Gardening Ideas - Using Flowers to Create a Whimsical Design

If you’ve ever seen logos, smiley faces, animals or any other design drawn out in a garden just with flowers, you’ve probably wondered how it was done. Disney is a master when it comes to designing with flowers. If you’ve been to any of their parks, you’ve probably marveled at the intricate designs that greet you right from the front gates. (Check out our pictures from the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival)

While Disney’s can take months to create and they have a team of full-time designers on staff, it’s actually very easy and fast to create these designs in the garden with flowers once you know what you are doing.  Even though you’re not a master gardener, or might not have a huge public garden, you can still create some neat designs for you and the neighbors to enjoy. Whatever you decide to add to your garden, it can be as simple or elaborate as you can manage with both flowers and space.

Use these tips to create fun, whimsical and creative designs with flowers in your garden this summer.

Consider Your Space

It is important to take into consideration the space that you have in a garden to create a design with flowers. Before you even get a design in mind, you need to think about how much space you have and how big your design can be because the garden space will dictate your design. When you are planning where to create an image, remember that you can dedicate an entire garden bed to the design, or put the design within a full garden bed.

Gardening Ideas: Create An Image

Using graph paper replicate the area of the garden that you have and then use the grid to draw out a design or image. Keep the lines as simple as possible, and even if the garden is not in a square shape, use a square grid to keep the flower count as even as possible. The key to creating designs with flowers is to go as simple as you can, eliminating as many curves and angles as possible without compromising the design.


Gardening Ideas: Choose Flowers

The next step to create designs with flowers is to pick the flowers that you will use to create your image. In general you want flowers that are and will stay small and compact. The bushier and leggier flowers get the more distorted your image becomes. Also, flowers that require minimal care and pruning are best because they will be planted en masse and close together, making it hard to get to every plant. Second, you want to choose plants for the color flower they produce in order to create the image you have in mind. Petunias, impatiens, marigolds and geraniums all make great options.

Gardening Ideas: Grid Your Garden

Using sand or spray paint, grid out the garden bed with the same number of squares you used for your paper grid. Follow the grid while planting and place different colored flowers in the areas that are laid out on your paper grid. Think of it as a large paint by color grid. When you first plant flowers there will be some space between plants that you might worry about or throw off the image slightly, but all these plants will grow in. Even so, from the very beginning you will be able to see the design.

Gardening Ideas: Free Online Garden Planner

Need help envisioning it? Try an online garden planner. I like the free online garden planner from It has everything you need to design your whimsical garden.

Free Online Garden Planner

A free online planner to avoid? Sadly the one from Better Homes and Gardens. I requires you to set up an account and give personal information like your name and email address just to access the designer.

Now plant water, fertilize, weed, and watch your design come to life!

Have you created a whimsical design in your garden?