"The sound of water gently splashing down a tiered water fountain is relaxing. It hides the noise of neighbors and the hustle and bustle from the street. No Mediterranean garden, or hacienda courtyard, would seem complete without a tiered fountain. Adding the color and scent of flowers adds two more dimensions to your enjoyment. Echo the tiers of the fountain by arranging the flowers around the fountain in tiers.
1.) Draw a circle around the fountain's base to serve as a guide for the flower bed. Tie a string loosely around the base of the fountain with one long end free. The long end should be the radius of the circle you'll be making around the fountain. For example, if you want the flower bed to be 6 feet across, the string should be 3 feet long.
2.) Tie a stake to the free end of the string. Swing the string around the fountain, dragging the stake in the ground, marking a circle. Think of the compass you used to use to make perfect circles in school. The tied end should move as you move around the fountain. It shouldn't wrap around the base.
3.) Dig the ground within the circle until it's loose and friable. Break up any clods. Remove rocks and debris. Add soil amendments. Exactly what you add depends on the type of soil. Clay and sandy soil require organic matter to break up the clay and to stop water draining too quickly through the sandy soil. Add slow-release fertilizer per label directions. Rake the ground level. Edge the bed with a border of stone or bricks that match the fountain.
4.) Plant flowers that grow as tall as the first tier around the base of the fountain. Leave two empty spaces on opposite sides of the fountain. If that first tier is 3 feet off the ground, then good choices include African marigolds (Tagetes erecta), zinnias (Zinnia elegans) or geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum).
5.) Plant flowers that grow about half as high as the base around the taller flowers in the middle of the circle. Good choices include candytuft, French marigolds (Tagetes patula) and petunias (Petunia x hybrida).
6.) Plant short-spreading flowers at the outer edge of the circle, up to the stone or brick border. Good choices include sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), lobelia (Lobelia erinus) and moss roses (Portulaca grandiflora).
7.) Tuck two vining flowers on either side of the fountain in the empty spaces you left. These will twine around the tiers as they grow. Try black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata), clematis (Clematis spp.) or jasmine (Jasminum spp.).
8.) Float the flower heads of roses, camellias or peonies in the first basin for special occasions".
Reference:Rosehill, Katie. "Home Guides." Home Guides. SFGate.com/Demand Media, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <http://homeguides.sfgate.com/decorate-tiered-water-fountain-flowers-38737.html>.