We all have a dream of a perfect flower border and to all of us the word "perfect" has another meaning. Some like it wild, the other love order, and that is perfectly OK! But, be it formally or informally planted, there are some rules to be followed in planting a new border.
1. Mark the edges of your border with a garden hose. It is a good way to make changes of your border as you like it until you are satisfied with the shape and size. The size , of course, depends on size of your plot and how much space you have for it. But, be generous and make it as wide as you can. Plants need space to look the best.
2. Clear the site completely from stones and weeds. Weeding is important to prevent extra work once the border is planted.
3. Make all the "hard-wear" like edges, pavings, etc. before planting. Edging is good because it keeps surrounding vegetation from invading the border. It also makes mowing easier. I use old brick in my garden. Make sure to choose the right material for the purpose to match the garden style.
preparing the site in 2006 ...
...and making changes in 2009.
The same site today (2010)
4. No matter what kind of soil you have it will benefit from mixing in organic matter like peat moss, rotted manure or compost. If you can, dig and loosen the soil 30 cm deep. After you have done it, water really well and leave it for a week. This will allow some weed seeds to germinate so, you will be able to remove it again.
5. Now it is time to plant the plants. Make sure to choose the right plants for the site according to the soil type and exposition. One of the common mistakes when planting the border is planting the plants too close. In the beginning it might look somewhat "empty" but soon the border will fill in as the plants grow
Flower bed in 2008...
... and today.
6. Mulching is a good idea to conserve moisture and suppress the weeds. Use compost for the purpose.
7. The first growing season is most critical. Water good every day for the first two weeks. Be persistent in weeding.
8. Most plants do not require great care. Do the normal care like regular weeding, adding fertilizer, deadheading, removing dry and faded plant, prune shrubs and so on.