Get a full flowerbed with less – plus other garden cheater tips

Get a full flowerbed with less - plus other garden cheater tips! Covers mulching, cutting edges, decorating with junk, etc. via

Welcome to my little slice of garden Heaven from my back yard! 

So… this flowerbed is very full, lush, green and all that good stuff. Nature driven even. Must have cost a fortune to fill, right? 

But not all is what it appears to be. This flowerbed is filled to the brim with flowerbed cheats.

How to get a full flowerbed with less


Get a full flowerbed with less - plus other garden cheater tips! Covers mulching, cutting edges, decorating with junk, etc. via
1. Let plants get a little too big.

I like a full look in a flowerbed, so I allow my plants to get big and touch. But not crowd. So I will clip them back to shape or only when they start to overlap. The result is many shapes and layers against each other.

2. Say yes to off shoots.

The plants right behind the bike? That’s part of the lilac tree that’s on the left. I allowed the shoots to fill in the empty spaces. And who knows… I may even like them there. And if I don’t, I’ll just eventually clip them off. (you can see this better in the first picture).

Get a full flowerbed with less - plus other garden cheater tips! Covers mulching, cutting edges, decorating with junk, etc. via

3. Weeds make great fillers!

Sharp gardeners will recognize this plant, but because I’m not plant sharp, I didn’t.

It’s a weed. And I allowed them to grow at first because I wasn’t sure what they were. But when it became obvious, I liked how they looked, so let them prosper. Free fillers, I say!

Vintage garden bike / Get a full flowerbed with less - plus other garden cheater tips! Covers mulching, cutting edges, decorating with junk, etc. via

4. Adding garden junk as focal points.

Imagine this little area without the bike, tub, milk can, birdhouse post nor ladder. All you’d see is a sea of green. A few well placed pieces give your eyes something to focus on for sure. Especially for very young flowerbeds that need lots of filling out.

How to decorate your garden with junk via
Related posts:

Creating garden art with junk (picture above)

Pallet wood garden walkway

The 2 full pallet walkway

Barrel planter with hanging basket via
5. Consider flowering baskets vs single plants.

The tub is not full of planted flowers. I just plunked an entire hanging basket inside and called it done.

The above picture is the one I had last year in another picture. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?

Related post: picture above

The cheater barrel planter

Forever blooming flowerbeds with perennials via
6. Rely on perennials.

As you can see, the orange poppies are in bloom. But the rose bush to the left is not yet. Nor are the perennials that line the fence, nor the honeysuckle that is nearly ready to burst with colour.

Everything will have a turn. And when it isn’t in bloom, that’s the best time to go buy a perennial IN bloom and plunk it where there is no colour now. If you have room that is. 🙂

I’m ok with the sea of green because there will be more colour shortly. But admit some annuals could spruce up the left side of the bed a little.

Related post: picture above

How to plant low upkeep, low cost, forever flowering flowerbeds with perennials

How to make your own mulch and edge your flowerbeds via
7. Cut clean, curvy edges.

A curve is nice because nature is never straight.

A clean edge along with mounded soil away from the trench will give your flowerbed a super sharp finished look. Always. 

Related posts:

Make your own mulch and cutting edges (picture above)

How to cut flower bed edges like a pro (my #1 post!)

flowerbeds before
But… I am far from done. This is how the right of the flower bed is currently looking. Yikes.

I ran out of physical gas after cutting that edge. It’s hard work, but well worth it. Just pace yourself accordingly. The soil needs to be separated from the clumps of grass, then crumbled up nice and fine. 

flowerbeds before

Here you can see the soil prepared to the left, and untouched to the right. It’s work for sure. But the result is amazing.

Related post: picture above

How to cut flower bed edges like a pro (this is my alltime #1 post!)

garden before


Get a full flowerbed with less - plus other garden cheater tips! Covers mulching, cutting edges, decorating with junk, etc. via

We’re getting there!

Here is Part 1 – my yard before.

Here is Part 2 – the shed all prettied up.

And you are at Part 3 – the bike flowerbed.

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Categories: Gardening, Junk Drawer, Seasonal, Summer
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  1. Now I am hopeless and can probably get worse spending time with you. Found a wonderful crate with a hinged lid and “Made in Holland” marked on all side…. sitting in an alley. No clue what to do with it….or the rest of the collections. But akin to the decor of my home, they do have their place and will use your wonderful creative sharing to finish the back yard forest of trees and fauna.

    Your yard is wonderful and I envy all the green. We have had a drought for so long, my front yard is now a xeriscape cottage garden with a dry stream and bridge. Would send some of my found items out there, but the neighborhood is prestine. They might consider me the old lady hoarder with just one item.

  2. I love your gardens weeds & all!

    I really love how neat the edges are. It’s impossible to edge beds this way where I live. We grow more rocks than anything here & you just cannot put a shovel in anywhere. My husband uses a steel fence post to crush rock & break it up to dig a hole. I get down on my hands & knees with a hand claw & dig every little grain of soil & ridiculous rock by hand. My garden friends who’ve meoved here from soil rich areas say you have to really want a garden to grow one in the Ozarks.

  3. I love it! Wish I had a bigger yard, like out in the country. Guess I shouldn’t complain because my little space does have a jungle look to it due to lots of trees. You got it going on!

  4. Love all your gardens! And I just came in from sprucing up my edges…I did them 2 years ago thanks to your tutorial. And they’re still looking good. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

  5. And oooops! I forgot to mention! I keep costs down by dividing my hostas and grasses in the spring. They’re really hardy perennials and always come back great. I’m in PA.

  6. Your yard is beautiful. You have put in many hours of hard work and it really shows. I wish I could have a beautiful yard but the area we live in in MS is full of deer….they eat everything. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden. Happy Memorial Day!!!!

  7. I add herbs to my gardens. Some of them have colorful foliage that make a nice contrast against the sea of green and floral mixes. A nice plus in flower pots is to add basil, parsley, and dill in with your flowers. Everything is always close by when you want to cook.

  8. It’s looking wonderful! We just moved our veggie garden to the backyard and I’m going to plant flowers in the front yard against the house. Now I know what I’d like to do with the edge because it’s far too wide. Our “grass” is mostly birdseed plants but even so – curved would look great! Thanks for the idea!

  9. SO many great ideas! I love the idea of using weeds as fillers LOL. You’re so right about cutting a clean, curvy edge — my neighbor taught me to do this and it makes all the difference. I’m going on a hunt around the house and garage for garden art too — thanks!