It’s amazing how much my cottage garden can change from season to season. Come take a look as I take you on a tour of my cottage garden year in review. There’s so much to see as the garden changed throughout the year.
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It was a year like no other. With so many life changes, and much more time spent at home this year, my garden was a true sanctuary. It was a place to get away from it all and just escape. Since winter has come, the flower blooms have faded and the leaves are all off the trees, I have missed this little piece of heaven and the therapy it provides. Yes…garden therapy is really a thing!
But now is the time to start getting excited again! I just bought my flower seeds on January 5th, and continue to plan the garden for the upcoming growing season. I will start sowing seeds at the end of the month, starting with sweet peas.
As I’ve said many times before, I am a hobby gardener and was mostly self taught. Let me tell you, there was a lot of trial and error going on around here! I am so excited to share my cottage garden year in review with you, and am proud of my accomplishments this year.
I would have never in a million years thought this greenhouse would be featured in the fall 2020 issue of Cottages and Bungalows Magazine or featured on Sunset Magazine online. And I am absolutely looking forward to seeing my garden in Cottage Style Magazine’s Spring 2021 issue.
Spring – The Start of the Gardening Season
And this is where it all started. The perennials were just starting to sprout up out of the ground. The seed starts and overwintering geraniums were still in the greenhouse. This was also the time when I divided perennials that were overgrown, and transplanted them to other areas of the garden before they got too big.
This hydrangea was transplanted at the beginning of the spring season. And guess what! It got too much sun here so I’ll be moving it again this year. Day lilies are one of the first early spring perennials to start growing. I brought out my favorite garden fairy sprite to look over the cottage garden.
The geraniums spent the winter here in the greenhouse for protection. Each year, I’ve been starting more geraniums from the cuttings taken off of each plant. This saves me hundreds of dollars every year in annuals for my containers and window boxes.
I began the process of starting new geranium plants from cuttings on the first day of spring this year, but I didn’t feel that this time frame was sufficient enough to establish new roots before I transplanted them. I’m going to start more cuttings this year in February in order to give them more time to root before transplanting them outside.
The tulips and daffodils were blooming in early spring. I’ve decided to grow more daffodils than tulips next year, due to the crazy amount of deer that feed off of the tulips. As daffodils get bigger, they will need to be divided and transplanted to other areas of the garden every few years. Tulips tend to act more like annuals and produce less and less blooms as the years go on. You can find more information about when to cut back spring bulb blooms and foliage in my blog post.
Spring Blooming Clematis
This is my very favorite clematis plant in my cottage garden. The Montana Rubens clematis plant has the most gorgeous pink blooms I’ve ever seen, and they start blooming in May. I have many other clematis varieties around the garden that are both evergreen and summer bloomers as well.
This rhododendron is my VERY FAVORITE perennial in the garden. I always get so excited for it to bloom, even though it only lasts a couple of weeks. But it is magnificent! The PNW (Pacific Northwest) is known for rhododendrons, along with azaleas, and they come in so many amazing and vibrant colors.
Raised Bed Cut Flower Garden
This is always such a fun time of the season, when it’s finally time to transplant my seed starts to the raised bed gardens. I love mixing veggies and flowers together in the beds for added interest.
We attached 1″ X 2″ pieces of wood on the sides of the raised beds to support the netting that we were using for the taller flowers like snapdragons and lupine. It was also used to make clean squares to plant my seed starts.
Here’s a BEFORE view, when the sweet peas were just starting to grow, and the AFTER view is below, when the sweet pea were starting to bloom.
The Most Famous Spring View
Capturing the gorgeous pink skies at sunset are my favorite views. We had just put up a strand of bistro lights around the picket fence garden. Much to my surprise, Sunset Magazine featured this shot online.
Late-Spring in the Cottage Garden
Things are starting to fill out in this view, but I really didn’t have many blooms at this time. This is one of the biggest opportunities I have for this year. I would love some show-stopping blooms throughout the month of June.
If you have a garden in the PNW, what flowers are blooming in your garden in late spring?
We put up our new birdhouse from Good Directions which created such an amazing focal point in the garden.
Early Summer in the Cottage Garden
Early summer is when I start getting really excited! This is when the sweet peas, phlox and daisies are blooming beautifully.
I absolutely love how the white daisies pop, they were practically the only white flower in the garden at this time. The good thing about daisies is that they are a wonderful plant to divide and transplant to other areas in your garden. The only minor issue I have with daisies is that you have stake them to prevent them from falling over.
The black-eyed Susans and dahlias usually start blooming after the 4th of July for us.
Summer Cottage Garden Views
Mid July is such a beautiful time of year in my garden. I can’t tell you what my favorite flowers are, they are all so beautiful and loved for many different reasons.
I will plant these gorgeous snapdragons year after year. This variety is called Sherbet Toned Chantilly Mix, and the seeds were from Floret Flowers.
This strawflower variety is Apricot Mix, and they make the most beautiful dried flowers at the end of the season. The marigolds in the barrel are Tangerine Gem.
It’s All About the Dahlias
If you don’t know this about me already, I am the biggest fan of every dahlia out there. Here are some of the dahlias I grew last year.
What’s Not to Love About Dahlias?
- There are so many gorgeous varieties of colors, shapes and sizes.
- The more you cut them, the more they bloom.
- Dahlias will bloom until the first frost. There have been a couple of occasions when the heavy PNW rains have wiped them out before the frost though.
- They make the most gorgeous addition to a flower arrangement.
Have you read my blog post All You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Dahlias?
I am lucky enough to be able to leave my dahlias in the ground for the winter because our climate in zone 8B is pretty mild. But here are some ideas for overwintering dahlias tubers if you have to dig your tubers up to store over the winter season.
It’s always fun to see the transformation in the garden when a flower such as a black-eyed Susan starts blooming. This beautiful bloom adds such a pop of color to my late summer/ early fall cottage garden. I started out with ONE plant about 5 years ago, and I have divided them and transplanted them throughout the garden.
I also love black-eyed Susans because they are one of the last summer flowers to bloom for the year. usually through part of October.
Coneflowers are such a pretty perennial, and come in many more color options than what I have planted here. They are another great plant to divide and transplant to other areas.
This is one of the most gorgeous pictures I took last summer. I spent an evening strolling through the garden, taking in the gorgeous view with the magical outdoor bistro lights.
Fabulous Fall Garden Views
Fall blooms such as black-eyed Susans, mums and sedum autumn joy brighten up the cottage garden this time of year. Even the phlox came back, blooming a second time after being cut back in mid July.
Cabbage, pumpkins and pansies are perfect for porches and flower containers.
Adding cornstalks and pumpkins to my greenhouse instantly dressed up the garden for autumn.
I really hope you have enjoyed my cottage garden as much as I did throughout last year. I am already having so much fun continuing to plan for this year’s gardening season. I’m currently working on a gardening blog series for those of you that have asked me to share some tips on starting a cut flower garden of your own. I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment!
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More Garden Inspiration From My Friend Stacy of Bricks ‘n Blooms!
I can’t tell you how much more fun it is to have a good friend to garden with, even if she lives all the way across the country! I’m sure many of you have seen me share my friend Stacy before, and I intend to share her all through the 2021 gardening season.
Stacy lives in New Jersey and is a Master Gardener. And she is so smart! I have learned so much from her. Make sure you visit her blog post for more inspiration.