Looking for ideas for your outdoor living spaces? Wait until you see these beautiful garden rooms and cozy decorating ideas for summer.

This time of year, I’m outside almost 24/7 enjoying my outdoor living spaces and tend to let the inside go.

Do you do that too?

Even more so for us, because we recently moved from our rustic farmhouse to a new-to-us 1850 farmhouse on a sprawling 10-acre property with lots of amazing garden rooms and expansive gardens.

Now that we’ve been living here for more than a year, I finally feel like we are making each space our own.

And I can’t wait to share some of the garden rooms that have changed since last year!

So grab a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever you want really, and let’s tour my outdoor living spaces because there is SO MUCH I want to share with you.

These outdoor living spaces are to die for! I still can’t believe we moved here.

Oh and wait until you see the surrounding gardens too! GAH!

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About Me and My Home

If you are new here, I’m Stacy, a master gardener who lives and gardens in north-central New Jersey, zone 6a. We recently moved to a beautiful 1850 Farmhouse with 10 acres of gardens, sculptures, and statutes.

I’ve been gardening for over 20 years and enjoy helping beginner gardeners find their inner green thumb, as well as discover a love for all things plants and flowers. And I love to bring the outdoors inside my home too with a vintage cottagecore style.

I hope you enjoy visiting my garden rooms and outdoor living spaces at my home today. It would be amazing if would come back so we can grow stuff and create beautiful spaces together.

1850 farmhouse on sunny day in spring with container garden filled with pansies and hostas surrounding it

Welcome to My 1850 Farmhouse

Our home is nestled in north-central New Jersey in a sprawling suburban/farmland town. We live less than an hour from New York City, an hour from the Jersey Shore, and an hour and a half from the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.

It’s a great spot to live really because we have easy access to the best of things on the east coast. While we weren’t planning on moving when we did, we were casually looking around and found this hidden gem.

The former homeowners loved this home, cultivating every square inch with a great focus on all of the details. It needed a little updating but there is so much character, interest, and uniqueness here, the opportunity to purchase it was too cool to pass up.

So we went for it.

And haven’t looked back since. The house is amazing, but the outdoor living spaces and garden rooms are to die for too! Wait until you see it all.

1850 farmhouse with tree sculptures, potager garden, green garden fence on a beautiful sunny day in New Jersey

Each day has been a blessing here and we are so glad we found our home with these incredible gardens. It’s like a dream come true.

If you’d like to see more of the gardens throughout the seasons, you can check out my seasonal garden tours here.

But I also share weekly pics of the gardens in my Sunday updates.

Subscribe here so you don’t miss out on the gardening inspiration!

close up of garden blogger stacy ling on the porch of her 1850 farmhouse holdiing a pink hydrangea

My Garden Rooms and Outdoor Living Spaces Home Tour

One of the things we LOVE to do is tour the different garden rooms and outdoor living spaces with a glass of wine.

It’s a great way to experience the property on a weekly basis and see how each area changes with the season.

Wait until you see how beautiful everything looks for summer living!

on the porch with some iced tea in summer with a porch swing, houseplants, throw pillows and blanket

The Front Porch in Summer

We typically kick off our garden tours with some time on the front porch. There’s just something about sitting on the porch, having a refreshing glass of tea or sipping a glass of wine, while overlooking the property.

It’s magical!

Since we were first married, Chris and I wanted a front porch. A covered front porch with gorgeous pillars, beautiful front porch rockers, a swing, and a garden view.

A place where we could linger, enjoy a cup of coffee, a glass of strawberry lemonade, Long Island Iced Tea, or an amazing glass of wine with cheese, and enjoy the outdoors.

Well, we got that and more!

Front porch in summer with copper planters filled with proven winners annuals, porch rockers, outdoor area rugs and vintage bistro set

We still pinch ourselves every day because we are in awe of how amazing this home and property are. When we first moved in, the porch had this beautiful white porch swing. And it’s one of my favorite places to sit and enjoy the front garden views. I am out here every morning with my dogs and a cup of coffee to start the day.

We bought these pretty porch rockers to use on the opposite side of the porch. It has a better view of the new potager garden and crabapple trees in the lower portion of the property.

To cozy up the porch swing and rockers, I chose some pretty neutrals with the buffalo check and vintage flower pillows.

And I love how they look!

summer front entry with copper planters filled with proven winners annual flowers, a vintage copper boiling pot, and bright front door wreath of flowers
Small vintage bistro table with fresh eggs sign and terra cotta pot filled with eucalpytus on the porch

To create mini garden rooms on the porch with more seating options, I found this vintage bistro set that WE LOVE! It’s a great spot to eat breakfast and can easily be moved around the property for some cozy dining.

Just above the bistro table set is this pretty vintage sign I found while thrifting at the flea market in Vermont. I bought this sign two summers ago (before we decided to move) and had no idea where I was putting it in the old house.

Little did I know we would move a few months later and that I’d have the perfect spot for it on the front porch.

baptisia (false indigo) in bloom by the porch with rockers
False Indigo (Baptisia) in bloom by the front porch

Since I love to garden and outdoor planters are my jam, I potted up my black urns that usually flank the front door. But this year, I decided to keep them just outside so they would get watered from the rain.

The container garden recipe for the black urn planters with plants from Proven Winners that includes:

  • 1 Angelface Cascade Blue Angelonia
  • 2 Superbells Prism Pink Lemonade
  • 2 Supertunia Mini Vista Indigo

To cozy up the porch with even more flowers, I added Proven Winners Angelface Cascade Pink Angelonia in hanging baskets between each of the pillars. They are a little small right now but will fill out in no time.

As an aside, hanging baskets dry out SO EASILY so it’s important to water them daily, and sometimes even twice a day if it’s hot enough.

I add a drip system to make this task easier. If you can’t find them in a coordinating color with your home or backdrop, you can spray paint them so they disappear.

porch rockers in sumer with throw pillows, rustic side table and flowers
front porch rockers with summer planters made with black urns and proven winners angelface cascade blue angelonia and superbells

The Gardens

Since my gardens changed since I shared my early spring garden tour, you’ve got to see what’s blooming here right now!

In the fall, I planted pansies, tulips, daffodils, and alliums in this garden. While the daffodils and tulips have finished blooming, the alliums just started and my pansies still look amazing!

As an aside, in several zones, if you plant pansies in fall they can overwinter and return in spring. If you aren’t sure whether it will work for you, give it a go in the fall.

close up of front porch garden as tulips are fading and alliums are starting to bloom
close up of hostas, pansies and sweet allysum in front porch garden container

I mean, if you are planting them anyway you might as well leave them in the ground and see if they come back the following spring. It saves a lot of money in the spring if you like that early color in the garden.

While you can’t see them blooming yet, I also planted several snapdragons and zinnias in this garden too.

What I love most about this whole area is that when you sit on the front porch, you get an amazing view of the front yard gardens.

container garden in mid may with pansies sweet alyssum and a gorgeous view in new jersey garden

The Potager Garden

This space went through a significant change since my last outdoor living space home tour. When you last visited, we had a few raised garden beds for growing vegetables and our dining table with wicker chairs.

My husband and his friend, Mark, spent the whole month of March building new raised garden beds with cedar and they look incredible!

I’ve got them planted up with vegetables, herbs, and of course, lots of flowers.

walking down to the potager garden with raised garden beds made from cedar and outdoor dining space
view of the raised garden beds filled with flowers, herbs and vegetables in potager garden

The largest bed is filled with twenty-four dahlias. They’re doing well so far and growing pretty quickly. I need to get out there and start supporting them.

Another big change we did was to pull out all of the boxwoods. They weren’t in the best shape so the ones that were OK were relocated to other gardens on the property.

In their place, I planted several ‘At Last’ and ‘Ringo’ roses from Proven Winners. I’m growing about sixteen roses in this garden and can’t wait to see them bloom. So far, they are growing beautifully.

outdoor dining table with farmhouse table wicker chairs with cushions and lavender in terra cotta pots on table in potager garden with green garden fence and arbor with lonicera
view of the outdoor dining table in the potager garden with lavender in small terra cotta pots and raised garden beds

They were planted as bare-root roses, so as of now, they’ve all leafed out and are starting to grow. I’m not expecting many blooms from them this year, as it will be more about establishing a good root system than putting on a spectacular flower show but hey, you never know.

We relocated the outdoor dining space in this area and I love where it is now. It’s easy to circulate around and I feel like it’s more a part of the garden room than before.

Next year, we’d like to DIY an outdoor kitchen so we can really make this space into more of a farm-to-table type experience.

So stay tuned!

view of the outdoor dining space in the potager garden with raised garden beds filled with marigolds, tomato plants and herbs near 1850 farmhouse in zone 6a New Jersey

The Secret Garden

Last year, we hadn’t done much with the front pond gardens. There weren’t many plantings and I wasn’t sure how we wanted to use it yet. Aside from seeing the bridge from the potager and our home, you really can’t see the garden down here, so I’ve decided to call it a secret garden.

Because unless you walk down, you almost don’t even know it’s there. And you have to walk through the arbor of the Potager garden to get to it.

Last fall, I divided several hellebores, hostas, astilbes, hakonechloa grass, brunnera, sedums, ajuga, and ferns to fill in the garden.

And I love how it’s coming along!

one of the new garden rooms we set up by the front yard pond with adirondack chairs and a firepit in new jersey

This fall, I plan to pack several spring flowering bulbs so it blooms from early spring through fall. I replaced the old Adirondack chairs we had with these six beautiful Adirondack chairs and a firepit that I bought on a serious sale.

It’s a great space and we enjoy sitting out here by the pond.

Speaking of the pond, we added ten shubunkin goldfish here. I know we lost one when we first put them in the pond but so far so good, we’ve been able to keep the others.

Keep your fingers crossed they survive another year and nothing gets to them!

close up of new firepit by the front pond with bridge

The Pool

The pool is one of my favorite places to be! From May through September, you’ll find me out here for at least a few hours a day under my favorite umbrella.

I used to love tanning, but these days, I prefer shade so I can comfortably soak in the views and listen to the fountain from the front yard pond.

home and garden blogger stacy ling floating on a floatie in her swimming pool with ther family

There is a garden along the green fence that seems to be a great spot for roses. They love it there. Last year, I tried to grow sunflowers, calendula, marigold, and dahlias, but the resident bunny got to them.

This year, I’m planting more of them and spraying them with this repellent to see if they will leave them alone.

We bought five pool loungers so each of my family members could sit poolside. And we may add a few more.

At some point, I’ll tackle the gardens behind the seating area, but for now, it’s on the back burner.

lounging by the pool with black labs
Last day at the pool with gorgeous ruffle umbrella and wicker lounge chairs in fall

The Backyard Porch With Zen Garden

And finally, the last outdoor living space we are touring is the backyard porch in the zen garden. This is one of my favorite garden rooms on the property as Chris and I are out here all the time after a long day.

It’s really relaxing listening to the soothing sounds of water from the pond’s waterfall. Plus, we enjoy watching the fish and the frogs.

We weren’t sure how the fish were going to do during the cold New Jersey winter, but they are all there and look healthy.

zen garden pond with koi fish, staddle stone, pink rhododendron, and japanese maple tree
backyard porch in summer with cozy outdoor living room, throw pillows and blankets with potted plants

The backyard porch has a curved shape deck that is covered, so we were able to enjoy this space all year round.

Because it is shaded for the majority of the day, I keep all of my houseplants out here during the warmer months. They LOVE the time outdoors in the heat and humidity and benefit from their summer vacation.

After shopping around for a while, I wound up purchasing this conversation area that has worked out really well. It’s been a great spot for just us or when we need to accommodate more guests.

To decorate for summer, I bought these pretty outdoor vintage floral pillows and neutral buffalo check pillows.

And I added a faux boxwood wreath to the old window frame that I found thrifting that sits above the sofa.

Pink rhododendron in zen garden with staddle stone in full bloom

Right now, the azaleas are wrapping up their flowers, but this gorgeous rhododendron is in full bloom.

And it is a stunner!

I’ve also got a pretty mountain laurel that’s on the verge of flowering in the back ground beneath the canopy of trees.

This year, I decided to pot up more of my seed starts so the containers don’t look like much just yet.

But I did plant a few so here is a sneak peek at what’s coming.

container garden in backyard zen garden filled with geraniums, coleus, lantana and superbells
magenta dahlias close up

More About the Garden Rooms and Outdoor Living Spaces

What is your favorite outdoor living space? Have you decorated yours yet? Do you have any garden rooms you’d love to share? 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.

Buy My Book!

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

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.

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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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
bloggers best summer home tour with 25 talented home and garden bloggers

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  1. Stacy, your porches and gardens are absolutely beautiful. I really love your gorgeous floral wreath on the front door! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  2. Stacy, you have so many pretty spaces! It’s hard to pick a favorite! Happy gardening, friend!🌸

  3. Oh my goodness! Everything looks so beautiful. What an oasis. It feels like the best resort. Hugs to you.

  4. Hey Stacy, Your summer outdoor spaces and gardens are amazing! You always give me lots of tips-so inspiring! I had so much fun being on this blog tour with you. Here’s to a great summer!

  5. Your property is a dream Stacy! Your gardens are gorgeous and your outdoor dining space with the raised planters is my absolute favorite. I hope you have a fantastic summer!!!

  6. Stacy, I love all of your spaces around the yard and the porches. It’s really hard for me to have a favorite. The spaces are all beautiful. This house and property is such a treasure. I love seeing your spin on things and the updates made as you go along.

  7. I’m so happy the fish made it over the winter!! Everything looks so good already…that Rhody is gorgeous!!
    Still in awe of the raised beds Chris made!

    1. thank you me too – we breathed a sigh of relief! That rhododendon is sooooo gorgeous. I’m so glad it’s here.

  8. Stacy wow I feel like your garden has become even more beautiful with your green thumb! I LOVE your potager garden and that space with the Adirondacks and fire pit. So many lovely spaces to choose from and all surrounded by beauty! Just love it all!

    1. Kelly thank you so much! These tours are always so fun to do and I’m so glad you organize such a great group of bloggers! xoxoxo

  9. Stacy, your home takes my breath away everytime you share it!! Everything is absolutely beautiful. That porch swing is so cozy and inviting, I could sit there all day!

  10. Stacy, your gardens and outdoor spaces are AMAZING! I’m so happy to take a full tour of them. You always inspire me to take a trip to the plant nursery. I just wish I could take that in person tour with the glass of wine!!

  11. Stacy! This is absolutely breath taking!! My word!! I don’t have the words, except I’m grabbing my gardening gloves and a swim suit and I’ll be right over!!! Save me a tea! 😉I always love hopping with you and as always your home tour was gorgeous!

  12. Your gardens always make me happy. The planters you built are very pretty. Things are going crazy in your gardens


    1. I’m so happy to hear that – thank you so much. It has come a long way and we really love it!

  13. You have the most beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces, Stacy. Everything looks so beautiful already! I can’t even imagine what it will all look like this summer.

    1. thank you! It’s so been so fun decorating this place with more flowers. Had such good bones to begin with and watching it come together after the first year has been really fun!

  14. Touring your beautiful gardens, and outdoor spaces is like taking a mini vacation! I’m so impressed with your green thumb!

  15. Stacy, your gardens are so expansive and gorgeous. I love the potager garden, and your pansies are so lovely! Where did you get the copper planters from? Pinned, and always love seeing your home and gardens!

  16. Stacy, I always love seeing your outdoor spaces and touring your beautiful gardens. I always get so many ideas of what I can plant in my own. Happy to be touring with you. Pinned!