How much does it cost to install a flower bed?
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Flower Bed Installation Cost Guide
Updated: June 29, 2023
A flower bed is a great way to add beauty and color to your outdoor space. It provides a striking focal point while giving you an area where you can sit back and relax in the flower colors. They also provide an array of other benefits. For example, flowers are a natural source of nutrients, helping to enrich the soil and support surrounding plants. The shallow roots of flowers aerate the soil and help prevent runoff from heavy rainstorms. In addition, by incorporating shrubs into your flowerbed, you can create a windbreak that protects weaker plants from harsh weather conditions like high winds or temperature extremes. Overall, installing a flower bed is an excellent way to enhance the appearance and functionality of your garden.
The average cost to install a flower bed ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. The average homeowner spends around $2,150 on a 5’ x 12’ raised flower bed with roses and trellis protection. On the low end, you can spend $150 for a 3’ x 10’ plastic border flower bed planted with marigolds. On the high end, your costs can be $10,500 for land leveling and installation of an 8’ x 12’ island flower bed with exotic flowers, a weed barrier, and a sprinkler system.
Flower Bed Cost
|Flower Bed Installation Cost
|National average cost
Flower Bed Cost per Square Foot
Most landscapers charge one price for the entire job, with the average cost per sq.ft. for installing a flower bed being $5 to $30. Typically, the cost per sq.ft. would only be for the labor, and the supplies would be added to it. Supply pricing varies with the type of flowers, bushes, plants, mulch, rock, border, and the additional features you choose to add. The larger the size of the flower bed, the higher the cost to install it. Here are the most common flower bed sizes and the cost to install each of them.
|3 x 10 ft.
|$150 - $900
|5 x 10 ft.
|$250 - $1,500
|5 x 12 ft.
|$300 - $1,800
|8 x 10 ft.
|$400 - $2,400
|8 x 12 ft.
|$480 - $2,880
Cost to Build a Flower Bed by Type
The cost of flower bed landscaping depends on the type of bed you include in your landscaping design, with project prices ranging between $1,000 and $3,000. The type of flower bed you choose depends on the aesthetics you are trying to achieve and the space available to install the bed. The two types of flower beds you can choose from are border flower beds and islandflower beds.
A border bed consists of a narrow strip of plants along the edge of an area, such as the lawn or driveway. The flowers are usually seen only from one side. They commonly contain tall plants at the back and mid-sized plants in the front. An island bed, on the other hand, is larger and contains multiple rows of plants that stand alone within a larger space. They have no backdrop and are meant to be viewed from all sides. Because of this, island flower beds feature larger flowers in the center, with mid-sized and smaller flowers surrounding them. A border flower bed can be more aesthetically pleasing if designed properly. An island flower bed can add a sense of symmetry and balance to your garden layout. Below you will see the average cost to install a flower bed, based on the type you choose.
|$1,000 - 2,500
|$1,200 - $3,000
Cost of Flower Bed Edging by Material
Edging a flower bed gives it a finished, crisp look, with edging materials ranging between $1 and $25 per linear foot. It also eliminates the need to create a new edge with your weedeater constantly. There are many options for edging the flower bed, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Plastic, metal, and rubber edging are the least expensive options but are limited in design, so they are not very aesthetically pleasing. Composite, limestone, concrete, pavers, and cinder blocks are sturdy materials that stand up better to the elements. Wood edging gives a rustic feel to the flower bed and can be found in many patterns depending on the type of wood used. The cost for brick, rock, or stone flower bed edging is the highest because these materials are heavy, durable, and weather resistant while offering various colors and designs. Below are the most common edging options and the cost per linear ft. installed.
|Cost per Linear Foot (Installed)
|$1 - $6
|$1.50 - $15
|$2 - $8
|$4 - $13
|$5 - $10
|$5 - $18
|$6 - $15
|$8 - $20
|$8 - $20
|$10 - $17
|$10 - $25
Flower Bed Cost by Type of Flower
Depending on the type, flower prices range between $2 and $70 per flower. Picking out the flowers for your flower bed is perhaps the most exciting part. Many different shades, colors, and textures of flowers are available, each blooming at different times of the year and requiring different care. In general, you can plant four types of flowers: annual, perennial, biennial, and hybrid.
Annual flowers bloom once a year and need to be replaced each year. They are a good option when you want to change your flowers or their position from year to year. Perennial flowers come up each year and require a lot less maintenance. Once planted, the flowers come up each year. You will only need to weed and remove the dead parts of the flower. Biennials take two years to bloom. During the first year, only a small rosette of leaves will appear near the soil. In the second year, the stem elongates, and the flowers and seeds start to form. Hybrid flowers exhibit characteristics of both annual and perennial flowers, but this depends on the area where they are grown. The table below presents the main flower types and the cost of buying each of them.
|Cost per Flower (Materials Only)
|$2 - $10
|$2 - $70
|$3 - $25
Labor Cost to Install Flower Beds
Installing flower beds is a lengthy process from start to finish. Planning for size, shape, and understanding the proper types of flowers, plants, or shrubs is vital to the success of your project. Professionals understand dimension and shape and know what plants will survive in your climate and soil. Hiring a professional gardening or landscaping service is best to ensure your flower bed will thrive. The last thing you want to do is spend money, and everything dies within six months to a year. Most professionals charge a fee per project, which depends on the size of the flower bed and the installation complexity. When charged an hourly rate, most landscaping professionals charge $50 to $100 an hour, depending on the state. Most professionals complete this job within a few hours. When charged a fee per sq.ft., rates range between $5 and $30 per sq.ft.
Some factors that affect the cost of a flower bed are when you are having the work done, the size of your garden, the material you choose for the border, if your soil will need tilling, weed or grass removal, plastic or screen to staunch regrowth, and the kind of flowers you choose. To install the flower bed, any grass or weeds must be removed, and a protective screen or plastic must be laid down to prevent regrowth. Once that is completed, the edging can be put in. Cuts can be made in the plastic or screen, and holes dug. The plants and flowers will then be installed along with the mulch or rocks. Watering should be done for several hours afterward with a slow dripping hose. The labor and supplies cost $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the size. The border of your flower bed varies from $1 to $25 per linear foot installed, while flower costs vary from $2 to $70 per flower, but more exotic types cost more.
Raised Garden Bed Cost by Material
Like edging, the cost of a raised garden bed is determined by the material, with prices ranging between $100 and $700. Choosing a material depends on how you want your garden to look and how long you expect the product to last. Straw bales require little to no maintenance and look very natural. However, they break apart slowly and do not stand well in areas with severe weather. Stock tanks are a great alternative for a rustic feel that requires low maintenance. However, they are not versatile and come in a limited number of colors. The cinder block and concrete block raised garden beds are low-cost options that are durable, require little to no maintenance, and can withstand the elements. They also come in a couple of colors and are difficult to paint. Metal raised garden beds can be made of aluminum, steel, and iron or with a wood frame and metal sides. They are a great option for those wanting a classic, old-fashioned farmhouse look but do not last as long as other options.
Wood is also durable and can withstand minor hits from lawn care equipment while having a natural appearance. The main drawback is that, even when treated, wood breaks down over time. When pieces begin to rot, they must be replaced. The wood raised garden bed cost depends on what type of wood you use. Cedar, pressure-treated, maple, bamboo, redwood, and teak are the most common options. The brick raised garden bed cost and the cost of building a rock or stone raised garden are the most expensive options. However, they are durable, require little maintenance, and are available in many color options, allowing you to create a unique and customized look. Below you can see the average cost of a garden raised bed 4’ x 4’ installed based on the type of material.
|Cost (Materials Only)
|$100 - $200
|$150 - $300
|$200 - $350
|$200 - $450
|$200 - $550
|$250 - $500
|$275 - $700
|$325 - $650
Cost of Building a Raised Garden Bed
A raised garden bed costs from $150 to $800, including the box or structure containing it, the soil, and the chosen plants. These beds are surrounded by a wood, concrete, or metal box without a top. Raised garden beds are helpful because they bring the plants and flowers up to your level for easier weeding and tending. Gardeners enjoy raised beds because they provide better drainage and no soil erosion. Raised garden beds offer several advantages when compared to conventional in-ground gardens. Тhey allow gardeners to control their soil conditions better because the raised beds can be amended or layered with certain types of plants depending on what they want to grow. Because they are above ground level, raised gardens are less prone to pests and soil erosion than in-ground plots. Additionally, the soil in raised flower beds is exposed to more oxygen, which promotes beneficial microbial activity and breaks down organic matter into usable nutrients. In addition, the soil in a raised bed warms up faster in spring, giving plants an earlier start. Raised flower beds are also easier to water and maintain than traditional garden plots because there is no risk of accidentally stepping on or compacting the soil. They are often used to fend off wildlife and repel certain insects but are not as effective as fences or enclosures. When creating a raised bed, your landscaper will prepare the base soil and build the edging up until the base for the garden is created. Soil and fertilizer will be added to fill it in. Then, your landscaper will add flowers and mulch if requested.
Cost to Redo Flower Beds
If you need to have your flower bed redone, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $6,000, depending on the size of the bed and the number of plants and flowers it contains. The cost includes the cleaning of the flower bed and installing new flowers and plants. Costs also include new edging and mulch if desired and preparing the soil for the new plants.
During the process, your landscaper removes all existing flowers and plants, weeds any areas, making sure to remove the root, and then turns the soil to make sure it is well aerated. Edging will be removed and replaced, and new flowers will be planted. If the flower bed has space, mulch may be added to fill in the areas. A homeowner may decide to have the flower bed redone if they want to change out the plants or edging or alter the shape or size of the bed. The cost for redoing a bed is less than the cost to install because the area for the bed is already cut out.
Flower Bed Installation Prep-Work
The work involved in creating a long-lasting flower bed will be labor-intensive. While you can attempt to prepare the area yourself, it may be best to wait for your landscaper. They will be better able to edge the area to reach the desired aesthetic look and have the tools and equipment to make sure that the soil is properly prepared. This includes removing sod, sticks, rocks, and other debris from the area where you are starting your flower bed.
Preparing the ground for your flower bed is a large portion of the prep process. Once your landscaper has the design for your flower bed, they will prep the soil before planting. This usually involves digging up and removing grass and weeds from the area, making sure that all of the roots are removed. They will then turn the soil to make sure it is loose and well aerated. The soil may be tested to see if it is optimal for flowers. Additional fertilizer or nutrients may be added. Another issue that affects the installation of your flower bed is the natural landscape of your yard. You may need to reslope a section of your yard to make the area ideal to accommodate a flower bed. This process includes moving soil from one area to another or removing it from the yard entirely. The cost of leveling and resloping for landscaping runs from $1,500 to $2,600, depending on the size of the area and what process needs to be used.
You may find that you get a better deal on a flower bed installation during the cooler months. However, this is not always practical. Your professional landscaper should be able to help you determine when flowers should be planted. Because most flowers cannot be planted before the last freeze, it limits when you can have the job done. If you have grass or weeds that have to be removed, the cost of having weeds pulled in flower beds costs $65 to $150 per treatment. The size of your flower bed also influences the cost.
Flower Bed Maintenance Cost
The care and upkeep of a flower bed are important parts of gardening. A flower bed requires regular watering, weeding, mulching, and fertilization to thrive. Depending on the type of flower bed you have and the task you want to complete, you can do the upkeep yourself or hire a professional. Watering and weeding are simpler tasks you can accomplish yourself. However, mulching and fertilization require professional assessment and knowledge. This is typically done by gardening and landscaping companies or individuals. If you hire a professional to maintain your beds, expect to pay between $25 and $100 an hour, depending on their expertise. Some companies may also offer regular flower bed maintenance separately or as part of a garden or backyard maintenance plan, which costs $300 to $1,000 per visit.
If you have a screen or plastic weed barrier installed before the plants and mulch are added, weeding your garden is an easier job. Depending on the types of flowers you have chosen, you may need to water more often. Some flowers, such as roses, may require removing dead flowers to make way for more blooms and the addition of fertilizer to help them grow. With weed block down, you can weed either by pulling the few weeds that come through or spraying them if they are not too close to plants. Without a weed block, you may need to dig down deeper to get stubborn weeds. You can expect to pay $100 to $500 for flower bed cleanup.
Without these essential maintenance practices, your flowers will likely struggle or even die. To ensure that your garden stays healthy and beautiful all season long, it is important to stay on top of any necessary upkeep tasks. Additionally, keeping a watchful eye out for plant diseases such as blight and mildew is also key to maintaining the overall health of your flower bed. With proper care and attention, your blooms will stay vibrant and beautiful all year round.
Flower Bed Designs
When it comes to flower bed designs, the sky is the limit. Flower beds can be designed with a square or rectangular pattern, but they are often curved and follow the lines around your home if planted in the front. They can be rounded or oval shapes that serve as landscaped islands in the front of your home. If your yard has trees, you may want to lay your bed out around it to help it stand out and make it easier to mow around. If you have an old stump in the ground, you can hollow it out and put your flower bed inside.
Flower beds can be designed to fit around any landscaped area of your yard. They can run along walkways and driveways, encircle decks and pools, or be used to spruce up your fence line. Adding features to your flower bed, such as wells, birdbaths, and lighthouses, can enhance the aesthetics of your flower bed.
What Flowers to Plant in My Flower Bed?
One of the key factors to consider when choosing which types of flowers to plant is their hardiness zone. These zones refer to the lowest range of temperatures in which a particular type of plant can survive. They can be found through resources such as the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map or online databases. Depending on where you live, your region may have a wide variety of flower species suitable for growing in your particular climate. Knowing your hardiness zone will allow you to plan out your garden based on flowering times and adjusted planting schedules and prevent plants from getting damaged by cold winters or extreme heat. By understanding which plants thrive in your area, you can make sure to get the most out of your garden season after season. If you are Zone 5, any plant in Zone 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 would be a perennial in your area. Anything in Zone 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 would be an annual. Many flowers can be planted in various hardiness zones. Below is a table with the most common flowers you can plant in each hardiness zone.
|Most Suitable Type of Flower
|Sunflower, Yarrow, Lily of the Valley, Arrowhead, Daisy, Delphinium, Goldenrod
|Monkshood, Sea Holly, Poppy, Primrose, Violet, Penstemon
|Wallflower, Alpine Rockcress, Aster, Gaillardia, Salvia, Spurge
|Coneflower, Daylily, Iris, Phlox, Plantain Lily
|Baptisia, Black-eyed Susan, Cinquefoil
|False Sunflower, Flowering fern, Lady’s Mantle, Sedum
|Candytuft, Chrysanthemum, Clematis, Forget-me-not, Four O’clock, Peony
|Asiatic lily, Lantana, Mexican Petunia, Phlox
|Black-eyed Susan, Dahlia, Hydrangea, Wisteria, Zinnia, Petunia
|Aeoniums, Geraniums, Various aloes, Gaillardia
|Begonias, Drumstick allium, Kangaroo paw, Cosmos
|Musaceae, Costaceae, Canna, Marantaceae, Lowiaceae
|Musaceae, Costaceae, Canna, Marantaceae, Lowiaceae
Dig Flower Bed vs No-Dig Flower Bed
Expect to pay $800 to $1,200 for a no-dig and $1,000 to $3,000 for a dig flower bed. Your typical flower bed requires digging, tilling, and removing grass and weeds. However, many people turn to a no-dig flower bed. A no-dig flower bed is installed on top of the existing ground. Using a biodegradable product such as a newspaper or cardboard as the base, the soil is added and built up to create a top layer for planting. You need to have a border installed to contain the garden. Digging will be necessary to install that. Once you have the foundation done, planting and mulchingensue. The cost of a no-dig flower bed will be lower since the foundation work takes less time.
A dig flower bed requires more preparation because you need to till the area and prepare the soil before beginning to plant. A dig flower bed allows you to plant flowers that may need better handling because they require a deeper soil area for the bushes to take root. In terms of maintenance, both require regular weeding and maintenance of the edges and mulch. No dig beds require more topsoil and mulch throughout the year to maintain the appearance and keep the plants healthy.
|Type of Flower Bed
|$800 - $1,200
|$1,000 - $3,000
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
If you want to add a little extra flair around your flower bed, you may want to add a flower bed fence. Flower bed fences cost $5 to $12 per linear foot and come in a wide range of colors, designs, and heights. They improve the aesthetic appearance of your flower bed and keep flowers and shrubs contained to the bed if they overgrow.
Raised Flower Bed With Trellis
A trellis is used to allow creeping flower plants to climb. While installing a trellis costs $650 to $950, you can have a flower bed with a trellis installed for $1,650 to $3,950. Trellises offer a variety of benefits. They provide vertical space to accommodate the growing height of plants, support growing vine plants, protect your flowers from wind damage, and ensure that rainwater flows evenly over their stems, roots, and leaves. This landscape piece is also ideal when adding design and color to a large area or adding privacy to an outdoor space.
A weed and grass barrier is usually made of screen or plastic. It provides a barrier to keep weeds and grass from growing into your flower garden. Weed barrier cost with installation is $50 to $100. Weed barrier is a great way to lower the maintenance of your garden because it reduces the number of large weeds and protects the soil if you use a chemical weed killer.
Cost for Flower Bed Mulch
Mulching your flower bed costs between $150 and $400. It keeps the plants protected while keeping the soil shielded and moist. Mulching can also create a unified appearance of the soil under your flower bed. Mulching can be done with various materials, including pine/hay straw, shredded hardwood, bark, hemlock, redwood, cedar, rubber, plastic, and rock. In most cases, the cost to weed the flower beds will be included in the price. If you want to save money, bulk mulch is cheaper than bagged.
Install Sprinkler Bed for Flower Bed
Adding a sprinkler system costs $4,000 to $7,000. Flowers can quickly wilt and die without proper care, leaving behind little more than a sad-looking patch of weedy soil. One effective way to keep your flower bed looking lush and full is by adding a sprinkler. A sprinkler provides the optimal moisture level for plants to thrive, helping them grow strong and resist disease. Additionally, a sprinkler ensures an even distribution of water over the entire bed, which helps avoid dry patches that might otherwise damage sensitive flowers like petunias or ivy.
Adding a retaining wall costs $3,500 to $10,000. A retaining wall for flower beds provides stability for the soil of the bed, preventing erosion and allowing flowers to flourish over time. In addition, retaining walls can serve a number of important aesthetic purposes. They can be especially effective in small spaces, where it may be difficult or impractical to set aside room for a mound of dirt with plants growing on top. They separate different types of plant life from each other, preventing competition and encouraging biodiversity.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permit. While a permit is generally not required to put in a flower garden. However, if you change the grade or properties of the soil, you may need to apply for a permit. Rules vary based on the city and state, so check your local regulations.
- License. Some states do not require a landscaper to have a license or formal training. While a formal education isn’t required, choose a landscaper who has experience with the types of plants that work in your climate. The National Association of Landscapers provides classes and exams to obtain certifications in various areas of landscaping. Keep in mind that learning in your work environment is often equal to or better than passing a written test.
- DIY. While you could do your own flower bed, it will most likely take you longer, and the work is hard. Also, a professional can help you with the design, size, shape, and types of flowers that work best for your soil and weather.
- Adopt a flower bed. The Adopt a Flower Bed program is well known in many cities. Volunteers help to keep public flower beds in shape by weeding and tending to the flowers.
- Raised planter boxes. Apartment dwellers or those with little yard space may want to consider raised planter boxes. These boxes are portable for those who move around or just want to have some flexibility in their garden. You can have one built and supplied with flowers for around $150 to $400.
- Portable flower bed. Portal flower beds cost from $30 to $350, depending on the style and size. They are a good option for a temporary flower bed on a deck or patio area.
- Flower bed liner. Flower bed liners consist of fabric or materials that are installed in the bottom of a flower bed. It ensures that your flowers are growing in optimal conditions by keeping the soil moist and preventing erosion.
- How do you prepare the ground for a flower bed?
Any grass, weeds, rocks, sticks, roots, or debris need to be removed. If the soil is sandy or clay, a richer, dark soil should be added.
- What plants can you not plant in a raised bed?
When planting your raised-bed garden, it is best to avoid ground cover flowers or vegetables that grow underground, such as potatoes. Raised beds do not provide enough room for rooted vegetables to reach the proper depth. Ground cover flowers will likely spill over the sides.
- Why are garden beds so expensive?
Various factors contribute to the high cost of garden beds. Materials like rocks and stones are expensive to procure and difficult to work with, so they require expert installation or tools. Some designs also incorporate advanced features like drainage systems or automatic irrigation technology that increase the complexity of the project, which also drives up costs.
- When should you plant a flower bed?
The right planting time depends largely on your climate and growing conditions. Spring offers a good opportunity for both perennial and annual plants, as this season is typically milder and allows plants to settle in before summer heat hits. Fall is another popular time to plant because it allows the roots of new plants to get established before winter begins, allowing plants to transition smoothly into the cooler seasons.
- How deep should my flower bed be?
Generally speaking, a deeper flower bed provides more growing space, allowing you to plant a wider variety of flowers and other decorative plants. However, since deeper beds require more work in terms of preparation, maintenance, and watering, they may not always be the right fit for all gardeners.
- Should a flower bed be higher than a lawn?
Different factors like climate and soil type may influence the best approach for your flower bed. Placing a flower bed at the same level as a lawn offers greater visibility and gives flowers an elevated platform to thrive. However, when a flower bed is too high, it can become difficult to care for and can put stress on plant roots, so in these cases, a lower flower bed may be a better option.