Flowers mosaic

By M. Arjoca, vegetalshapes.com

Flowers mosaic, Timisoara, RomaniaMany times we visit parks or public gardens and we are impressed by beautiful flower “carpets”. Mosaics that show geometrical or floral patterns, landscapes and animals always attract attention. They are rather associated with the parks and cities and less with the common gardens. To create a picture from plants you need a space large enough for it, a large number of plants, time for creating and maintaining it. But why not try to make something like this in our garden? Of course at a smaller scale and suited to our resources of money, materials and time.
We need:

Plants mosaic, Toronto, Canada1. Prepare the field
You have to adapt to the available space. Dig the soil and level it with a rake. The work is done easier and the plants are easier to maintain on a plane surface. In a slope garden the water drainage can be a problem. If the place has a lot of sunlight choose plants for sunny gardens. If it has partial shade choose plants for semi-shaded gardens. You don’t have to make your whole garden a mosaic. Sometimes just a circle bed with different colored bulbs, around a tree, creates a special effect in spring.
Depending on the needs of the plants you choose, you can enrich the soil with compost or organic fertilizers. You can make it sandy, with a slightly alkaline or slightly acidic pH.

2. Draw a pattern on paper
Start with a simple image that can be easy replicate on field and fill it with plants. You can draw a square with different colored stripes inside or a square that has other smaller squares inside – like a chessboard.  You can draw also a circle with other smaller circles inside.
The geometric shapes can be very inspiring. The complicated patterns are more difficult but not impossible to realize. Images of flowers, leaves, animals etc can be tried. A simple pattern is easier to create on field. Its size determines the size of the space and the number of plants you need. On your drawn mark the place (and the color) of the plants you will use.

Flowers circle, Timisoara, Romania3. Create the pattern on field
Draw on the field you prepared earlier the pattern you have on paper. Mark the areas of the different plants. You can use sticks and strings. For example, if you want to create a large circle that has other smaller circles inside, you can draw this picture using 2 sticks that have a string tied between them.
At first, drive one of the sticks in the ground, in the place where the center of the circle will be. Stretch the string at the desired length and with the other stick draw a circle around the first stick. The length of the rope determines how large the circle will be. This will be the largest circle. Then reduce the length of the string, wrapping it around the free stick and draw another circle inside the first one. Proceed the same way until you have all the circles you want. Every circle will be filled with a different type of plants.
Let’s say that we have a pattern with 3 circles. Fill the exterior circle with plants that have red leaves or red flowers. In the middle circle you can put plants with yellow leaves or yellow flowers and in the inner one put dark-green plants.

4. Choosing the plants
The short plants are suited to this type of flowers arrangement. The image will be more visible. These plants grow bushy and placed closer as the normal way, will give the impression of a carpet. You can use also taller plants to highlight some spots of the pattern. For example, if you have a circle filled with gazanias (short plants), you can put in the middle of it a large and imposing aloe.
You can use a single color plants or you can combine different colors. This is up to us.
Tulip mosaic, Keukenhof, HollandPatterns for spring, summer or autumn can be created. The bulbs are very suited to this kind of pictures. Colorful and cheerful beds can be made in spring, combining the colors and the heights of different crocuses, daffodils, tulips, muscari etc. The pansies and English daisies are also very popular especially for early spring season. Generally the bulbs and the plants for early spring are often used for mosaics. These plants are suited to both sunny gardens and partial-shaded gardens.
In summer you can have beautiful patterns with gazanias, moss roses, petunias, sage, ice plants, tagetes and other sun loving plants. In semi-shaded gardens can be used begonias, impatiens, floss flowers, lobelias.
Even in the vegetables garden you can make mosaics, using lettuce plants with leaves that have different forms and colors or different herbs and flowers.
Also in containers garden can be made a mosaic, arranging the pots to show an image.

5. The plants
You need a large number of the same type of plants to create a flowers mosaic. Big and complicated patterns need many plants. You can buy these plants, but in this case the costs will be high. The simple way is to obtain them  from seeds. Especially if you have a space large enough to grow them.