How to Choose Bedding Plants For Your Beds and Borders

If you do not have the time, space or energy to grow all your plants from seeds and cuttings, you will, like most gardeners, turn to bedding plants each year to fill your garden. April is the time of year when our thoughts turn to garden centres and plant nurseries and we head out like kids in a sweet shop to choose some bedding plants for our beds and borders. However, if you do go out this month to buy some plants, you will need to be careful of any later frosts and not be too hasty to place your plants outside. Err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to more delicate plants. Here are a few tips to make sure that you are choosing the right bedding plants and getting the best value for money:

Consider Your Space and Your Soil

There are loads of plants on display at garden centres and plant nurseries across the country that will not actually be well-suited to local climatic and soil conditions. Do not be tempted by lush displays but always consider your own garden. Your soil might be all wrong, it might be too shady or too windy, for a certain plant. Remember, you probably can't have everything but you can have a beautiful garden, no matter what the conditions and no matter where in the country you are. Don't waste your money – choose bedding plants to suit, not because they look pretty. Sales staff and other gardeners will often be able to give you advice.

By James PettsMake an Aesthetic Plan

One of the fun things about bedding plants is that they will quickly grow and have the power to swiftly transform the look of your garden over a short season or two. Before heading off to buy bedding plans, make sure you make wise purchasing decisions by having a good plan for how you want your garden to look before you go.

Decide on Number and Spacing

Decide whether you want a patch of colour here and there or need to fill a whole bed. Garden design should always take into account the growth of plants and the appearance not just in a snapshot moment but over time. When you know how much space you will need to fill, it will be a lot easier to avoid under or over-buying bedding plants.

Choose and Stick to Colour Choices

When choosing bedding plants and other longer lasting plants for your garden, good design keeps things simple. It is a good idea to choose a few colours for your garden's pallet and stick to those, rather than creating an all-over riot of clashing colours. While a wild meadow can look wonderful, often, when it comes to great looking beds and borders – less is more.

Check Plants Carefully for Disease, Pests and Other Problems

Finally, as much as you trust a given supplier, it is always a good idea to check over all the plant you plan to buy thoroughly before making the purchase. Look out for plants that may suffer from being pot bound, or any which do not look their best. Choose the plants that look healthy and your garden is more likely to be a roaring success this summer.