Flowers are such an effective way of making any garden - whether a compact city garden or sprawling cottage garden - instantly seem alive with colour. Filling your borders with blooming flowers of every variety is easier than you might think, all you need is a little guidance to point you in the right direction when it comes to planting combinations and design ideas. One of the many perks of having wild flowers in your garden - other than the help it gives to the bee population - is that you can always have freshly cut flowers in the house. So grab the gardening gloves and look to these wonderful flower-filled gardens from the House & Garden archive for inspiration.

Flower garden ideas and designs

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Beauty’ and Rosa ‘Rita’ provide vibrant splashes of pink in the exuberantly planted sundial garden of Kiftsgate, a 100 year old garden famous for its roses, cultivated by three generations of women.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    A group of cypress trees in the meadow forms a striking contrast with the richly textured planting around the terrace at Bolsena in Italy. Flowing drifts of plants, including white Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’, mauve Verbena bonariensis, emerald green Amsonia tabernaemontana and purple Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ mingle with dark crimson Rosa Munstead Wood.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    In the gardens of Bloomfield, an extravagantly romantic garden set against the dramatic landscape of New South Wales, serpentine herbaceous borders are planted with English lavender and clipped box balls, interspersed with Salvia nemorosa, Gaura lindheimeri, Verbena bonariensis and achillea.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    Pink and white roses, mauve sweet peas, hollyhocks and Mexican fleabane fill the beds in the cutting garden of Bloomfield.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    Pergolas swathed in Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ create a backdrop for Iris pallida var. dalmatica in the cloister garden in the exquisite grounds of Petworth House.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    If you invest in an iron obelisk for your border it will add year-round structure and can be used as support for everything from sweet peas to clematis or roses.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    The gatehouse of fourteenth-century castle Trematon is now engulfed by banks of wildflowers, with a view of the Tamar Estuary at Devonport down below. The sea of wildflowers is punctuated by palm trees - perfect for the warmer Cornish climate.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    The castellated façade of the house is softened by deep borders divided by yew buttresses at Arabella Lennox-Boyd's garden. Repeat plantings of salvia at the front of the border are echoed by purple thalictrum towards the back, and buttony sanguisorba.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    Flower Box Terrace

    Seasonal planting in modern boxes surrounds the outdoor dining set at this city patio.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    When former IT worker-turned-gardening enuthusiast Sue Beesley took on Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Nursery in Cheshire in 2007 she immediately set about transforming the two-acre plot. Simple amendments included clipping the rod-straight yew hedges that ran through the garden into gentle curves and creating rounded planting areas where there were previously straignt-edged borders. "I don't want to see straight through the garden," she says. "I want the sense of a journey, I want people to wonder what's around the next corner."

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    A collection of pots in the West London garden of interior designer Louise Jones - an easy way to create and maintain a flower garden if you have a city garden.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    Rose Arbour

    Louisa Jones developed a passion for David Austin roses when she was planning the garden of her Victorian cottage in south west London. She planted an arbour of roses to separate her patio and lawn. Planting climbing plants next to an arbour is the perfect was to soften the structural components of a garden.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    A fruit tree sits amid the flower beds in garden designer Bunny Guiness' Cambridgeshire garden, adding height and dimension to the border.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    Bright flowers grow in rows with a view of the house in the background at the Wardington Manor flower garden managed by The Land Gardeners. The Victorian walled garden has traditional herbaceous borders planted with delphiniums.

  • Flower Garden Ideas and Designs | Outdoor Spaces

    Butter Wakefield's garden at her London home is filled with an abundance of geums, foxgloves, nepeta, roses and geraniums; a wildflower meadow sweeps across the centre of the lawn, which is handsomely framed by clipped box pyramids.