The Q&A Archives: Designing a Flower Bed

Question: I have a flower bed that is about 15'x2.5' in the sun. Could you suggest some flowers for me? Maybe something to form a beautiful back ground, with small plants in front of it, and that will bloom all summer.

Answer: I suggest that you focus on annuals, because they do bloom all season long. You'll need to "deadhead" (pick off dead blossoms) or pick bouquets frequently to encourage more bloom from them. You can try one of Burpee's designed gardens, such as "Long, Hot Summer Garden" (pg.47 of the Spring '98 catalog), which includes shades of red, yellow and orange colored celosia (cock's comb), cosmos, marigolds, nasturtium and tithonia. The tall cosmos and tithonia are in back, then celosia in the "center aisle", and low-growing marigolds and nasturtium in the foreground. The design sketch that comes with the seeds is for a bed 16'x5', but you can scale it down, or choose individual seed packets for the plants suggested. Other heat & sun-loving annuals are portulaca, which hug the ground, Australian poppies and four o'clocks, which could form the background. Hope these suggestions are helpful!

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