Spring has sprung! It’s the perfect time to get your hands dirty and breathe new life into your garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these 19 simple spring garden ideas will help you create a flourishing spring oasis.

It’s almost here! I am so excited about the arrival of spring, are you? There’s nothing quite like seeing the bulbs and perennials break ground while trees and shrubs start to leaf out and bloom. At the end of last year, I dug and divided so many perennials and moved them to gardens that needed some love.

Spring has sprung and with it comes the irresistible urge to transform your yard into a blooming paradise. But where to begin? Look no further!

This post is your one-stop shop for 19 easy-to-implement ideas to take your garden from drab to fab, with a focus on creating breathtaking blooms that will have your neighbors swooning. From classic favorites to unexpected pops of color, I’ve got you covered for a spring garden glow up that’s sure to impress.

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19 Simple Spring Garden Ideas

Spring is a season that is eagerly anticipated by garden enthusiasts around the world. After a long, cold winter, the arrival of warmer weather and longer days brings with it the promise of new growth and rejuvenation in the garden.

There is a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation as gardeners begin to plan and prepare for the upcoming growing season. Whether it’s planting new flowers and vegetables, pruning existing plants, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, there is something truly special about the experience of working in the garden in spring.

And with that, it’s time to start thinking about what you want out of the next growing season. Are you growing a vegetable garden? Do you plan to start a new garden? Do you want to grow a cut flower garden? Or are you just maintaining what you already have?

Regardless of your garden goals this spring, here are some garden ideas to achieve what you want from this growing season.

daffodils and double flowering tulips blooms in the spring garden

Things to Do in the Garden This Spring

With the temperatures warming up, there is no better time to get back out into the garden. Not sure where to begin? Here are some ideas of things to do in the garden this spring.

Dig, Divide, and Transplant Perennials

Spring is a great time to dig, divide, and transplant perennials. Dividing plants promotes plant health and increases your garden stock for free! But not all plants are good for dividing.

Before dividing any perennial plant, it is important to research the specific plant to determine whether it is suitable for division and to learn about the best techniques for dividing it. In some cases, it may be best to simply propagate the plant through other methods, such as stem cuttings or seedlings, rather than attempting to divide it.

And while we are on the subject of dividing perennials, did you know that you can divide a hydrangea too?

YES!

I tried it a few years ago and got three more hydrangea plants from one. It was not hard to do, but you need to muscle through those roots.

Everblooming hydrangea in my jersey garden

Spring Garden Clean-Up

Since I prefer to cut most of my perennials back after winter, spring garden clean-up can be a bit of a chore. From picking up leaf and stick debris to cutting plants back to the ground, it’s time to clean out those beds to prepare for the next growing season. And if you aren’t sure where to begin, read my spring garden cleanup checklist here.

Keep Deer From Eating Plants Early On

If you live in an area where deer decimate plants like mine, then you need to start protecting plants as they emerge from the ground. Deer are creatures of habit and if they learn early on they don’t like the taste of your plants, they will find a different route.

So early protection and maintenance are key to keeping deer from eating garden plants. And while we are on the subject, this is the new two-pronged approach I use that works REALLY well.

I’m a huge fan of using deer repellents in places where I can’t erect a garden fence. I regularly use this repellent , but I’ve learned about a new to me deer repellent that is systemic rather than just acting as a topical application. Both work incredibly well.

close up of nepeta 'walkers low' - catmint are great flowers for deadheading when the blooms fade
Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’

Keep Japanese Beetles and Grubs at Bay with This Lawn Care Organic Tip

Have you had a Japanese beetle problem? They can wreak havoc in the garden and wreck the foliage and blooms of plants. And their grubs can do a lot of damage to our lawns too.

Skip the pheromone traps that attract MORE to your garden than less and try this organic lawn care approach. I did it myself and it works very well.

Last year, we had Japanese beetles covering my hardy hibiscus here at the new house, so I not only overseeded the lawn with tall fescue but also applied milky spore as well.

pink hardy hibiscus in the front yard garden

Start a New Garden

If you are interested in starting a new garden, there are two ways to do it. You can start a new garden the traditional way where you dig out the grass. But you can also save your back by using the no-dig method too, known as lasagna gardening. I’ve done this a few times now and it works very well!

Digging out and pitching sod - How to Start a Garden

There’s Still Time to Start Seeds

Whether you are growing a vegetable, flower, or herb garden, it’s not too late to start seeds indoors depending on what you want to grow. To get a jump start on the season, you can start seed indoors. And the best part? You don’t need a greenhouse to do it.

Depending on your climate, there’s still time to sow seeds using the winter sowing method too. Save indoor seed starting space by starting some cold-tolerant varieties outdoors.

Sowing Seeds Indoors Without a Greenhouse
Starting Seeds Snapdragons under grow lights on wire shelving

Plant More Flowers

If you missed the opportunity to plant daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other spring flowering bulbs in fall, you can buy them as full size plants and get them in the ground or in pots now. It’s also a great time to plant cool-season annuals like pansies, ranunculus, snapdragons, and sweetpeas to get your flower garden blooming early

The Importance of Mulch and More

Every year, I mulch the gardens. It suppresses weeds, helps retain moisture, and overall soil quality. While it can be pretty labor-intensive, it is worth topping off the gardens each year with some mulch. CLICK HERE to learn about the importance of mulching the garden.

The daffodils are in bloom in the front yard garden in zone 6a New Jersey
new cottage garden after planting it with several perennials, annuals and seeds that were started indoors in front of green wood picket fence and solar lights on green posts next to driveway

Start a Compost Pile

If you don’t have one already, start a compost pile in an unused area of your yard. Compost is super easy to make, keeps plants healthy, and improves soil health.

While you can buy it at the nursery, you can save so much money and recycle waste at the same time by making your own compost pile. It’s not hard to do, but there are some do’s and don’ts as to what can go into a compost pile.

garden blogger stacy ling emptying the bag on the ryobi vacattack andWearing long sleeves, jeans, boots and gloves while working in the garden doing Fall Garden Clean-Up

Make Leaf Mold

And while you are doing spring garden clean-up, don’t forget to keep those leaves to make leaf mold for the garden. Adding leaf mold to the garden helps improve soil structure and retain moisture, keeping plants happy and healthy. I realize it might not sound all that exciting, but it really does help grow a beautiful garden.

Gardener stacy ling planting marigolds in her backyard garden -landscaping for curb appeal
Planting marigolds in the garden to help repel mosquitos

Spring Planting Ideas and Garden Design Tips

Each year, I’m asked how to grow a beautiful flower garden that can be enjoyed all season long. And the truth is, it is not that hard to do. But there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Grow a Colorful Garden With Everblooming Design

Looking for ways to grow an everblooming, colorful garden that blooms from spring through fall? It is truly the best to watch a flower garden grow, bloom, and change all season long. And it’s easier done with low-maintenance plants.

Designing a flower garden that’s always in bloom is pretty easy to do, but you’ll need to cover the gardening basics first so you find success growing different types of blooms.

Spend some time researching and watching when things bloom in your area. You’ll want to choose flowers with extended bloom times and lots of texture. Depending on the size of your garden, tuck in shrubs, perennials, annuals and spring flowering bulbs to ensure you have something continually growing, blooming and changing all season long.

small cottage garden in fall with sedum autumn joy, rudbeckia and celosia overlooking the valley in fall with a sugar pumpkin

Cut Flower Gardening

If you are interested in growing flowers to enjoy in bouquets, you’ve got to start a cut flower garden. It is so rewarding and fun to make fresh flower arrangements all season long. While you can find some plants at the nursery, you’ll have much more available to you if you start your own seeds, either indoors or out.

I realize that might sound intimidating if you’ve never done it before. So I encourage you to try directly sowing something easy outdoors before going in on seed starting equipment indoors. There are lots of great flowers to directly sow outdoors that include:

last bouquet of flowers from the cutting garden in 2022 with zinnias, dahlias, snapdragons and celosia
My cut flower garden - How to Save Money at the Garden Nursery

Planting Container Gardens

While you can plant pansies and cold-tolerant annuals in early spring, most annuals are safe to plant after all danger of frost passes. In my zone 6b garden, that’s typically around early May. Before purchasing plants, you’ll want to choose planters that match your aesthetic and budget.

If you are new to container gardening, I shared some basic design tips for beginners. As well as some tricks for successful gardening in planters.

Window Boxes

I love a pretty window box too, don’t you? A few years ago, we added some pretty copper window boxes to the potting shed in my former garden and it looked so pretty! Read this post to learn how to design and plant flowers in a window box.

Mosquito Repellent Planters

If you are not a fan of getting bit by mosquitos, did you know that there are certain plants that help keep them away?

YES!

Learn how to plant a mosquito repellent garden. And wait until you see my favorite mosquito repelling plant that kept the bugs away on the back porch all last summer.

mosquito repellent plants that include thai basil and marigolds in a planter
wide angle view of the zen garden with back porch

How to Attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds to the Garden

Looking for ways to attract more pollinators to your garden? You can plant your garden with flowers that will entice them to drop by and hang around. I enjoy watching these gorgeous creatures drop by each day.

When we moved, I was sad to think I was leaving my pollinator gardens behind. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are probably 10x more here to enjoy. The prior homeowner’s garden designer did a great job planning out the types of plants that attract them.

It’s not hard to design a pollinator garden either. Here are a few ideas to get you going.

swallowtail butterfly on liatris flower in cottage garden - flowers list that bloom in midsummer

Cottage Gardening

Are you interested in growing a cottage garden this year? Characterized by a charming, informal design with a mix of plants, cottage gardens evoke a sense of old-fashioned, rustic beauty that is often associated with the English countryside.

The cottage garden has a natural, relaxed look with plants growing in a seemingly haphazard manner. I love that it is not highly manicured or formal, but rather creates a sense of abundance with an eclectic mix of colors and textures that are pleasing to the eye.

A cottage garden may include a variety of flowers such as roses, peonies, lavender, and daisies, as well as plants like hollyhocks, foxgloves, and delphiniums that add height and structure. To create a relaxed, informal atmosphere, the plants are often allowed to spill over the edges of beds and mingle together, with a few whimsical garden ornaments, such as birdhouses or statuaries, scattered throughout.

Here are 5 quick ways to grow a cottage garden.

alliums and roses on the happy gardening tour

Theme-Based Flower Bed Ideas

Embrace a fabulous garden with these stunning theme-based flower bed ideas (think butterflies, moonlight blooms, & edible delights!) to transform your yard into a total showstopper. Forget tired rows and yawn-inducing uniformity! If you crave a yard that pulsates with personality and color that buzzes with pollinators and intoxicates your senses, then I got you!

Because theme-based flower beds are your answer. Try some of these knockout ideas, from pollinator havens to moonlit dramas. Read the post to learn how to design them like a pro.

  • Monochromatic Gardens: think blue flowers, pink flowers, purple flowers, or even yellow flowers as a design scheme.
  • Gothic Garden: If you are drawn to the allure of shadows and want to create a gothic garden, focus on lots of moody colors with lots of greens and neutrals.
  • Formal Garden: With their structured layouts, geometric shapes, and clean lines, formal gardens have long been admired for their timeless elegance, a sense of order and grandeur.
monochromatic pink flowers of yarrow and coneflowers
monochromatic pink flowers of yarrow and coneflowers

Create a Relaxing Zen Garden

Want to create a backyard haven to relax the body and calm the mind? Backyard living spaces should be relaxing spaces to get away from the everyday. When we lived in our former home, we made our backyard as much of an oasis as we could given the property and space we had.

Since moving, this home has it all, and one of my favorite outdoor living spaces is the backyard zen garden. Truthfully, I never thought I needed a backyard zen garden before but now that we have one? We totally needed one.

If you’d love a garden space that brings some peace and tranquility to your home, consider adding one this year. And the best part? Even the smallest of spaces can accommodate one.

Zen garden with round concrete pavers, stairs with white railing that leads to container gardens fill with pink supertunia 'bubblegum pink' petunias and the backyard garden with black labrador retriever standing on stone wall with koi tree sculpture in the background
Zen Garden and Backyard Gardens

Add a Water Feature

Looking for ways to bring peace and serenity to an outdoor living space? Add soothing sounds to your backyard by adding a water feature. Whether you add a pond or a small-scale water fountain, there are lots of ways to add the sounds of rippling water to a backyard living space.

Not sure where to start? Bring peace to your space with these 27 water feature ideas that will accommodate any space or budget.

Small pond garden with japanese maple and garden sculptures with blooming azalea and daffodils -37 Backyard Living Space Ideas
Zen garden koi pond with Japanese Maple and Garden Sculpture

Spring Garden Tools and Garden Supplies

As a gardener, it’s so important to have the right tools and supplies readily available so you are ready to tackle whatever may come into the garden when everything starts growing. For example, when plants emerge from the ground, you’ll want to start protecting susceptible plants that are prone to deer damage.

It’s also a great time to assess your garden tools, see what you need, clean and sharpen them, etc. That’s why I recommend tackling these projects and stocking up on supplies BEFORE the season is in full swing.

deadheading flowers

The 10 Best Garden Tools for the Beginners

If you are just starting as a gardener, these are my favorite go-to garden tools that you will use over and over…and over again. From pruners to weeding tools and garden shovels, this list has everything you need to start your best gardening life.

planting a container with garden gloves and trowel

67 Must-Have Spring Garden Supplies

But I’ve also got a great list of must-have garden tools and supplies that you may want to sift through to get you thinking about things you need to stock up on. While you may have some items on this list already, you’ll want to restock some things you might not have.

CLICK HERE to see what supplies you need this spring garden season.

close up of tulip 'creme upstar'
Tulip ‘Creme Upstar’

More About Spring Garden Ideas

Do you have specific things you like to do in your gardens in spring? I would love to know more in the comments below.

And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind-the-scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it to the blog. Would love to see you there too!

If you prefer to binge-watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!

And… If you’re catching up on blog posts you may have missed, be sure to sign-up to get my newest posts via email to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here on the blog and more.

close up of tulip pink perennial in the garden at sunset by stone wall

Garden Supplies I Use

Since I’ve been gardening for well over twenty-five years, I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. Here are some of my favorites that I use in no particular order.

dahlia kogane fubuki in the potager garden

Click here to shop my favorite garden supplies!

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Stacy Ling with her book the bricks n blooms guide to a beauitful and easy care flower garden

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close up of daffodils for 19 simple spring garden ideas

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daffodil garden in early spring

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variety of vibrant dahlia flowers in a colorful cut flower garden

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Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

Want to learn more about me? I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden

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Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

With my gardens being so new last year, I wasn’t sure what was there. So it was like Christmas morning for the gardener throughout the growing season. Each day was a new discovery of plants and flowers, many of which, I hadn’t grown before.

spring flowers including daffodils
Planting pink geranium flowers in the copper window boxes
happy gardening
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Backyard cottage garden in front of garden shed -cut flower garden in my gardening zone 6a backyard border. This is my favorite cottage garden in the landscape in front of the garden shed
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perennials vs annuals
Spring Garden Flowers
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bearded iris is a great early spring blooming perennial to grow in the garden
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Everblooming colorful garden in summer - my cottage garden
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dividing perennials - echinops, echinacea and monarda
Early Spring in the Garden
daffodils and tulips in the spring garden

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16 Comments

  1. So many great tips, Stacy! I definitely need to get out and finish cleaning up one side of my house which was neglected in the fall. I’m looking forward to adding a window box, new hydrangeas and expanding my cut flower garden! I know where to go if I have questions!! 😊

  2. So many beautiful photo’s of your garden. Thanks so much for sharing your talents and tips.

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  6. Oh my goodness, Stacy. So many great ideas to kick off spring gardening. I’m definitely saving this post for later and would love to share a link to it in my week in rewind post this weekend.

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  8. Beautiful photos of your yard and gardens. I am ready to do some spring cleanup. Thanks for all of the great tips. I want to create a few more gardens in the yard.

    1. It’s so fun having different garden rooms! I did it at our former home too within the space we had.