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Create and plant a long and narrow flower bed with these tips.

Unlike a round flower bed, a long and narrow planting strip is often not the first choice of the gardener. Nevertheless, flower beds with this shape are very common, as they beautifully border different parts of the garden. For example, they can be used to make the wall of the house, the driveway, a wall or hedge more attractive. However, planting a long, narrow flower bed is a real challenge. The reason is not only the peculiarities of the location, but also the right composition with a small width of the bed. In this article, we will give you tips and ideas on how to create a beautiful flower bed long and narrow, and all the things you need to consider.

Design tips for long and narrow flower beds

Spring flower bed long narrow along walkway with tulips

Before we get to the planting ideas, let’s summarize the main design rules for narrow flower beds. Unlike beds, where there is enough width, in this case we need to be a little more sparing with the selection of plants and flowers. Lush planting combinations do nothing for this type of bed and can look chaotic. Instead, stick to just a few species that repeat along the length of the bed. Different heights of plants are fine, but need to be coordinated with the width of the bed.

Plants with different growing heights

Long narrow flower bed in front of house combine plants with different growth heights

If the bed is very narrow, then the tall and low plants are planted alternately. However, if there is enough width, then you can plant the taller-growing flowers and perennials in the background and the lower ones in the foreground. This works best for long flowerbeds that face a house wall, wall or hedge. If it is a freestanding long and narrow flower bed, then playing with the heights of the plants becomes more difficult.

Creating patterns in the narrow flower bed

Planting narrow flower bed with pansies and tulips

To make the border really appealing, you can decide on a theme when designing the bed. Two to three plant species can be used to create pretty patterns that add texture to the garden. To do this, for example, you can combine flowering plants in one color with evergreens or specimens with interesting foliage. The only important thing is that you choose the right plants for the appropriate location.

The three seasons bed

Planting bed by the fence flowers and evergreen plants


When choosing plants, you should also make sure that you choose flowers and perennials with a long flowering period or evergreen foliage. This will guarantee that the bed will look attractive longer.

Spring flowers, for example, are beautiful but have a limited blooming period. This means that the bed with early bloomers would not look so beautiful in the summer. If you still don’t want to miss out on the bloom of spring flowers, you should combine them with perennials that bloom at a later time. However, you need to make sure that several species always bloom at the same time and there are no gaps in flowering.

Flower bed long and narrow – how to create it!

Planting long narrow flower bed tips step by step

Here we have summarized the basic steps for creating a long, narrow flower bed.

  • Determine location and prepare bed for planting – Loosen soil by digging over it, improve soil with hummus and sand, spread horn meal for optimal nutrients.
  • Prepare a detailed planting plan, taking into account site conditions and design considerations.
  • Distribute plants over bed area according to planting plan, positioning taller specimens in the background and lower specimens in the foreground.
  • Dig planting holes with a spade and insert plants.
  • Water plants thoroughly.
  • Cover the soil in the flower bed with bark mulch.

Tip: Calculate plant spacing

Long narrow flower bed by the terrace


To calculate the exact distance between plants in the narrow bed, there is a simple formula. For this you just need the planting density per square meter of the selected plant, which you can already find out in the garden center or even online. To determine the distance, divide 100 by the specified plant density and multiply the result by two. The result gives you the plant spacing in centimeters.

So the formula looks like this:

100 : planting density = number * 2 ≈ plant spacing.

Perennial flower bed long and narrow: an example.

Planting plan narrow flower bed with perennial flowers

Planting a long, narrow flower bed by location.

Flower bed long narrow in front of wall Plants with different growth height

To find the best plants for a flower bed, location, light and soil conditions play a crucial role. Since most narrow flower beds are located in front of house walls, fences and hedges, plant selection should be adapted to the requirements of these locations.

Create a flower bed by the fence

Design narrow flower bed by the fence

Many think that for a flower bed on the outside of the fence is not worth the effort. It’s difficult to water, reflects heat from the sidewalk, can be trampled or picked on by passersby, and often doesn’t have such good soil conditions. Still, such a border planting can serve as a frame for the garden inside and the house behind it.

A classic white fence adorned with fragrant roses – what could be more romantic? With flowers on the outside of the fence, you can welcome your guests and the bloom will also always bring great joy to yourself when you come home.

Bed with flowers at the fence long and narrow slope

Among the most popular options for planting the long, narrow bed in front of the fence or wall are all climbing and climbing plants. In addition to roses, these include clemantis, woodland vines and hydrangeas. Match the color of the flowers to the fence color to create a beautiful ensemble.

Long narrow flower bed in front of a hedge.

Planting narrow flower bed in front of hedge white purple

A dark green hedge makes a nice backdrop for flowering perennials. However, hedges compete with other plants for water, nutrients and light. This makes planting in front of a hedge a difficult task. If you still want to beautify the green garden border with a few flowering plants, some insensitive plants offer themselves as possible planting partners. These are mainly shrubs and perennials that root deeply and are placed between the main roots of the hedge plant.

The location also plays an important role. Most flower beds in front of the hedge are in the shade, because the high hedge swallows the light. However, it may also be that the bed is directly in the sun. So the choice of appropriate plants would depend on the location. For a semi-shaded or shaded location are suitable, for example:

  • Hydrangeas
  • Funkias
  • Purple bells
  • Geraniums.

If the flower bed is exposed to sufficient sun, then the following plants are suitable:

  • Roses
  • Lavender
  • Euphorbia
  • Peonies.

Location house wall for a long narrow flower bed.

Planting plan narrow flower bed on the wall of the house

Since many houses do not have a real garden, but only a small space for the terrace, the narrow and long area around the house is the only option for a flower bed. Since the soil around the house wall is often very dry and calcareous, you should follow some rules when planting this area.

Plants that love dryness and lime and are hardy, offer themselves as the best choice for the location house wall. Plants that are sensitive to cold are also well suited for it, as this location is often well protected.

Of course, the light conditions also play a role in the selection of plants. A long, narrow flower bed in front of the house wall that faces south is ideal for heat-tolerant and sun-loving plants that can handle heat buildup well. For the north side, on the contrary, are suitable shade-tolerant plants , which can tolerate drought.

Design narrow bed along the wall of the house

You can use the color in which the house is painted as a guide when choosing flowering plants. Ideally, the flowers you choose should contrast with it and still go well with it.

Here are the best plants for a long, narrow flower bed in front of the house wall:

For sunny locations:

  • Sage
  • Spurge
  • Steppe candles
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Woolly Creeper

For shady locations:

  • Hosta
  • Show leaf
  • Table leaf
  • Purple bellflower
  • Prachtspiere
  • Forest honeysuckle

Planting driveway or sidewalk

Planting long narrow flower bed planting plan planting combinations

Long, narrow flower beds often function as borders. They can be placed anywhere in the garden and serve to divide the garden into several areas and beautify it at the same time. For example, if you want to put an accent on the sidewalk leading to the entrance of the house, then a border is a good choice, along with lighting.

Unlike the narrow beds in front of hedges and walls, the border is often created at a low height. That is, mainly ground cover and low-growing flowers are used.

Since the borders line paths and driveways, it is necessary to demarcate them from these. This not only looks nice, but prevents plants from spreading beyond the edge of the border. Natural stones, bricks, paving stones or wooden elements are the most commonly used as borders.

Edge flower bed design with purple spring flowers

The choice of plants for the border along a walkway is much wider than this for a flower bed on the wall of the house. For example, you can plant sunny borders with rock garden plants such as gentian, rock carnation or stonecrop, and in shady borders use funkias together with bulbous plants.

To make the border look beautiful all year round, it is often designed with alternate planting. That is, you plant new in the spring, summer and autumn. Planting starts in the fall by putting in bulbs as well as winter bulbs, snowdrops and crocuses. Spring flowers are then followed by summer flowers such as coneflowers, dahlias, lobelia and verbena, and for fall, plant autumn asters, heathers and ornamental grasses.

Create long narrow flower bed freestanding.

Long flower bed lush free standing in garden

Who says that long and narrow flower beds can only be used as borders? Those who have a large garden can use such a bed as a beautiful design feature. Depending on the style of the garden, the shape can be both straight and curved. Curved shapes are typical of cottage or country style gardens and add a romantic touch to the outdoor space.

Free-standing narrow beds can also be used to create patterns in the garden. For example, you can use them to beautify the boring lawn or border a seating area in the middle of the garden.

Conclusion

Long narrow flower bed planting tips

Long and narrow flower beds are often a great challenge, but they are among the must-haves in a beautifully designed garden. A narrow border doesn’t always have to have lush blooms to be beautiful and appealing. Plants with pretty foliage, as well as herbs and evergreens, also cut a good figure as borders for various garden elements.