Modern beds have simple outlines — rectangular, oval, circular or informal. Stars and complex outlines are now out of date. Before planting make sure that the ground is weed-free, and rake the earth so that a mound is formed at the centre of the bed. It is necessary to prevent the soil from washing on to the surrounding lawn or pathway – dig a shallow trench at the edge of the bed. You will see examples of the four major types of bedding schemes everywhere, but the carpet bedding scheme beloved by the Victorians has virtually disappeared. Its last stronghold is the floral clock in seaside towns – low-growing foliage plants in many shades, planted so closely together that no earth can be seen.