How to Make a New Flowerbed

This is our new flowerbed that I made this week. I chose Knock Out Roses (Rosa Radrazz) and Hollyhocks (Alcea Rosea Fiesta Time) as the larger center plants. Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia Fulgida Goldstrum), salmon colored lilies (Tiny Double You Asiatic Lily), and Stella de Oro Daylilies make up the outer layers. Though I still need to mulch, it looks pretty good. Next year it will be gorgeous! Continue reading below for step by step instructions on how to create your own flowerbed.


Still need to mulch. The rain came just as I finished cleaning up.

Freshly Mulched Flowerbed

Freshly Mulched Flowerbed

How to Make a New Flowerbed

  1. Decide where you want your flowerbed located. Be mindful of how many hours of full sun your chosen spot receives per day. This will determine if it can support full sun, part-sun, or shade loving plants.
  2. Determine the size and shape that you prefer or that will fit your space. Easy tip– take a long outdoor electric cord (commonly orange) and use it to outline different patterns that may make a great flowerbed.
  3. When you have the shape you like outlined with the extension cord, take a flat long handled spade and cut around the extension cord into the grass about 2-3 inches deep.
  4. Move the extension cord out of your way after you get the whole outline cut, and go back around a second time with the flat spade at a sharp angle to remove the grass and its roots (about 2 inches deep). I find its easiest to cut strips about 6 inches wide and 3 feet long.
  5. Once the turf and roots are removed, hold each strip over the new flowerbed and beat the dirt surrounding the roots with the edge of a garden trowel. This will remove the excess dirt from the turf and put it back into your flower bed without the roots or grass. Pick up any roots or grass that may fall into the flowerbed.
  6. Take your flat long handled spade and circle the flower bed once more cutting a small trench about 4 -5 inches deep.
  7. After cutting the trench, unroll a plastic edger and place it in the trench keeping the top above ground level. Back fill with soil to keep the edger in place. This plastic edger will help keep your flowerbed safe from the encroaching lawn.
  8. Take a hoe to level the dirt.
  9. Amend your soil at this point if you so choose.
  10. Now that you have your prepared flowerbed, visualize what flowers will fill the space and their arrangement. Often a trip to the garden center will provide plants that you were not even planning to buy so keep an open design until after you return from plant shopping.
  11. Place the plants in the flowerbed while still in their pots and play with their arrangement. Make sure that taller plants are in the back if your flowerbed is up against a structure or that they are in the middle if the flowerbed can be viewed from all angles.
  12. Start digging the first hole in the middle or in the back for your tallest plants. Leave as many of your other plants sitting in the flowerbed to hold their spot and keep you on track. I like to dig and plant one plant at a time but in the past have dug a few holes and planted a few at a time. Its up to you. Make sure you dig your hole wider and deeper than you need it to be. Plants like the loosened soil to stretch their roots in.
  13. Place each plant in its hole so that ground level is right at the soil level in the pot. Plants can suffocate if buried too deep and dry-out if not planted deep enough. For best results, consult the plant tag for specific planting instructions.
  14. After each planting, level the soil in the area.
  15. After all the plants are planted, it is time to mulch. You can mulch directly over the dirt or lay newspaper, paper grocery bags, or brown moving/packing/craft paper down then mulch over top of it. The second method ensures the fewest weeds in your garden. It will also decompose and add nourishment to your soil.
The flower garden at the end of the summer. Most plants have stopped blooming now but the garden is still beautiful thanks to my pretty little garden gnomes and knockout roses.

The flower garden at the end of the summer. Most plants have stopped blooming now but the garden is still beautiful thanks to my pretty little garden gnomes and knockout roses.



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