In order to give your flowers and shrubs the best chance of surviving and thriving you need to put them in a location where they get the sun they need. This means that you need to consider the type and amount of sunlight your flowerbed gets each day. But, what is the most effective way to do this? You need to consider the surrounding landscape, the direction it faces, and your own observations of the light.
Look at the landscape around the flowerbed
The current landscape around your flowerbed can impact the amount of light that it receives each day. For example, tall trees towering nearby can create shade throughout part or all of the day. Or they may let some light through but only to certain areas of the flowerbed. If your flowerbed is up against the house there may be elements of the house that impact the level of sunlight. The eaves or other architectural elements can create varying levels of shade over your flowerbed and impact how much sunlight reaches the plants in that area. If you are not planning on changing the landscape around your flowerbed then you need to make sure and take it into consideration when trying to determine the amount of light your flowerbed gets.
Determine which direction the flowerbed faces
The direction your flowerbed faces can have a big impact on the type and amount of sun it receives. A flowerbed that is facing to the east will get morning sun. A west facing flowerbed will get afternoon sun. Some flowerbeds are situated so they get full sun throughout the day. Figuring out which way your flowerbed is facing is a quick way to get a general idea of when it is getting sun and how much.
Go out and look at your flowerbed
Your own observations can tell you a lot about the amount of sunlight your flowerbed gets each day. Go outside and look at your flowerbed at different points throughout the day. Start with morning, midday, and afternoon. This will help you more accurately determine how many hours of sunlight it gets. If you want to get very specific you can keep a log over the course of a week and make note of what the light is doing throughout the day.
Knowing the amount of sunlight your flowerbed gets each day will help you in your plant care and selection. It can help you determine how much water to use and even what time of day is best for watering. The place where it makes the biggest difference is in plant selection. Each type of flower and shrub has specific sunlight needs. If you match the sunlight needs of the plants you choose with the sunlight your flowerbed gets then you will have a much higher likelihood of creating a garden that grows and thrives.