One of the most beautiful parts of a landscape is the flower beds. Garden beds, plant beds, or landscape beds as they are sometimes called are often a prominent part of landscapes for both homes and businesses. Surrounding a property with beautiful plants that will flower throughout the year is one of the easiest ways to add beauty to your home. Whether you want to add beds to the front of your home, surrounding your home, or along your property edge, our team is ready to create a beautiful design and installation. We have many options available when it comes to the plants we include as well as the spacing, mulch options, and elevation.


Greenery and flowering plants come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and seasons of bloom. Typically, we will plant a garden with plants that will keep your garden looking full from early spring through late fall going dormant for the winter. If this sounds like a lot of work to maintain, we’ve got that covered for you as well with our sister company, NSS.

Flowering Plants

Here are some of the most popular Iowa native flowering plants that benefit pollinators we include in a garden bed: 

  • Golden Alexander – an early bloomer with small yellow blooms
  • Spiderwort – an early bloom with three deep purple petals
  • Butterfly Milkweed – attracts monarchs, mid-season bloomer, yellow-orange blooms
  • Swamp Milkweed – great for wet and poorly drained areas, pink to rose-colored blooms
  • Gray-headed or Yellow Coneflower – mid to late-season bloomer, with a licorice fragrance
  • Black-eyed Susan – mid to late season blooms with tons of fall color
  • Bottle Gentian- late season with deep purple blooms
  • Great Blue Lobelia – late season with blue blooms
  • New England Aster – attracts butterflies and moths with late shorter season blooms full of fall colors
  • Stiff Goldenrods – great for cut flowers, long-lasting late season blooms full of color

Greenery / Shrubs / Grasses, Flowering and Non-flowering

Greenery can add visual interest and fill to a garden full of beautiful flowers along with a few flowers themselves. We recommend the following shrubs for your planting bed. 

  • Shrub Rose – single or double blooms in shades of pink, white, red, coral, yellow and cream. Blooms in June and then sporadically throughout the remainder of the growing season, they are also winter hardy and disease resistant. 2 to 4 feet tall and 1–3 feet wide.
  • Panicle Hydrangea – Clusters of flowers that are creamy white in color to begin and then turn a pink or blush color finally fading to tan as they die. Blooms in July and love the sun but hang on throughout the harsh Iowa winters. 8 to 12 feet tall and 7 to 10 feet wide
  • Oak Leaf Hydrangea – Clusters of white flowers appear in June and then fade to pink as they age. The leaves also change color from dark green to a lovely red in the fall. Blooms in June can sometimes be affected by a harsh winter. 6 to 8 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide
  • Smokebush – Clusters of flowers in shades of pink to yellowish-white. The leaves are often colorful and are more a purple/burgundy color rather than green. Blooms in May and continues through July and they bloom on old growth so don’t trim in the spring if you want it to flower. 10 to 15 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide


The most popular mulch options that we install are wood and rock. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks. We will help you weigh the aesthetic with convenience and the overall impact on your garden bed.

Bark Mulch

Bark mulch is a sustainable mulch option. It is created from the bark of trees and it comes in many varieties. It typically decomposes slower than chipped wood but it is more likely to wash away in a heavy rain because it isn’t as dense as chipped wood. Bark mulch is a great insulator for the soil and plant root systems below. It keeps the heat in during the winter and helps keep it out in the summer. Barch Mulch also provides vital nutrients to your plants below and fertilizes them as it decomposes. Bulk mulch will need to be replaced every one to 2 years.

Shredded or Chipped Wood

Shredded or chipped wood is made from tree branches that haven been taken down or trees that have had to come down. We use wood that is chemical and dye free so the color is determined by the species of wood mulch. This option doesn’t wash away in heavy rains as easily since it is denser but it decomposes faster than bulk mulch. Chipped wood is also a great insulator for your garden bed. Chipped wood mulch is a great plant feeder as it decomposes. It richens the soil below with vital nutrients as it breaks down. Chipped mulch should be replaced every 1 to 2 years.

Rock or Stone

Stone, volcanic rock, and gravel is a great tool for adding visual interest to your landscape but it should be used sparingly. Rock isn’t great for plants that need lots of water or ones that need insulation and protection from the heat of the sun. Rock gets very hot in the sun and doesn’t retain moisture so it’s not a good choice for a garden bed but it is a great option for drought loving plants.

Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch is a good option for areas with no plants that grass has a hard time growing and you need a ground covering. Due to the chemicals in rubber mulch, we caution against adding this mulch option to your plant beds as it disrupts the delicate balance of the soil below.


Raised plant beds are not only great for visual interest, but they are also great for your back. We install planter beds that are raised for fruit and vegetable gardens frequently so that homeowners can easily tend to their gardens and harvest their produce throughout the seasons. 

Raised flower beds are also great options that can be incorporated into a retaining wall or added to the front of a house with a l several steps up to the entrance.