Designing With Plants – Flowers

Designing with plants with the main focus being flowers can significantly improve the visual appearance of your landscape or garden design. Flowers can be used as sculptural elements or mass flowering bands with contrasting colour variations. Both options provide visually aesthetic focal points and colour that are eye-catching and interesting in any landscape design. Flowers through there aromatic scents, shapes and colours can also bring a garden to life attracting wildlife either exotic or native. When designing with flowers important information regarding season, flowering times, colours and scents are all needed to create the style of landscape you are after.

The seasons should be used as a guide to determine which flowering plants should be used in the design and where. It is often a challenge to select plants that will flower at the same time or in a sequence all year, throughout the garden. Plants flower in different seasons, generally most are in spring to summer with only a few flowering into autumn and then winter. Winter flowering is generally only possible in temperate to tropical climates but cooler climates have the advantage of autumn leaves and the tracery of leafless branches. The garden design should aim to have the majority of plants flowering together with a few spread out across the year, season depending, to continually add colour around the garden.

Flowering duration

Selecting plant species for flowering duration will allow a design to maximise the impact from each flowering plant in the garden. Plant species can be carefully researched and chosen so flowering times overlap which will lengthen the display of flowers around the garden. This can provide an improved visual experience in a landscape or garden design. Mixing flowering durations up between shorter but more impressive displays of flowers and longer and less impressive displays can provide interest and change throughout the garden.


Colours should be kept simple even though there are many flower colours to choose from. One main colour should be used with dashes of contrasting colours thrown in, to create or highlight focal points around the garden. This rule will vary a little between different garden styles for example a cottage garden where more colour can be added and a more modern contemporary garden the contrasting colours might be reduced. Many plant species these days are cultivated for a particular colour and flowering duration amongst other things such as habit, leave foliage and texture. In the end choose colours and plants that you enjoy to look at because after all it is your garden.

Scents & Smells

Providing some flowers with rich and aromatic perfumes in a garden design add to one’s experience and provide opportunities to guide them around the space through one’s sense of smell. Some flower scents will fill a garden while others will provide a hint which will add to one’s experience of the space. Flower scents shouldn’t be over done, therefore just add a few plant species around the garden designed to provide this important part of designing with flowers.

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