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Flower Garden Ideas For the Front Porch

Looking for some pretty flower garden ideas for spring-to-fall blooms? Today, we are looking back at how my front porch cottage gardens grew during the growing season. Wait until you see how beautiful they looked this year!

After gardening in the new house for a full year, I’m so excited to look back to see how each garden grew over the last year. There are so many beautiful gardens here and so much to see that I’m breaking this up into a series detailing each garden.

This week, I’m sharing how the front porch cottage gardens grew and changed during the season.

It’s fun to look back to see how it grew and decide what changes I’ll make in the next season. To learn what’s missing and decide what I’m adding to the gardens in the next growing season.

It was an incredible growing season discovering all the plants and flowers that I’d never grown before.

There was much to learn here too as we originally saw and bought the house in late fall. So I had no idea what was here when we moved in.

With each day, it was like Christmas morning for the gardener as something new was always popping up and blooming.

Wait until you see the cool plants I discovered and how they grew in my new gardens in 2022.

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Flower Garden Ideas by the Front Porch

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I am obsessed with growing flowers.

They bring great joy in watching them emerge from the ground, grow, bloom, and change as the seasons progress.

It’s one of the reasons we moved from our 1/2 acre home with expansive gardens to an 1850 farmhouse with 10 acres of gardens and woods.

We were so built out at our former home, there was nothing left to really do. And there’s so much more that I want to do as a gardener.

So.

We moved.

And haven’t looked back since.

In this post, we’ll walk through the front porch gardens and look back at how they looked from spring and fall.

1850 farmhouse with front porch and spring flowers including ajuga, ranunculas, with hostas and buckeye tree.
The Prettiest Thrift Flip Idea for the Front Porch

Spring in the Front Porch Gardens

The front porch gardens surprised me as I didn’t think I’d love the ajuga ground cover that is underplanted under the buckeye tree.

But you know what? It looked so pretty in spring that I’ve decided to keep it for now and think through how I ultimately want this garden to look.

Speaking of that buckeye tree, I had no idea it bloomed as it does and was the hummingbird magnet that it is. We watched numerous hummingbirds zipping around that tree while it was in bloom from the front porch rockers.

front yard garden in spring with flowering crabapple trees
Container garden with spring flowers near frot porch with hostas and bugleweed

I also LOVE the hosta that is planted here. I couldn’t tell you the variety since I didn’t plant it, but the foliage is really striking.

It should be moved though, as it gets full sun here and hostas prefer shade, but wow what a good-looking plant!

Another stunner in spring was those gorgeous baptisia plants that I had no idea were even there. I tried growing false indigo in my former garden but really didn’t have the room for it to thrive so it never did as well as it’s doing here.

front porch gardens in front of 1850 farmhouse with walkway and stone wall
1850 Farmhouse in Spring
Close up of thrift flip idea planted with scaevola on front porch with different varietes of coleus in terra cotta pots, a white porch swing and outdoor area rug

Originally, I wasn’t planning to plant the empty garden along the stone wall that overlooks the valley. But I’m really glad I did it at the last minute because it was probably my favorite garden throughout the growing season.

While I was shopping for the larger new cottage garden near the pool, I picked up a few small perennials for this bed too.

I planted perennials I knew would give me color throughout the growing season but opted for newer varieties that I’d not grown before. Like coreopsis ‘caramel creme’ and nepeta ‘cat’s meow’ which is a low growing catmint that I planted in the front of the border.

front porch gardens with walkway and container garden
close up of nepeta 'cat's meow' and salvia 'May night' in front porch garden
Nepeta ‘Cat’s Meow’ and Salvia ‘May Night’

Because I had lots of larkspur, zinnias, and snapdragon seed starts, I planted some here along the stone wall.

And I’m so happy I did because we had some bunny damage to the larkspur in the other beds and this was the only garden I could enjoy this year.

I planted ‘latte’ superwave petunias here and they looked really good all season long. They were a nice compliment to the perennials I planted here that included coreopsis, coneflowers, nepeta, achillea, salvia, and poppies.

Because I thought the soft white flowers looked so pretty, I’ve decided to double the amount I bought this year for next year in this same garden so it looks much fuller.

view of snapdragons, larkspur and superwave petunias planted in the front porch garden in my outdoor living spaces home tour
close up of superwave petunias in my front porch garden

Summer in the Front Porch Gardens

As this garden grew and progressed into summer, the views of the property and blooms were phenomenal.

The new cottage garden came into its own and looked beautiful throughout the season. I intentionally planted perennials that were under 24″ so we could see the views while sitting from the front porch rockers.

But I planted ‘Senora’ zinnias in the back along the stone wall and we wound up not being about to see out from the porch anyway as they grew to be about 4.5′ tall.

close up of larkspur
At one point, the larkspur looked amazing in the small cottage garden
close up of tickseed or coreopsis 'caramel creme' in my early summer garden tour
Coreopsis ‘caramel creme’
achiliea, coreopsis 'caramel creme' in late june cottage garden

The summer was a scorcher as it was blazing hot with no rain from July through August.

By late summer, the rudbeckia and alliums took over together with the zinnias that I planted and it looked AMAZING!

And the butterflies covered my zinnias in this bed all season long, which was a real thrill.

close up of snapdragons and larkspur in small cottage garden near stone wall
sunset in the small cottage garden in zone 6a new jersey garden
Front Yard Small Cottage Garden
swallowtail butterfly on zinnias in cottage garden
close up of front porch swing with vintage flower pillows, potted plants and an outdoor area rug on the front porch in my outdoor living spaces home tour
front porch and small cottage garden of 1850 farmhouse with hardy hibiscus and sunflowers

The lawn in between the porch and cottage garden took a bit of a beating. Although we had an extremely hot and dry summer, I think it had a grub problem that took out the patch of grass.

At first, I thought it was due to the weather. But once we dug up the grass a little, the grubs were pretty extensive.

As we approached fall, we overseeded the grass with tall fescue which has a deeper root system where Japanese beetles prefer not to lay eggs in AND treated the area with milky spore.

So hopefully we are on the road to recovery in that spot.

I had 2 of the 10 sunflowers take near the front porch. We had a resident bunny that mowed alot of plants down up here but for whatever reason, he left these two alone.

sunset in the small cottage garden with sedum autumn joy in New Jersey zone 6a
Close up of Seniorita Zinnias and sunflowers by front porch

Fall in the Front Porch Gardens

When the leaves started changing, I was completely awestruck by this garden with the views.

The foliage colors in the surrounding environment together with the rudbeckia, snapdragons, and zinnias looked so gorgeous.

I snapped a lot of great pics here in late fall. And so did Horticulture Magazine and Garden Gate Magazine! Which was a real thrill.

New cottage garden by front porch in fall with rudbeckia, sedum autumm joy, and celosia
'Senora' zinnias at sunset in the front porch cottage garden
white front porch swing decorated for fall with huecheras and houseplants on vintage farmhouse porch
Front Porch Swing in Fall
other fron tporch in fall with rudbeckia and pumpkins with sedum autumn joy and mustard colored front door with two fall wreaths

Sedum autumn joy and rudbeckia looked beautiful in these beds. And my snapdragons bounced back beautifully after a long hot, dry summer.

I added a few pansies and garden mums with lots of pretty pumpkins to decorate for fall.

But the biggest surprise was all of the celosia that popped up that I did not plant. I was not expecting them to be there.

good directions birdhouse with celosia on a shepherds hook in the garden
Good Directions Birdhouse surrounded by celosia

When I first saw them emerge from the ground I knew it was some sort of plant but wasn’t sure what until it grew more and eventuall bloomed.

There was a range of colors too so it was really fun cutting them for arrangements.

When the gardens started dying down, I planted several tulips and daffodils in this garden. So I can’t wait to see what it looks like in spring!

As a final aside, it’s really incredible how much these beds changed through the season! Had I not planted this spot along the wall it would have looked pretty sparse through the growing season. So I’m thankful that I wound up doing it.

close up of the front porch in fall with corn stalks, pumpkins, rudbeckia and more fall garden flowers
close up of front porch with rudbeckia, zinnias, cornstalks and good directions birdhouse with copper roof
good directions birdhouse in my cottage garden by the front porch in fall with rudbeckia, celosia and snapdragons and pansies overlooking the valley

And that’s it! Can you believe how beautiful this garden is? It was incredible to watch it grow this season.

We’ve already made some changes to this garden as there’s a HUGE pine tree next to it that we had to take down as it was on a serious decline and becoming a hazard. I spent the season photographing around it so you probably didn’t notice it much.

Looking forward to 2023 and all that it brings in the gardens! Thanks for following along this year.

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.

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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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

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4 Comments

  1. So many beautiful views Stacy. I can’t wait to see that beautiful garden and front porch again this spring and summer.