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16 Beautiful Flowers to Inspire Your Dream Garden

Marvel at gardeners' stunning pictures of beautiful flowers. These breathtaking blooms will have you racing to the garden center to get more plants.

purple passionflowerCourtesy Joe Bob Hall

Purple Passionflower

“I have been a photographer for decades, focusing my time on the beauty provided by beautiful flowers. I’ve grown to love the purple passionflower for its unique features. My love grew immensely when I discovered this vine growing in the flower garden adjacent to an antique shop. I was able to capture this mature bloom along with a bud soon to open,” says Joe Bob Hall. Check out the top 10 vines for hummingbirds.

Water lilies in San Francisco, CaliforniaCourtesy Leslie Howells

Water Lilies

“I saw these water lilies in San Fransisco, California, one summer. This shot shows some of the life stages of these beautiful flowers. This photo is now one of my very favorites,” says Leslie Howells. Check out the top 10 purple flowers to grow in your garden.

Hydrangea with a Honey Bee on top.Courtesy Lance Bruce

Hydrangea Blossoms

“Last year, I was taking some test shots with a new lens on a Nikon D500 and happened to stumble across this scene—a hydrangea with a bee. I didn’t really think much of the shot at first, but during processing it came to life and now it’s one of my favorites. Watching nature at work is amazing,” says Lance Bruce. Check out the breathtaking hydrangea species you need in your garden.

Moth orchidCourtesy Tim Smith

Moth Orchid

“I decided my portfolio needed a few photos of beautiful flowers. With such a pretty moth orchid in full bloom on my porch, the subject choice was easy. The plant was in a pot, so I moved it in front of some nice backyard greenery. This photo is special because the orchid was a gift for my wife. I was pleased with the results,” says Tim Smith. Marvel at the beauty of cactus blooms with these 15 beautiful pictures of cactus flowers.

Persian shield plantsCourtesy Robert Blumenstock

Pretty Purple Foliage

“Persian Shield Plants have wonderful purple foliage that is quite striking. I’ve recently renewed my interest in nature and my passion for photography, which is how I learned about this plant. Aside from being outdoors more, I’m working in the backyard, growing my own wildlife-friendly habitat and pollinator garden, and contributing to various local arboretums and gardens as well as education programs,” says Robert Blumenstock.

P.S. These are our top picks for year round flowers to keep your garden beautiful every month of the year.

Pink poppyCourtesy Tom Morack

Pink Poppies

“In late spring last year, a friend from a nearby town gave me this beautiful pink poppy. I placed a black poster board behind the flower and took this picture with a Nikon D750,” says Tom Morack. Love pink flowering plants? Discover 10 shrubs with pink flowers.

SunflowerCourtesy Stephanie Schick

Sunny Sunflowers

“Becoming what my friends call a birder, I now have feeders all over my yard. Sometimes unexpected plantings pop up after birds drop morsels under the feeders. This sunflower in the midst of roses was certainly a surprise. Even though it wasn’t supposed to be there, I could not bring myself to pull it. The center’s geometric patterns caught my attention and became my focus,” says Stephanie Schick. Don’t forget about these other classic yellow flowers to grow.

Blanket flowerCourtesy Richard Schnuerer

Beautiful Blanket Flowers

“This image of a blanket flower was taken at the Inniswood Metro Gardens in the city of Westerville, Ohio, where I’m always on the lookout for hummingbirds, as well as butterflies and other insects. The colors of this bloom really set it apart, and I had to take a lasting image. I hung this photo on my wall, and to this day I still enjoy looking at it,” says Richard Schnuerer. We found 16 long-blooming flowers for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

beautiful flowersCourtesy Ted Belling

Indian Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets

“Driving on Highway 81 outside of Duncan, Oklahoma, my wife and I passed wildflowers growing in the median. I parked on the side of the highway, walked over to the median and got down on my knees to take pictures of the Indian paintbrushes and bluebonnets,” says Ted Belling. Check out the best national parks for spring wildflowers.

beautiful flowers, Argentine Giant cactusCourtesy Spencer Fairbanks

Night-Blooming Giant Cactus

Cactuses bloom here in Arizona each spring, but this night-blooming Argentine giant I saw in Fountain Hills is pretty rare. The great majority of this species’ blooms are white instead of pink. This particular bloom caught my eye one early morning as I was on my way to the store. The flowers stay open for about six hours before wilting in the late morning. I quickly went home to grab my Nikon D750 and 50 mm lens, and I got the shot I wanted!” says Spencer Fairbanks.

beautiful flowersCourtesy Tami Shaughnessy

Pink Daylily (and Frog Friend!)

“I was pleasantly surprised to find this Pacific tree frog hanging out in my backyard daylily garden during the summer. This type of frog is frequently spotted in Washington state. I took this photo with my Pentax DSLR camera,” Tami Shaughnessy says. Here’s how to spot the differences between toads and frogs.

beautiful flowersCourtesy Nancy Rau

Zinnia Bloom

“My first time ever planting zinnias from seed resulted in this beautiful bloom. I noticed the interesting folds on the petals, as well as the structure, aesthetic and color mixture in the center. It was a delight to capture a perfectly bold zinnia,” Nancy Rau says. Flowers for birds: Grow the plants that birds like most.

277634683 1 Diane Hendler Bnb Bypc 2021Courtesy Diane Hendler

Parrot Tulip

“As a longtime gardener from the Northeast, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to have my beautiful spring garden when I moved to Arizona. While the spring weather is milder here than in the Northeast, it proved to have the temperatures that bulbs need. I filled my garden with various types of tulips. I’ve always loved parrot tulips in particular, and on one early morning, after a soft, light rain, this one looked too dreamy,” Diane Hendler says. Check out the ultimate guide to planting spring bulbs.

278169872 1 Richard A Schultz Bnb Bypc 2021Courtesy Richard A. Schultz

Beautiful Dahlia Flowers

Bumblebees were busy at work on these dahlia flowers, making the photo even more beautiful. I took this in summer with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II and a Canon EF 400 mm super telephoto lens,” Richard A. Schultz says. Grow these orange flowers to give your garden a burst of color.

Bnbbyc18 Vianne PendletonCourtesy Vianne Pendleton

Waterlily and Dragonfly at Sunset

“While on an evening stroll at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the Duke University campus, I captured this beautiful view of a waterlily with a dragonfly on it as the sun set,” Vianne Pendleton says. Psst—don’t miss the top new garden trends to try.

beautiful flowersCourtesy Gretchen Fitzgerald-Teel

Goldenrod and Blue Copper Butterfly

“Beautiful shades of blue and gray adorn this dainty blue copper butterfly perched on some goldenrod in the foothills of Boise, Idaho. I shot this with a Canon PowerShot SX60 HS camera,” Gretchen Fitzgerald-Teel says. Backyard tip—these are the top butterfly host plants to attract pollinators.

Rachel Maidl
Rachel Maidl is a senior editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She enjoys bird-watching in her urban backyard and local state parks, gardening for pollinators and researching new plants. Her favorite backyard visitors are the bumblebees that visit her sedums.