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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 eventually 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.
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 to the gardens! Thanks for following along this year.
More About Flower Gardening Ideas for the Porch
Do you have a porch with lots of surrounding gardens? Do you enjoy container gardens on porch? What do you love to grow by your porch? I would love to know more in the comments below.
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- I like to use a good-quality, potting soil, garden soil, compost, and perlite when planting. While I make my own compost, you can easily buy it ready-made for use.
- I have used this deer repellent with great success. But now, I’m all about this deer repellent that is systemic instead of topical. This means the plant takes it in as opposed to it just smelling bad. If you want to minimize the work and not use repellents, choose plants that are deer-resistant from this list.
- Hands down this is my favorite hand-weeding tool. You can use it to get underneath roots and loosen soil, and it cuts down on the weeding time because you work much faster.
- But I also love this long, stand-up weeding tool to really get around roses from afar.
- I use this organic fertilizer for roses because the blooms are more prolific and it’s organic.
- And I use this organic fertilizer for my vegetables and herbs in the potager garden.
- You’ll need a sharp set of pruners when working with plants and flowers. I buy a few so I can stash them around.
- I use these garden snips to deadhead and cut flowers from my gardens.
- Where pest and disease problems are concerned, if I need to, I generally use this insecticidal soap or neem oil to help control infestations depending on the issue. When using, only apply when pollinators are less active.
- This is my go-to bait for slug and snail problems with my hostas and dahlias.
- This is my favorite set-and-forget slow-release fertilizer for houseplants, annuals, and container gardens.
- Whenever I stake my peonies or other plants, I generally use these grow-through garden supports because they work really well and keep the blooms upright.
- I use this collapsible bin ALL THE TIME. It is invaluable when working in the beds as it’s light to carry around and folds flat for easy storage.
- Drip irrigation set on a timer is your friend! I love these for my planters, window boxes, and hanging baskets.
- And this four way hose bib allows you to split one spicket into four!
Click here to shop my favorite garden supplies!
If you’ve always dreamed of bringing country charm to your home while creating a beautiful, relaxing space, I got you! Learn how to grow flowers in even the smallest of spaces with my easy-care, low-maintenance approach.
Want to See More of the Gardens?
If you want to check out my new gardens throughout the season you can see them here:
- Early Spring Garden Tour 2023
- New Gardens Tour
- Early Spring Garden
- Early Summer Garden Tour
- Gardening for Summer Highs and Lows
- The Prettiest Fall Garden Ideas
But I also share weekly pics of the gardens in my Sunday updates.
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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo
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. With a deep passion for gardening, I enjoy helping others find their inner green thumb with all things plants and flowers, as well as finding ways to bring the outdoors inside their homes.
Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.