
Color Schemes for Your Flower Bed
Color is important. Too few colors and your flower bed will go unnoticed; too many and it will clash with the color of your house.
Planning and strategized gardening is the way to find this happy medium.
Start by looking at the color of your house. Is it light or dark? Is it an organic/earthy tone or a primary color?
Choose flowers that are the opposite of your home for an interesting contrast. If you decide to plant many darker colored flowers, include a few accent colors of the opposite tone. If you need more help with organizing your flower bed or with other landscaping ideas, click here.
Sunlight and Shade Needs
Pick flowers for your front flower bed not only by climate but by their sunlight and shade needs as well. When you buy plants, they are labeled for the correct amount of sunlight or shade that they need to survive. Be aware of this as you place your flower bed.