Craving a colorful garden bursting with vibrancy all season long? Discover how to plant a garden that blooms all year for non-stop colorful flowers with minimal maintenance. Lazy gardeners and busy bees unite! 4-season gardening is possible, even in colder climates! Read on to learn your garden’s full potential.

If you’ve always dreamed of nonstop colorful flowers in your garden that are easy to grow with minimal maintenance, I got you! With the arrival of planting season, now is a great time to start planning and getting your flower garden ready for next year.

Having a garden that’s always in bloom requires some thought but is not difficult to achieve. The idea behind the landscape design is to plant things with different bloom times as well as plants with color and interesting foliage so there is always something blooming and changing in flower beds. It’s gardening for all seasons at its finest!

Follow these garden design ideas to learn more about colorful, everblooming garden design. And be sure to get my FREE printable must-have plant list for what to plant to get continual color and blooms throughout the growing season.

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How to Plant a Garden That Blooms All Year

Before planting and growing a garden, we need to plan ahead and do some research. There are a few basics you’ll need to take to ensure for the success of a flower garden that will bloom all season long.

Know Your Hardiness Zone

Before beginning, we need to understand what hardiness zone we live in. Knowing our hardiness zone helps us understand how plants will survive in our climates. I live in New Jersey, gardening Zone 6b, so certain plants won’t survive outside in winter.

In those cases, they are either treated as annuals or they must be overwintered indoors. Moreover, some summer-loving annuals may not thrive in cool spring weather. So it’s important to understand how plants will adapt to conditions before designing your colorful landscape.

Understand Your Growing Conditions

Before choosing bright flowers, we need to know what light conditions we have. And they may be different in various spots of our property. Depending on where the garden is sited, check to see how much sunlight it gets: full sun (6-8 hours), part sun (4-6 hours), shade (less than 4 hours).

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Check Water Drainage

Another key part of any garden is understanding water drainage conditions. The last thing you want is to plant a beautiful garden and then discover it flooded with the first spring rain!

I recommend using the early spring months to observe your garden when it rains (or when snow starts to melt!) and see where the water goes. Some plants love very moist conditions, while others thrive in drier conditions. Make sure to plan your planting strategically so each plant gets the water conditions it needs.

To check your drainage, dig a hole about 6” deep and wide and see how quickly it drains over the course of a few hours.

Check the Soil Before Planting a Colorful Garden

So many people do not test their soil. If you want to ensure success with what you grow, I strongly recommend testing the soil with a kit like this one. Understanding soil quality is the key to gardening success because that soil is what feeds your plants. If it is lacking nutrients, the blooms may not be as prolific and you could experience plant decline.

Do Some Colorful Garden Research and Find Inspiration for What You Love

Look at other garden designs to see what’s blooming throughout the year. Search Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Tiktok, Youtube, and Instagram for more garden inspiration. Find local gardeners in your area and see what they grow. That’s a great indicator those plants could grow well in your garden too. Visit your local nursery once a month if possible to see what’s in bloom.

This will give you a rough idea of what’s in bloom at that time. And it gives you a sense of the color, texture, size, and style you gravitate to as well.

Determine the Overall Size of Your Garden

Before purchasing plants, it’s important to know how big your garden is so you know what size plants to get. It’s a good idea to create a garden layout after determining the overall size you have to work with. If the garden is on the smaller side, you’ll want to be cognizant of purchasing plants with various bloom times, then mix in some annuals in spring and again in fall for continuous color.

Colorful flowers in my cottage garden that include Allium globemaster, nepeta, salvia, and double flowering pink knockout roses in suburban cottage garden - The complete guide to roses care
My former cottage garden filled with colorful flowers

Consider Wildlife

What animals live in your area that is known to eat plants? For me, deer are a huge problem so I follow these tips to deer proof my garden and focus on choosing the right plants. I lean towards planting deer resistant flowers or using deer repellents to help keep my colorful flowers intact throughout the growing season.

Some low-maintenance deer resistant flowers that bring lots of color throughout the seasons include:

cut flower patch with calendula, larkspur, snapdragons in potager garden by fountain

Think About the Big Picture

It’s important to think about all of the small details if you want a garden that blooms all year, but don’t forget about the big picture! Think about the purpose of your garden and the location within your property when planning for continuous blooms.

Is your garden along the front of your house? Plan garden beds to ensure the tallest plants are at the back. Is your garden in the backyard near vegetable gardens? Seek out plants that attract pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Want to create a cut flower garden? Keep that goal in mind when selecting plants.

Quick Tips for Having an Ever blooming Colorful Garden

Now that we’ve covered some flower gardening 101 basics, here are some tips for bringing your garden design with lots of colorful flowers vision to life.

  • Check the hardiness zones of each plant. Will they survive in your climate?
  • Read plant tags to determine light requirements, size, and bloom times. Tip: To get the most bang for your buck, choose plants with long bloom times.
  • Plant a mix of evergreen shrubs and trees, deciduous flowering shrubs, perennials, bulbs, and annuals. Planting a mix with evergreens will give you year-long interest.
  • Talk to other gardeners. See what works for them and check out the plants they use.
  • For novice gardeners and those that think they kill plants should seek out easy-care, low maintenance plants that don’t require a lot of work like these.
  • In addition to planting trees, shrubs, bulbs, and perennials, be sure to tuck in spring and fall annuals for instant seasonal color.
gomphrena truffala pink proven winners with angelonia cascade blue, prism pink superbells and supertunia mini vista violet in planters by front porch of 1850 farmhouse with white rockers

What Can You Grow in a Colorful Garden that Blooms All Season Long?

When designing a garden, choose plants that will start to bloom in early spring, spring, late spring, early summer, etc.

You get the idea.

For good colorful garden design, we want the bloom times to overlap so there’s always something growing and changing in the landscape. There are lots of plants and flowers that will provide color, texture and interest throughout the growing season.

Here are a few plants I grow in my zone 6a New Jersey garden:

Early Spring Blooming Plants

rudbeckia gomphrena and sedum autumn joy by front porch in fall

Late Spring/Summer Blooming Flowers:

Late Summer/Fall Blooming Flowers

Evergreen Plants

  • Viburnum
  • Boxwoods
  • Azaleas
  • Laurels
  • Euonymus
zinnias and dahlias with an 1850 farmhouse

How Do You Plant a Colorful Garden?

Planting a colorful garden isn’t just about picking vibrant blooms! It’s a process that involves planning, choosing the right plants, and caring for them properly.

Here’s are some quick tips for designing a colorful garden that’s always in bloom.

Planning

  • Know your zone: This helps you choose plants suited to your climate’s temperature and rainfall. Find your USDA Hardiness Zone here: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/
  • Consider sunlight and shade: Map out your garden’s sun exposure throughout the day. Choose plants based on their light requirements.
  • Pick a color scheme: Do you want a rainbow explosion or a specific mood (monochromatic, complementary colors)? Use a color wheel for inspiration. Think blue flowers, purple flowers, pink flowers, and more.
  • Think about bloom times: Select plants with staggered flowering periods to ensure continuous color. Research perennials with multiple bloom times or short-lived annuals for pops of color.

Choosing Plants

  • Mix perennials, shrubs, and annuals: Perennials return year after year, shrubs provide structure, and annuals fill in gaps with seasonal color.
  • Don’t forget foliage: Plants like coleus, hostas, and ornamental grasses add color even when not blooming.
  • Attract pollinators: Include butterfly– and bee-friendly flowers like zinnias, lavender, and coneflowers.
  • Choose native plants: Native plants are easy to grow, low-maintanence and attract pollinators with minimal effort.
variety of dahlia flowers in a colorful cut flower garden
Different varieties of dahlias in a colorful cut flower garden

Designing A Garden That’s Always in Bloom

Once you’ve determined the plants and flowers you want to grow in your garden, it’s time to start planning a garden layout that will support your goal of continuous blooms.

Here are a few steps you can take for strategic garden design:

  • Categorize Your Plants: Start by putting your plants into categories, focusing first on their bloom times while also considering their height, light requirements and water needs.
  • Measure and Map Out Your Garden Beds: Get clear on exactly how much space you have for planting and map out garden beds that get full-sun, partial sun and shade. Also keep in mind where you may have already planted bulbs or perennial plants.
  • Decide Where to Plant Each Flower: Now that you have your flowers categorized and a map of your garden, match the plants up with the best places for them in the garden. 

Use these steps to plan your garden out before you start buying plants and you’ll be much less likely to waste money on plants you don’t actually need.

starting a new garden with blogger stacy ling

Planting and Care

  • Consider maintenance: Choose plants that suit your time and energy commitment. Low-maintenance options include daylilies, sedums, and verbena.
  • Prepare the soil: Amend your soil with compost, leaf mold, or other organic matter for better drainage and nutrient retention.
  • Plant at the right depth and spacing: Follow instructions on plant tags or research online. Overcrowding can hinder growth and flowering.
  • Water regularly: Especially during establishment and dry periods. Deep watering encourages strong root growth.
  • mulch: A layer of mulch helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
  • Deadhead spent blooms: Deadheading flowers encourages continued blooms and keeps your garden looking tidy.
  • Group plants strategically:  The key to gardening for all seasons is to plant flowers with different bloom times together. You don’t want all your early spring plants in one garden bed, for example, because that one will because brown and bare by summer. Instead, plant your garden in layers making sure each area of your garden has plants for each growing season so that there is always color throughout the year!

Bonus Tips

  • Use container gardening for small spaces or adding bursts of color.
  • Get creative with vertical gardening using trellises, hanging baskets, and wall planters.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Try new plants and color combinations to find what works best in your garden.

Keep in mind that a colorful garden that is always in bloom is a work in progress. It won’t happen after one season of planting it. Enjoy the process of learning, experimenting, and watching your vibrant flower garden come to life!

sedum autumn joy superbells supertunias and zinnias in the front yard cottage garden by the porch
Sedum autumn joy, superbells, supertunias, and zinnias in small cottage garden

Is 4-Season Gardening Possible?

Although areas like where I live (New Jersey, Gardening Zone 6b) experience cold, dark winters, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue the color year-round.

While you may not see blooms year-round, planting conical evergreen trees provides interest throughout the season and gives the eye a place to rest in the gardens.

Choose wisely when selecting evergreens for the garden, particularly if planting next to or near your home. Many evergreen trees grow very large and very tall. Read the plant tag and check the overall size at maturity before planting.

There are lots of evergreen tree and shrub options that fit well in smaller gardens or next to homes.

fresh evergreen trees in the garden with blue spruce and pines

More About Colorful Garden Design Ideas

Are you creating a colorful flower garden that’s always in bloom? What plants do you enjoy growing for nonstop color? I would love to know more in the comments below.

stacy ling signature
summer garden deer resistant flowers with butterfly bush and caryopteris
Butterfly garden with caryopteris, butterfly bush, hydrangeas, and more

Want to Learn What to Plant for an Everblooming Colorful Garden?

Click here to get my FREE Must-Have Plant List! Be the plant parent you’ve always wanted to be with these tried and true flowers that will give you a beautiful garden that’s always in bloom.

The Complete Guide to Roses Care
colorful flowers in vibrant garden

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

Enjoy your day! xoxo

everblooming colorful garden in purple and red
everblooming colorful cottage garden in purple and red
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Peonies benefit from staking - I use grow through supports for them. Peonies and wine and roses wiegela on the happy gardening tour
Happy gardening with dark horse wiegela, peonies and container gardening
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My friend Chas from Chas Crazy Creations has some cool organic ways to keep the pests and weeds at bay in the garden.

Stop by her page and check them out!

How to Build a Birdhouse
The ULTIMATE Guide to Having and Everblooming Colorful Garden
Dahlias
dividing perennials and growing an everblooming colorful garden with annuals, perennials and bulbs
The ULTIMATE Guide to Having an Everblooming Colorful Garden
Curb appeal in the front yard garden. Tour my gardening zone 6a cottage gardens

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19 Comments

  1. This is a great post Stacy, and I have learned so much! I really appreciate the soil kit, as my neighbors had their yard redone after our garden was already in and established. In the recent years, it’s been doing horribly and I’m pretty convinced the acidity from their Pines and Aspens so close to our garden (and suckering in our garden) is the biggest culprit! Thank you for the shout out and feature, I really appreciate it friend. Your garden is amazing!

  2. Your garden is spectacular! I really appreciate all the tips. Our garden is currently under construction and I’m trying to learn more about caring for it myself. Yesterday, I ordered bulbs and can’t wait to get them in the refrigerator … and plan the beds. Woo hoo! xo

  3. Great tips and your garden is stunning. I always enjoy your photos on instagram and am excited to learn how to have an ever blooming garden myself.

    1. Thank you so much Sonya!!! I really appreciate your kind words and am so happy you stopped by! I’m so glad we met through the group!!! Enjoy your weekend!!! xoxo

  4. Stacy
    Such great information! I’ve decided that I need to do more research before planting next year.

    1. Hi you can get my everblooming plant list from the resource library. You can find it listed under blogs in the headings on my home page. Thanks!