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10 Big Ideas for Small Beds and Even Bigger Ideas for Large Beds

Looking for ideas for your garden beds? Whether you have just a few square feet to work with or the whole side of your house, you'll find great ideas for planting colorful borders in this article.

Contributors: Kerry Meyer

Ready for some new ideas to freshen up an existing garden bed or create a whole new one? This article showcases planting ideas both for smaller spaces and more complex designs for larger spaces. While the first five ideas shown below are of smaller spaces, it would be easy enough to expand their plant palettes to larger areas.  Likewise, if you fall in love with one of our large bed ideas but don’t have a lot of room, you can adapt the idea to fit a smaller space. Let's get started!

Garden Design Ideas for Smaller Spaces

1. Bright and Bold 

tracys_garden_217.jpg

This brilliantly colored garden bed is bold, bright and an instant eye-catcher. Much of the drama in this planting comes from the contrast of the neon pink petunias and the yellow flowers along with the chartreuse foliage. It’s perfect way to add head-turning attention to any garden.

Bright and Bold Plant Palette: 

Truffula
Pink

Globe Amaranth
 


2. Sunrise Border

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Foliage makes a great anchor for flower beds. The constant color provided by the chartreuse foliage allows the bronze coleus along with purple and pink flowers to stand out. This border leads to an entryway. It is colorful without being over-the-top bright.

Sunrise Border Plant Palette:

 SEE ALL THE PLANTS USED IN THIS DESIGN HERE.

 ColorBlaze®
Golden Dreams

Coleus

 

3. Primary Colors

   

This recipe is straightforward, but makes a dramatic statement. It features bold, primary colors like brilliant yellow, scarlet red and deep, velvety blue-purple. The limited plant palette keeps things simple, but not at all boring. 

Primary Colors Plant Palette:


Golden Butterfly®

Marguerite Daisy

 

4. Pretty in Purple

This gorgeous monochromatic planting features several shades of lavender and purple highlighted with splashes of white. It’s a classic look and perfect colors to use in a space where you'd like to go to relax at the end of a long day. This planting also uses just three varieties of plants to create a lovely, serene design. It would also be easy to expand the plant palette by adding more varieties of purple and white plants to the planting.

Pretty in Purple Plant Palette:

 

5. Plenty Patriotic

   

With this combination, you’ll be set for Memorial Day and the 4th of July. While you might not want to plant a full garden of just red, white and blue, it can be a great option for a small space. Adding a bird bath in the middle like you see here will help support the wildlife and pollinators that will be attracted to the plants in this design.

Plenty Patriotic Plant Palette:


Diamond Frost®

Euphorbia

 

 

Garden Design Ideas for Larger Flower Beds

6. Sunrise Garden

We’ve been watching the Lord of the Rings movies with our daughter, and this photo makes me think of Hobbits and the shire. It has a magical feel to it. The soft color palette used here is highlighted with pops of bright chartreuse green, magenta and purple. This landscape uses a large variety of plants which you can see by tapping the link below. If the list is a bit overwhelming, simplify it by using the smaller sampling of plants shown below.

Sunrise Garden Plant Palette:

SEE ALL THE PLANTS USED IN THIS DESIGN HERE.


Vermillionaire®

Large Firecracker Plant


Angelface®

Super Blue

Summer Snapdragon

 

7. Shady Patio

 

People often lament the shady spots in their garden. While it's true that shade gardens aren't usually full of flourishing blooms, brightly colored and patterned foliage will be your best friend in the shade. It provides constant color and visual interest from planting time until frost. This complex shade border features a broad palette of flowering and foliage plants that thrive in part shade. See all of the plants used by tapping the link below, or simplify the palette by using the four varieties pictured below.

Shady Patio Plant Palette:

 SEE ALL THE PLANTS USED IN THIS DESIGN HERE.

 

8. Tropical Garden

  

Hot colors are great for spots where you’ll be entertaining since they set an upbeat mood even before you serve the margaritas and crank up the salsa music. Red, yellow and orange are the base for this garden with strategic use of bright green and dark foliage. These warm colors are perfect for celebrating long summer days.

Tropical Garden Plant Palette: 

 SEE ALL THE PLANTS USED IN THIS DESIGN HERE.


Toucan®
Scarlet

Canna Lily

Supertunia®
Really Red

Petunia

 

9. Warmly Received

 

Remember our Shady Patio garden design shown above? Here is a sun garden bed design that uses a similar color scheme to complement it. So, if your front yard is sunny and your backyard is shady, you can coordinate their designs by repeating the same colors in both places. That will help tie your whole garden into one cohesive looking design. Another idea is to use one or two colors as your primary colors--for instance deep purple and red--then supplement them with a different third color in each space.

Warmly Received Plant Palette:

SEE ALL THE PLANTS USED IN THIS DESIGN HERE.




Heat it Up®

Yellow

Blanket Flower
 
Mojave®
Red

Purslane

 

10. Calm Retreat

 

Color can be used to set the mood for your garden spaces, just like how you use paint to set the tone for your indoor rooms. A palette of calm purples, green and white create a feeling of serenity in the garden. They are perfect for using in a space treated as a retreat where you go to let the stress of the day melt away. The limited color palette of the design pictured here utilizes a range of purples and a pop of bright pink paired with white Annabelle hydrangeas which age to green. 

Calm Retreat Plant Palette:

SEE ALL THE PLANTS USED IN THIS DESIGN HERE.


Violet Knight®

Sweet Alyssum


 

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