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12 Inspiring Garden Flower Bed Designs

Enjoy a dazzling view from your house, deck or patio with a flower bed full of vibrant color. These 12 gardens show some great options.

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Tulips, forget-me-nots and pansies garden flower bedsUllrichG/Shutterstock

Regal Tulip

Nothing says spring quite like the regal tulip. Trouble is, by themselves, tulips sometimes look a bit stiff and regimented. Underplant them with companions like blue forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) and yellow pansies (Viola spp.) to anchor the flowers in the bed.

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multicolored snapdragons purple, white and yellow pansiesYou Touch Pix of EuToch/Shutterstock

Multicolored Snapdragons

Spring color can also be found with annuals. In this flower bed idea, multicolored snapdragons hold court with vibrant red geraniums and a mix of purple and white pansies.

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purple larkspur red poppies garden flower bedsZeljko Radojko/Shutterstock

Purple Larkspur Highlights

These purple larkspur (Consolida ajacis) hold sway over red poppies and white daisies, providing a naturalistic wildflower look. Daisies are among the easiest perennials to grow, while larkspur and poppies are rampant self-seeders that will sow a new crop year after year. Plus: Get a flower bed planner at your fingertips here. Don’t forget to add edging!

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flowering cactus gardenporawat ruenroeng/Shutterstock

Cacti Diversity

Golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) is an intriguing fixture in the desert garden. The size and shape—contrasted by the upright cactus and the fist-sized cacti in bloom—guarantee visual interest.

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white and red checkered begonia gardenImageman/Shutterstock

Bright Begonias

Just about 180 degrees in the opposite direction of prickly cacti are these bright and shiny begonias. And what a great use for these pretty annuals. Set them in a checkerboard pattern and instantly create a “55 miles per hour” flower bed—in other words, one that attracts attention even from passing motorists.

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flower bedAlinaMD/Shutterstock

Warm Colors

Orange and yellow are warm colors—full of fun and frolic. They’re in ample supply here, with orange Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia spp.) backing up a river of yellow marigolds. Purple salvia punctuates the scene. All three flowers are pollinator favorites, too.

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flower bed garden red chestDennis van de Water/Shutterstock

Large Boxes as Centerpieces

A piece of unexpected garden art in the form of a large red box makes its presence felt in garden flower beds. It’s joined by easy-growing annuals calibrachoa, zinnia, salvia, euphorbia, marigold and cleome.

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pink white red heather flowersjlynx/Shutterstock

Heather Backdrop

The pink, red and white heathers would make a pretty picture on their own, but they’re set off even more attractively by a backdrop of pink sedum. Meanwhile, blue fescue adds textural contrast as well as a place to rest the eye among all the color.

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flower bed gardenaopsan/Shutterstock

Covering Slopes

When you’ve got a slope, you might as well take advantage of the existing stage by stair-stepping plants. This bed features red petunias, hot-pink cosmos, yellow marigolds, white and pink cleome, and blood-red celosia.

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wild flowers gardenEdmund Lowe Photography/Shutterstock

Add Bold Bursts

A terrific burst of color is what you get when you plant a mix of bluebonnet (Lupinus spp.), Indian paintbrush (Castilleja spp.) and yellow aster. How could garden flower beds not look divine with an artful mix of these colors? Adding flower bed stones is a great way to add texture to your landscape, too.

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pink roses on white fenceJorge Salcedo/Shutterstock

Add Some Pink

Pink roses and white picket fences just naturally go together. Add some perennial purple salvia and chartreuse euphorbia, and you end up with a charming scene worthy of a painting. They’re all perennials so they’ll come back year after year. Better yet, the roses will scent the walkway with their heavenly fragrance.

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perennial flower bedV J Matthew/Shutterstock

Perennial Winners

And we finish off with another perennial bed, this one with a different color scheme and a less formal bearing. It features hosta, daylilies, sedum, wallflower, ligularia and ajuga.

Luke Miller
Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.