The flowerbeds, in a garden, are designed to accommodate the smallest plants, which however offer a long and lively flowering; they certainly constitute the most colorful areas, which immediately attract the observer’s gaze. It is therefore very important to give them a shape that is in harmony with all the surrounding environment and to place in them those plants that can give the best of themselves, in the chosen position. Having a flower bed always flowery and beautiful, in every season, requires a considerable commitment by the gardener, both in terms of time, for the constant and constant care, both in terms of space, in order to grow the necessary seedlings in quantity. and finally, in terms of economic possibilities in case you want to plant uncommon specimens. For this reason, this decorative form is currently in decline, in our small gardens. Plants destined to decorate the flower beds are grown in greenhouses, caisson or seedling, in appropriate quantities. and they are then, in due course, transplanted, that is, planted, as temporary occupants of the previously prepared flower bed. The expertise of the gardener is to make the seedlings grow uniformly and to acclimatize them so that they are ready at the right time to replace the spring bulbs or other plants that have already passed their flowering period.
Most bedding plants can be obtained from seed, although cuttings need to be used for some species; others, like the reeds, the dahlias, and the bulbous begonias, are generally obtained by vegetative division from root tubers or rhizomes. It is true that these last plants mentioned can also be obtained from the seeds, but it is a very long process and in this way, as we have already said several times, no uniform results are obtained, which are the essential requirement for the plant essences at the flowerbeds. The seeds are placed to germinate in boxes, terrines, or even pots, very suitable those of peat; the latter are preferred above all in the case of important or delicate plants, because with them the seedlings must not be removed for transplant operations, and the plant, therefore, does not suffer any damage to the roots. Almost all the herbaceous plants, after their transplanting outdoors, will need abundant daily waterings, since during the day, especially in the middle of summer, they suffer a constant and considerable loss of moisture that could damage them, in the terrines or in seedbeds, they were in a more protected environment. In planting these plants, it is necessary to keep in mind the dimensions they can reach, so as to allow them space to develop easily; however, if it proves indispensable, it will be possible to resort to a thinning later. Finally, a prudent and prudent gardener will remember to keep a small number of reserve seedlings in case someone does not recover from the transplant shock or perish for any accidental cause. A rather important operation in the preparation of a flowerbed, which precedes the placing in it of the plants, is to considerably increase the central part of the ground: in fact, a flowerbed in which the soil is completely leveled will not give the best emphasis to the plants and to the flowers that are there, since the central ones will remain covered in part by the most external; perhaps exception are those very rare cases in which the flower bed is situated in such a position as to be seen mostly from the top of a terrace and not from the level of the garden. A recommended precaution is also to place the highest plants in the central parts, reserving the peripheral area to the smaller and more delicate ones. The design of a flower bed is based on some basic knowledge that refers to the colors and their various combinations. This is certainly not the place to deal with color theory, but you can, however, give some suggestions to help the beginner gardener make pleasant combinations. All the plants are provided with leaves, which in common sense, except for very few cases, are green; if you want to give them evidence it is necessary to approach flowers whose color includes all the shades of the spectrum around the yellow, from the cold lemon yellow tones to the softer and warmer of the apricot or orange color, to the fiery red vermilion. The brown or tawny tone, which can be admired in Cheiranthus or in some Iris, harmonizes better with the tender green of the spring leaves, as, moreover, also the rosy toenons from the coral to the salmon. With the tulips, thanks to their wide range of colors it is possible to obtain an infinity of designs in harmony, because in fact the tulips, in addition to the common colors mentioned previously, also have silvery-pink tones, shades from violet to lilac, from scarlet to crimson, from white to creamy yellow.
Moreover, in these flowers some reds and browns have been obtained so intense and dark that they seem almost black; only the blue range is almost absent. Having flowers of this last color available, the green of the leaves serves almost exclusively as a background and therefore does not need to be highlighted excessively. It is important to avoid some unpleasant color combinations, such as scarlet red and crimson, or orange and the so-called “shocking” rose; also the blue flowers bind little with mauve or lilac colors, like magenta with purple. The further you are away from the flower bed, the less obvious these discrepancies are, but the effect must be judged from a distance. A rather pleasant realization from an aesthetic point of view can be obtained with the trick of always choosing the complementary colors (of the light spectrum): a blue flower spot is highlighted by an orange tone; instead the yellows are highlighted by the purple and the red stands out among the predominant green of the leaves. When the flower bed is positioned in such a position as to be admired by a more or less pre-established point of view, one can also take into account the enhancement of perspective: for the first floors preference will be given to flowers with light colors, such as white and yellow, while the sense of greater depth can be obtained using predominantly blue or mauve shades, which more confuse the eye. Having considered the general principles, it is not necessary to give particular examples of the various combinations of the many plants suitable to decorate a flower bed, and it is always interesting and pleasant to look for new and more original plants. The plants that bloom in the spring are mainly bulbous plants, such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, irises, crocuses, scilla, etc. Among all, tulips and hyacinths are particularly widespread, also for their ease of purchase; if you turn to specialized and qualified importers for this, the bulbs will give excellent results and will flourish in their right time. However, almost all these plants mentioned have the defect of not covering the ground at all, because the number of leaves is very small; therefore, wishing for a more pleasant effect, they will plant themselves together with such bulbs exemplary of Arabis, Alyssum, Aubrietia, do not forget me; also the primroses with large flowers are very appreciated and so are the early violets and the perfumed violets. A very common plant used to form the outermost border of the flower bed is the double daisy, Bellis perennis florepieno. Most of the plants for spring flower beds reach their maximum splendor in late spring and in June it will be in decline, although among the many there are some that keep their good looks for longer. It is good to remember that tulips and hyacinths cannot be left on the ground, as they will hardly give flowers for two consecutive seasons. Plants destined to adorn the flowerbeds in the warm summer months must be planted usually at the beginning of spring in the seedling and are then placed in the flower beds to replace those that have now faded.
The following list lists many genres, among which you can choose; however if you want to place other plants in your flowerbeds, it will be a good idea to make sure that the desired species offer a long flowering period and do not have vegetation that prevails during the summer season. As for the cultivation of different species, the treatment is referred to the individual items. A small hint also deserves small plants that are used to outline flower beds or even simple green spaces. In practice it is the same plants used in the frontal parts of the beds; generally, annual species are chosen, grown in greenhouses or in boxes and then placed outdoors in spring, or sown directly where they need to bloom; but there are nevertheless perennial plants that adapt to this purpose. Even this form of gardening, as is the case for flowerbeds, is currently largely reserved for the flowery corners of public parks; nevertheless, it can offer some nice color solutions, in a garden where these borders are even easier to create than a real flower bed. The choice of species and shades of the various colors is all left to the personal taste of those who want to make these types of garden. You only remember that the yellow, red and blue tones contrast nicely with all their nuances and therefore the various combinations of such colors will always give harmonious effects. As has been said, the gardener has at his disposal a large number of plants; among those that are easily obtained from seed we find: Iberis, Convolvulus Royal Marine, which is a covering species, Dimorphotheca Glistening White, with cheerful yellow flowers bordered with white, Limnanthes douglasii, with abundant flowering, Linaria maroccana, Nemophila insignis, with blue flowers sky, Nasturtium with many shapes and varieties. At the beginning of spring, all forms of polyanthus primula or small wild primroses are advisable; they will also show crocuses, scillae, muscari or other small bulbous ones. Finally, in the late spring, the violets of thought will begin their abundant and lasting flowering; and in summer you can also give preference to all the dwarf forms of snapdragons, dahlias, stars, petunias, agerates. lobelias, portulache, marigolds, etc. The perennial or at least enduring borders of a single season are realized with the dwarf forms of Buxus, or with small lavender bushes, or with the variegated leaves of Evonimus radicans which is a creeping form. In the classical schemes of the flower beds we find those in which the external borders are made with the multiple forms of Alternanthera: the leaves have a wide range of colors and can be kept small enough with regular pruning. Where the mild climate allows it, you can also create elegant borders with echeveria, which with their glaucets rosettes of fleshy leaves lend themselves to underline contours and drawings. Also, the whitish bearings of Cerastium tomentosum and plants such as Mesembrianthemum, Sedum, sempervivi, Herniaria glabra, Stellaria graminea in the golden variety are all plants that belong to classic gardening but are currently still used to make original flower beds.