Image: David W Hughes /

9 Flower Garden Ideas to Liven up Your Yard

by Cristina Oprean
4 min. read

A flower garden can be a superb way to make your outdoor space look beautiful while also boosting your curb appeal. With a bit of planning, you can create a flower garden that not only looks great but also attracts a host of welcome visitors, makes the most of your space and smells divine.

Here are nine flower garden ideas that are sure to bring your yard to life.

1. Bee and Butterfly Garden

With the right choice of flowers, your garden can be a haven for bees and butterflies. Not only does it look and smell fantastic, but it creates a safe space for these beautiful creatures to rest, feed and reproduce. This really helps reduce the decline of both bees and butterflies, two essential pollinators that we and almost all other animals rely on for our food supply.

Here are the best flowers for a pollinator garden:

  • Columbine
  • Hardy geraniums
  • Lavender
  • Heather
  • Echinacea
  • Sedum
  • Verbena
  • Bee balm
  • Zinnia
butterflies on zinnia flowers

Image: emkaplin /

2. Hummingbird Garden

Hummingbirds love tube-shaped flowers, and they also have a soft spot for the colors red, yellow and purple. These pretty little birds are a welcome addition to any garden, and with a bit of planning, you can create a space that provides for all their needs — food, water, shelter and nesting.

The best flowers for attracting hummingbirds are:

  • Trumpet vine
  • Honeysuckle
  • Bee balm
  • Red hot poker
  • Cardinal flower
  • Butterfly bush
  • Daylily
  • Phlox
hummingbird and phlox flower

Image: Danita Delimont /

3. Edible Flower Garden

You can use these flowers in a salad, make syrups or preserves, or even sprinkle the petals on cakes. Also, if you plant them next to your vegetable garden, they will attract pollinators for crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and beans.

Here are some of the tastiest edible flowers for your garden:

  • Nasturtiums
  • Pot marigold
  • Sweet violet
  • Chives
  • Hibiscus
  • Damask rose
  • Elderflower
  • Flowering herbs such as mint, rosemary, thyme, and basil
  • Lavender

Image: freya-photographer /

4. Xeriscape Flower Garden

This water-efficient garden is a top choice for hotter, drier climates. Of course, it requires some planning ahead for the best results, but there are lots of drought-tolerant flowers that look superb and add a splash of color. It’s also an excellent choice for gardeners looking to cut down on water usage or set up a rock garden.

Here are some of the best flowers for xeriscaping:

  • California poppy
  • Lavender
  • Alyssum
  • Purslane
  • Sedum
  • Sea holly
  • Yarrow

Image: Martin Fowler /

5. English Garden

A rebellion against the rigorous, sculpted look of aristocratic French and Italian garden design, English gardens are wild at heart, boasting a natural layout that combines a mix of flowers and shrubs. They capture the Romantic vibe of late 18th-century Britain, creating a sweeping landscape bursting with blooms.

These are some great plants for an English garden design:

  • Foxglove
  • Peony
  • Bluebell
  • Daffodil
  • Hydrangea
  • Rhododendron
  • Camelia
  • Lupine
  • Delphinium
  • Weigela
  • Roses
  • Hollyhock

Image: Vronivis /

6. Trellis Flower Garden

This is a fantastic space-saver for smaller gardens or even balconies. The vertical layout showcases a variety of gorgeous climbing and vining flowers, many of which smell amazing. To keep your vines flowering, prune them in early spring, before the buds emerge, and at the end of the flowering season.

The best perennial plants for trellises are:

  • Honeysuckle
  • Clematis
  • Morning glory
  • Climbing rose
  • Wisteria
  • Passionflower
  • Black-Eyed Susan vine
black-eyed susan vine

Image: Luis Echeverri Urrea /

7. Shade Garden

If your garden, or parts of it, doesn’t get a lot of sunshine, don’t despair. There are plenty of shade-tolerant flowers that produce gorgeous blooms and a welcome splash of color. You’ll often get better results if you remove any competition from the area, such as grass, allowing the flowers to thrive.

These garden flowers are ideal for shade:

  • Lily of the Valley
  • Hellebore
  • Primrose
  • Impatiens
  • Columbine
  • Bleeding heart
  • Hardy cyclamen
  • Hosta

Image: Flower_Garden /

8. Fragrant Flower Garden

This fragrant flower garden is a top choice if you’re looking for a multi-sensory outdoor experience. Nothing beats the scent of blooming flowers as you stroll about your yard, and with the right choice of flowers, you can be sure of gorgeous aromas at every turn.

The best flowers for a fragrant garden are:

  • Nicotiana
  • Honeysuckle
  • Gardenia
  • Lavender
  • Lilac
  • Tuberose
  • Freesia
  • Magnolia
  • Roses
yellow roses

Image: NataliSel /

9. Border Flower Garden

Colorful borders are perfect for small gardens and make an attractive display alongside your pathways. Confined to the edge of your garden, you’re left with plenty of space for other outdoor activities.

Here are some gorgeous flowers for small borders:

  • Hellebore
  • Dianthus
  • Heater
  • Dahlia
  • Sedum
  • Shasta daisy
  • Creeping thyme
  • Coral bells
  • Lobelia

Image: LutsenkoLarissa /

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