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It’s never too late to start planning your spring flower garden. Your garden says as much about you and the way you run your home as your fashion and hygiene say about how you take care of yourself. It’s important to keep things fresh. You are what you plant. And every garden should be treated as a highly personal work of art. We have tips for days, but here’s a primer on design principles that will make your garden pop.

Show Off Your All-Stars

The right plant can draw attention to your home and be the talk of the neighborhood. Certain plants can play off other plants, providing an ebb and flow to your garden so that those who are particularly showy when in bloom can shine while others blend into the background and highlight them. Those are your all-stars. We’re fans of using backdrops like hedge rows and fences to highlight shapes and colors. Your house itself can even be used as a backdrop.

Island beds are another option. While they don’t have a backdrop to serve as display, they’re easily viewed from all angles, where backdrops are usually only viewed from the front. Whichever style you choose, consider using a focal point like a small bench or a statue to draw attention to your masterpiece. Just stay away from tacky garden gnomes.

Play with Texture

Texture is important to consider when planning your garden as well. Greens, flowers, trees, bushes, rocks—all of these can play a major role in making sure your garden both pleases and engages the eye. Nobody wants to look at a bed that only has one kind of flower. The possibilities are endless. If you’re going with in island bed, consider an anchor piece, such as a tree, shrub, or large perennial. You can even go with a statue, large container, or a bench. Play with geometrical shapes or use bright, colorful flowers as borders for walkways.

Color scheme is also important to keep in mind as you move forward with designing your garden. We could go on for ages about our favorite colors and color combinations; it’s all a matter of personal preference. Go the more traditional route or get creative with your palette. Either way, we’re sure it’ll pay off!

Keep It Symmetrical

This takes a bit of planning, because moving plants multiple times over the course of a season doesn’t promote growth. It’s best to come up with a solid game plan and to stick with it. Keep in mind that yardsticks aren’t just for vegetables. You can use a yardstick to make sure plants are evenly spaced and sit in straight rows. But you can also play with other designs, too.

It’s important to layer, too. Place taller, sun-loving plants and shrubs in the back and keep shorter annuals and perennials in the front. And be sure to reserve a seat for some salvias in the middle. Once you’ve determined height and arranged accordingly, you can arrange types in small groups of odd numbers for the greatest visual impact. Single flowers by themselves won’t stand out at all. Give them friends to play with!

In the end, what works for you may not work for Mr. or Mrs. Next-Door-Neighbor. Every garden and everyone’s personal tastes are unique. But by going into the season with a design in mind can help you create and cultivate a garden that’s sure to turn some heads. You might even consider putting up warning signs. Just make sure they don’t clash with your work of art.

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