If you're an aspiring horticulturist stuck in an urban or slightly suburban area, you might feel a little discouraged after scrolling through tons of Pinterest boards filled with acres of scenic landscapes. However, gardens don't have to be large, rambling estates full of blooms to be lovely additions to your space. By creating your own flower bed, you can fill your outdoor space with fantastic blooms without sacrificing space.
Whether you're not handy with tools or you need a quick flower box later in the growing season, cinder blocks can provide the perfect solution to your short-term gardening problems. Stack cinder blocks in the shape you want your flower bed to be or create a wall with cinder blocks at perpendicular angles for individual flower pots.
If you have a small yard, a vertical flower bed is an excellent option for small spaces. These can be purchased for made through a DIY guide. Hanging planters and flower baskets are also accessible and can be filled with hanging and trailing plants to add personality.
Many climbing vines and plants thrive when they have a trellis to grow against. Vegetables like cucumbers and flowers like sweet peas love the opportunity to climb, so a trellis is often required to grow these plants. You can put your trellis inside, on a porch, or up against a sunny side of your house to add a lush accent without taking up too much ground cover.
Clay and terracotta garden pots are common for small plants and indoor herbs, but they can form a formidable garden display in their own right. Use planters of various sizes and shapes to design an easy-to-upkeep display of your garden's best. Focus the attention on the larger and more stately pots by planting showstoppers like palm trees or hanging vines.
For gardeners on a budget or those who call an apartment home, balcony and window sill planters are a great flower box option. If you know what you want to plant and would like to dress up your outdoor space, place these affordable planters along a balcony railing or outside of a window sill. Flowers that need lots of sun will thrive in the fresh air and natural light.
Pre-cut blocks can be purchased to help the budding gardener assemble a garden with nothing other than basic tools. These pre-cut blocks might typically be used for stone walkways or poolside walls, but they can help you create a gorgeous raised garden bed with nothing but your bare hands and a little elbow grease. Some gardeners might prefer this to a cinderblock bed because of their more attractive appearance.
Maybe you're stuck at home and can't access any flower-box materials. Perhaps you're cleaning out an old closet and find yourself with a few items you don't want to throw away. Creating a flower box at home can be as simple as repurposing a suitcase, dresser drawer, or tin container into your new gardening space. If you've been cleaning out your garage, an old wheelbarrow can be perfect for deep-rooted flowers or compost, as long as it has proper drainage.
Most people have wooden or milk crates hanging around their garage, and businesses and schools often throw them away. If you can find some in your area, they're great for flower beds full of individual varieties or for a small compost bin in a little yard. Be sure to use wire or another pest-repellent, though, since they're close to the ground and prime real estate for veggie-loving critters like rabbits and moles.
If you have a growing area outdoors already established, half-burying pots made of clay or terracotta provides the opportunity to grow plants that might otherwise not grow in the ground. In a rock garden, an environment that might not always be conducive for growing plants, burying pots can allow succulents and similar plants to thrive and complement your garden's other features.
Once you've established your new flower bed, maintenance and upkeep is an important part of the process. Testing the pH of your soil every year will tell you what types of fertilizer and organic matter you'll need to add to have a successful growing season. Make sure the plants that you place in your flower box will grow well together. Some flowers, like sunflowers, sap the soil they grow in, so planting them alone may be a good choice for that area. Remember to construct your flower bed with proper drainage, to weed regularly. You'll also need to monitor how much water your garden gets every week.