Looking for ways to grow a garden that blooms from spring through fall? Wait until you see what you should plant this spring!

With the arrival of spring, lots of questions are flowing in asking what to plant to grow a cottage garden that’s always in bloom.

There are so many plants to choose from to continue the color and flowers throughout the growing season.

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The Secret to Growing a Cottage Garden That’s Always in Bloom

I am often asked how I keep my cottage garden blooming from spring through fall.

And the answer is…I do a lot of fun research and plant flowers that bloom at different times throughout the season.

I read magazine articles, watch garden shows, study flower catalogs and visit nurseries often to see what’s in bloom.

And with the addition of social media, garden inspiration is at my fingertips.

When I first designed the front yard cottage garden, I searched for plants that were hardy to my hardiness zone, resistant to deer, and attracted both butterflies and hummingbirds.

It was also important that flowers had long bloom times or could achieve a second bloom.

Additionally, I sought low-maintenance plants that provided color and texture to the beds.

It is a long and ever-changing process because some plants do well, some don’t, some take over, some disappear and part of the fun of gardening is learning what works and watching it evolve over time.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy this week’s garden tour.

Now let’s get started…

Front Yard Cottage Garden Tour

cottage garden in bloom by front walkway
Notice how much this bed is filling in. While the red Tulips are still blooming, the petals are starting to fall. Even as every petal drops, tulips are still gorgeous and fun to watch.
everblooming cottage garden
I love my front border from this perspective. The Forget-Me-Nots are still growing and blooming like crazy. They billow over the edges of the rock border. The Salvia and Dianthus that I just planted are acclimating well. The Sedum that I just divided and transplanted have also taken well and are growing nicely.
yellow tulip
This is the last tulip to bloom in the garden. I love the rough edges of the petals as well as the color combination with Mystosis (Forget-Me-Nots).
close up of purple allium globemaster
This is the first of the Alliums that will bloom. I have a few varieties of Alliums that I planted en mass. This variety is called ‘Globemaster’. These bulbs are from the onion family, are planted in fall, and are deer-resistant plants. When planted en mass, Alliums make quite a statement in the garden. From my perspective, these are a must have flower in the spring garden.
close up of purple allium globemaster
Close-up of Allium ‘Globemaster’ at the start of it’s bloom. These flower heads are HUGE when in full bloom.
close up of salvia and myostotis
Close-up of Salvia and Forget-Me-Nots
close up of bachelor\'s button
Close-up of Bachelor’s Button, Creeping Phlox and Forget-Me-Nots

Woodland Garden

The woodland garden is located on the side of my house.

I rarely work in this garden and just kind of let it go.

I probably shouldn’t let it go as often as I do because it gets a bit weedy, but it’s the last garden I typically work in.

When adding this garden, it was planted with the notion that I wanted to do less work in it.

Therefore, I leave it alone through much of the season.

It is a full shade garden and houses my Ferns, Bleeding Hearts, Rhododendrum, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Maple Tree that I grew from a sapling, Hostas, Geraniums, Lily-of-the-Valley, Astilbes, Hakonechloa (ornamental grass), and Solomon’s Seal.

everblooming shade garden
The woodland garden on the side of the house. The Bleeding Hearts are in full bloom. I planted a few Ferns here about ten years ago and just let them takeover.
close up of ferns
When I had my garden design business, one of my clients gave me a bunch of these beautiful ferns that were taking over her front bed. I took them with the intention of letting them do the same in this side garden so they would conceal an air handler and help choke out weeds.
Ferns and Bleeding Hearts in the woodland garden.
close up of pink dicentra bleeding heart
Close-Up of Dicentra, aka Bleeding Hearts.

Backyard Gardens Tour

I did not do too much in the backyard beds aside from mulching and laying pea gravel in the vegetable garden.

In the last week, there has been some growth with some fresh blooms.

Most of these gardens are flowering deciduous shrubs and perennials.

The gardens fill in so much during the growing season.

It is really fun to watch them grow and bloom.

just planted vegetable garden
I spread some pea gravel on the pathway between the quads in the vegetable bed. There is still some weeding to do, but the Lettuce, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli and Strawberry patch are filling in nicely.
start of a vegetable garden
Butter Lettuce and Brussel Sprouts. The fresh pea gravel neatens up the area and slows down weed growth.
spring garden with view of garden shed
The gardens look so much better after mulching. I am very thankful we hired a landscaper to spread the mulch back here.
climbing hydrangea
Close-up of the Climbing Hydrangea on the shed. Truth be told, I should not have planted this here. It’s too big a plant for this spot and I have to cut it back every year. Since climbing hydrangeas vine and attach to things with suckers, the branches grow under the window, under the roof and all around the shed. Although I knew the area was not large enough for this plant, I put it here because I had no other other spot for it and really wanted to grow one.
flowering azalea
I have a few white Azaleas that just started blooming around the lower deck.
close up of magnolia tree in bloom
This Magnolia tree is still blooming pretty well.
plume poppy
Here are my Plume Poppies. This started as one plant that was given to me by my friend Caroline at www.extravagentgardens.com. She said to give it alot of room because it will take over. She was right. I needed them to fill in an area around our septic bed while adding height and interest. The plumes will grow and bloom later in the summer. These get big and spread out alot!

Thank you so much for joining me on another garden tour.

In case you missed few tours or want to see how much the garden has changed, you can see it here Week 1 and Week 2.

I hope you enjoyed checking out what’s blooming this week and look forward to sharing next week’s tour with you!

I would love to hear what you think! Please leave your ideas, comments & more below or contact me here.

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Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling
The bricks \'n Blooms guide to a beautiful and easy-care flower garden book by stacy ling
The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy Care Flower Garden
  • Have you never met a plant you couldn’t kill?
  • Have you dug around in the dirt with nothing to show for it except a sunburn and a sore back?
  • Do you currently enjoy growing flowers, but are looking for more tips and ideas to level up your gardening game?

Then the Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide is for YOU

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  1. Stacy,. I think your idea of giving people weekly updates of your garden is very successful. You mentioned the succulent in the front garden but even blowing up the photo I can’t see what it is?

    1. Hey Taffy! Thank you! I mentioned the Sedum that I divided and transplanted to the front border (from a prior blog post). There are several that are tucked in and look like small green mounds…as it grows it will change to chartreuse and stand out a little more in the photos within a few weeks.