DIY Network

How to Make Over a Flower Bed

Uproot messy plants and replace them with a fun variety of plants boxed in by a formal mini-hedge.

More in Outdoors

  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Clear Out the Bed

Like real spiders, spider plants are great survivors. Make sure to dig to remove all of the underground tubers, or the plants will just pop back up. Once a plant is uprooted, shake the soil from the roots back into the planter bed.

Step 2: Define and Prepare the Bed

Use a can of spray paint to draw the border of the new planter bed. For a formal hedge border – like this project – "draw" a straight line.

For healthier plants, work a soil amendment such as compost into the soil. Cultivate until the new material is completely worked in; this also will help loosen the soil for the new plant roots.

Turn the soil over either with a hoe and a shovel or with a power tiller. Wear safety glasses and ear protection when working with a power tiller. Remember, these powerful tools can be difficult to control; get assistance as needed.

Step 3: Lay Out the Bed

A well-designed planter bed showcases a variety of sizes and textures. Take a tip from the pros and position the plants while they're still in pots, shifting them around to get the right look. In this redesigned planter bed, a tall, cylindrical arborvitae (Thuja) anchors one corner. The inside of the bed features a variety of ferns of different heights, plus a colorful, low-growing primrose. Boxwoods (Buxus) planted 12 inches apart make up the front border; hedges like this one require more maintenance than other plantings, but are an easy way to create a formal look.

Step 4: Plant the Bed

With all the plants in position, begin digging holes and planting. Work on one plant at a time, loosening the dirt around the roots before placing in the ground and filling in. Once all the plants are in, water well then cover the soil with 3 to 4 inches of mulch. This will help prevent weeds, keep the soil moist and give the bed a finished look.

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