Have you discovered the joy of gardening yet? Wait until you see my happy gardening tour where I’ll show you what to plant that brings joy in spring.

I’ve been gardening for over 25 years and it is a real passion for me. What started out as a minor interest in my neighbor’s pretty flower garden, inspired me to try and grow things in my home and garden.

It started with one plant.

That grew into a garden.

To several gardens around my suburban New Jersey property.

From houseplants to vegetables and flowers, all forms of gardening bring me great joy throughout the year. And if you are new to gardening like I was over 25 years ago, I hope that I inspire you to start small, with an easy-care plant that will cultivate a joyful garden.

There is so much happening in my gardens this month.

Let’s tour the beds to see what’s blooming, what I planted, and chat about the ways that gardening brings joy.

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Welcome to My Happy Gardening Garden Tour

I’m so glad you enjoy walking my zone 6a gardens with me every month. It’s one of my most favorite things to do.

I love sharing what’s blooming with you, but also enjoy chatting about how the gardens are growing and changing through the seasons.

As we progress through spring, the New Jersey temps are warming up and the beds are filling in.

How to Plant Flowers in Window Boxes

My Front Yard Cottage Garden

My front yard cottage garden has been my labor of love for several years. I’ve honed this bed to start blooming from the moment spring begins through the last leaf falling in autumn.

Last month, the early spring flowers that I planted in fall were in full bloom.

But now, it’s all about the irises, alliums, catmint, and salvia.

Front Yard Cottage Garden
happy gardening tour

I was walking the gardens the other night at sunset and was awestruck by these gorgeous yellow bearded irises that a friend gave me several years so.

They’ve been here for years, but this is the first year I’ve truly appreciated the beauty of these flowers. Look at the pretty details! And they look striking with my allium globemaster blooms.

Speaking of alliums, they are one of my favorite spring flowers. Deer don’t bother them and they look amazing when planted en masse. Don’t you love those beautiful purple mounds?

The only drawback to these beauties is the browning foliage that accompanies the blooms. However, if you plant perennials and annuals around them, you won’t even notice it.

Bearded Iris and Allium in the Cottage Garden
alliums and roses on the happy gardening tour
Globemaster Alliums and Knockout Roses

About this time every spring, purple flowers seem to dominate the borders. My siberian iris, salvia, catmint and globemasters put on quite a show of purple don’t they? I love the relaxing hues of bluish-purple flowers in the garden.

Happy gardening
spring garden close up of purple iris

My Woodland Garden in the Side Yard

This part shade to full shade garden is located on the western side of my house. Most of this garden is shaded from the white maple tree, but the front part of the garden gets quite a bit of sun.

So I’ve been able to plant a mix of both shade and sun-loving plants.

In this garden, I have ostrich ferns, hostas, bleeding hearts, solomon’s seal, rhododendron, cranesbill, astilbes, siberian iris, joe pye weed, oak leaf hydrangea, day lillies, dwarf lilac, lavender, and some shasta daisies.

And I tucked a few zinnia seedlings where there was room too! The sun-loving plants are located in the sunnier side of the bed and the shade plants are located in the backside of the garden.

Woodland Garden on the Happy Gardening tour

Blooming today, are cranesbill, siberian iris, and rhododendrons. What I love about this garden right now is the layer of blooms from the side yard to the back yard.

I love that you can see the back border in the distance behind the woodland garden.

The colors and textures are pretty amazing and better than I imagined they’d be before planting them.

happy gardening in the backyard garden

Let’s Follow the Happy Gardening Tour to the Backyard Borders

Speaking of the backyard border, I have a shade garden section that starts under the outer rim of that same white maple mentioned above that houses several hosta varieties, hellebores and a leucothoe.

As the border moves away from the tree, it gets pummeled with full sun, so I’ve got a butterfly bush, variegated willow, dark horse wiegela, some peonies, plume poppies, smoke tree, magnolia and a viburnum.

Peonies and dark horse wiegela on the happy gardening tour

I planted this garden over 15 years ago after we completed our total home renovation. When we remodeled our home from a ranch to a center-hall colonial, we had to update the septic system.

Because the yard became a huge slope, we flattened the area so we could add a swingset for my kids. The problem with doing it this way, was the new septic field created this weird drop-off that looked unnatural.

To hide the strange drop-off, I planted the perimeter with flowering annuals, perennials, small shrubs, and trees whose root systems would not impede into the new septic field.

With this design, I gardened the border with plants that are easy-care and have a range of bloom times so something would always be happening in the beds.

Stacy Ling from Bricks 'n Blooms
Happy gardening with dark horse wiegela, peonies and container gardening
happy gardening with climbing roses and an obelisk

And the result was better than anticipated! We don’t notice that drop-off at all anymore and the plants bloom beautifully all season long. What I love most about this garden is that it looks great but there’s still room to tweak it.

Last year, I added a few climbing roses that all returned and are starting to bloom. To give them something to climb on, I added this gorgeous obelisk. You may recall I also have these gorgeous copper planters and window boxes tucked in around the gardens too.

Happy gardening with passionflower

In addition to the climbing roses, my daughter and I found this beautiful passionflower at the nursery. So we planted it around the obelisk.

Isn’t it beautiful? I’ve never grown it before and wanted to try it in my garden.

lilac blooms and a garden shed on the happy gardening tour

It’s Lilac Season!

Several years ago, I planted an everblooming lilac called Bloomerang by Proven Winners in my garden. After planting, it leafed out and grew but never bloomed. Until a few years ago.

And now? The blooms are incredible. But the best part? It will rebloom!!!!

And let me tell you how amazing this lilac smells. I could smell it from almost anywhere on my half acre property. It is the only lilac I have and yes, I need to plant more.

Look at how beautiful it looked by the fire pit the other night!

How to Plant Flowers in Window Boxes
lilac in the backyard
Lilac by the Fire Pit Garden

My Raised Garden Bed for Vegetables and Herbs

And finally, an update on my raised garden beds. My vegetables and herbs are doing so well! We’ve harvested lots of lettuce and herbs so far. My tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash are all growing nicely too.

Raised garden beds for vegetables and herbs

I noticed a bunny in my tomato bed just before we left for Memorial Day weekend. She was making a nest under my tomato plant! Can you imagine?

So my husband added some rebar and we used leftover chicken wire to keep her out. And so far so good, there are no signs of animals in the raised garden beds.

happy gardening with raised garden beds

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed my happy gardening tour!

Thanks for walking the gardens with me today.

More About My Happy Gardening Tour

What was your favorite part about my garden tour? 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.

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!

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.

Come See What’s Happening in My Friends’ Gardens

I love to drop by and see what’s growing in my friends’ gardens across the nation.

Let’s drop by and see what’s happening in their gardens.

Kim from Shiplap and Shells

scenic view of greenhouse in cottage garden with foxgloves overlooking lake

Chas from Chas Crazy Creations

vegetable in red wagon, raised vegetable garden with vegetables growing in hay bales

Mary from Life at Bella Terra

shade covering over garden inside white picket fence

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Cottage Garden Tour in Spring
Cottage Garden Tour in Spring

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Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

Enjoy your day! xoxo

Bricksnblooms Stacy Ling logo

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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  1. Stacy,
    Your garden looks amazing! I hope mine is still living when I get home 🥰🥰🤣

  2. Stacy, what a beautiful garden tour. I am envious of your alliums. I planted 50 of them 2 years ago and nothing happened…not one sprouted or bloomed. Not sure why as I had them in my bulb garden where iris, tulips and hyacinths successfully grow. Also that obelisk is so attractive! So many great ideas and I only wish we could grow lilacs in Phoenix (as well as peonies, hydrangeas, etc.). Fun to watch it all grow in your garden. Thanks for sharing. Happy hopping with you.

    1. Thank you so much Mary! That’s too bad they are so fun to watch grow in the garden. I really appreciate you touring the garden with me and hopping with you! xo

  3. Your garden is stunning Stacy. I don’t have many flowers yet here in Colorado as we’ve had too much snow and cold weather. We’re finally starting to warm up, so I can live through you, Mary, and Kim right now.

    1. Thank you Chas! NJ has been a little off the wall with the weather. Last week we hit the 90s and over the weekend it was low 40s. Typical for spring but I would love a consistent 60-70 degrees! I can’t wait to see your garden grow! xo

  4. I so much enjoyed your spring garden tour. All of your flower beds, landscape beds, and vegetable beds look stunning. Your 25 year hard work has certainly paid off.

    1. Thank you Paula! I really enjoy gardening and watching it grow and change through the season.

  5. Everything looks so beautiful Stacy! I’m surprised that you seem a lot further ahead in your blooms in NJ than we do. Those peonies are gorgeous by the way. And I love your deep purples. I really need to grow a lot more allium next year! Love them!

    1. Thank you! The backyard peonies started blooming before the front yard ones – so weird. The front yard ones are ready to go but haven’t started yet. Alliums are so fun aren’t they? I love how they look in the beds. You def need them! xo

  6. Your gardens are beautiful! And oh, the variety!
    I admire you for all the work you do to keep them looking so well. Thanks for the tour.

  7. Stacy, I left a very long comment on yesterday..not sure why it didn’t go through. This is a test….Let’s see if this works. Love your garden~it is truly magical.

  8. Stacy, your garden is beautiful! You can see all the hard work and love put into your gardens. The nighttime show of the garden is just as beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I am so glad you dropped by and toured the gardens. Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it. xo

  9. I have aliums and I love them but they are taking over my garden! And then it’s so bare where they were. Your gardens are beautiful and so well planned!