Are you ready to see my early spring blooming garden tour? It’s hard to believe that our first month of spring is already over. I’m so excited to share what’s growing in my blooming garden including early spring bulbs and spring-blooming trees.
After a long, cold winter, there’s nothing better than the arrival of spring with its beautiful blooms and a lot of color filling the garden.
The good news is that my garden will be waking up more and more now that it’s practically May, with plenty of bright colors, amazing fragrances (hello lilacs), and vintage yard art to enjoy. But that’s next month.
Let’s take a look at the early bloomers, such as colorful annual flowers, early spring bulbs, spring blooming trees, and perennials, which are definitely making a statement in the cottage garden.
I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my personal opinion and things that have worked for me.
The Natural Beauty of Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest
Sometimes all you need are a few colorful spring daffodils and a sunset to make everything look perfect.
Let’s start this early spring tour of the cottage garden looking towards the front of the house from the street.
The greenhouse and white picket fence are charming focal points in the front garden.
You may be wondering why the gardens, greenhouse, and deck are all in the front yard. It’s because that’s where the waterview is, as well as the full sun, and the land is more level than the shady backyard which is on a hill.
Here’s a view of the bay from our front deck.
For those of you that are new to my blog, we look out at Puget Sound which is a saltwater body of water.
Puget Sound is a sound of the Pacific Northwest, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea. It is located along the northwestern coast of the U.S. state of Washington.
We have a buoy for our boat in the bay. In the summer we kayak and swim out in the water every chance we get. Our dogs, Jax and Ollie love swimming out there.
There’s so much wildlife to see in the winter and early spring such as eagles, sea lions, ducks, seagulls, and on a rare occasion, an Orca whale.
The Greenhouse and Seedlings in Early Spring
Every year I start my seedlings in the greenhouse at the end of January.
I usually spend a lot of time here. There’s quite a bit of garden therapy that happens in this space. This gives you a glimpse into the growing season ahead.
This has been a very different year for me though. I had a knee replacement in early February so I wasn’t able to sow any seeds on my own. I had an amazing woman who helped me throughout the seed-starting process and she did a great job!
I’ve started hardening off my seedlings this week and will be transplanting them into the raised bed garden next week.
I’ve never used growing lights in my greenhouse but decided to try them this year.
I personally didn’t notice a difference. The sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, and sweet peas that grew the tallest and are the healthiest were not under the lights.
The seedlings that were under the lights have grown very little. It makes no sense…very strange.
Here’s the view of the lit-up greenhouse from the outside. Can you believe how bright it is?
We also overwinter and propagate geraniums in the greenhouse. As you can see, there is literally no space left.
Early Spring Bulbs
The early spring bulbs are what always steal the show this time of year.
When the cheery yellow flowers from the daffodils, and the tulips, with their gorgeous range of colors, start blooming in early spring, they add an explosion of color to the garden.
These flowers are such a sweet surprise after a long winter. Crocuses are the first blooms in my early spring garden.
I only wish their bloom time was longer in the season.
I started growing hyacinths last year and I absolutely love these early spring bloomers. They add lots of color and make such a statement in the garden when not much of anything is happening outdoors in March.
I can’t wait to add more to my cottage garden spaces this fall for more spring blooms.
These spring blooms help to attract pollinators to the garden, providing a vital source of food for bees and butterflies in the early spring.
And the best part is that the deer leave them alone!
Be sure to check out the different varieties of daffodils so you can have plants with different bloom times throughout spring for continued interest.
I believe these are Tête-à-Tête daffodils from Breck’s Bulbs. They’re the perfect early spring bloom for your garden bed borders.
I have fallen in love with them and have put them on the list for next year.
We’re now coming to the best part of the early spring garden this year. The raised beds were full of gorgeous tulips.
Each spring season, for the last three years, we’ve added tulips to another raised bed in my cut flower garden. This year we had three garden beds full of spring tulips.
I’ve decided to fill the last raised bed with tulips and the containers around the fence with daffodils for next spring.
These early spring flowers took quite a bit of time to bloom but it was worth the wait. Take a good look at this garden bed and get ready to see how they bloomed.
Here’s the same bed a few weeks later.
The tulips are my favorite early spring blooming bulbs in the garden this year.
From pastel pinks and purples to bold, bright colors, these early-season flower beds had plenty of colorful blooms to enjoy. They were so incredibly vibrant this year.
And yes, I do know that I got carried away with the tulip pictures.
If only I knew the name of the tulip varieties but for some reason, I lost them. These all came from Costco because I compost the bulbs every year and don’t want to spend a lot of money on them.
I buy good quality tulip bulbs for around my cottage garden because I don’t cut those for arrangements.
When I harvest these spring tulips for spring flower arrangements, I pull the entire bulb out of the ground. This will ensure that the stem is longer for the purpose of cutting flowers.
Spring Blooming Flowers in the Cottage Garden
As you walk through the garden beds, you’ll notice a range of different varieties, each blooming at different times throughout the growing season.
It always feels that the spring garden changes its appearance so quickly from week to week.
When I first planted pretty primroses in the spring garden I had no idea they were perennial plants in hardiness zone 8b. Much to my surprise, they came back the following year, bigger and better.
These early spring blooming perennial flowers make such a gorgeous statement in window boxes, flower containers, or garden bed borders.
There are several spring annuals that can still thrive in the cold early spring temperatures. I found this gorgeous color of ranunculus at a local garden center and fell in love. I planted them in the planter in front of the greenhouse garden.
Pansies and Violas
Many of these cold-hearty annuals were from the fall and I bought a few more to fill in flower pots and containers.
Also called lenten roses, hellebores are officially the first flower of spring in my cottage garden. They are the best flowers to plant for winter interest and bloom for months.
Their showy blooms in different colors and ferny foliage are so welcoming this time of the year and they do make beautiful flower bouquets.
The only negative for me is that hellebores don’t like full sun and should be planted in shady areas and I don’t have many of those in my garden. If they liked full sun I would have them all over my entire front yard.
Spring Blooming Trees and Shrubs
As the days get warmer and longer, the trees burst into colorful flowers, adding even more beauty to the early spring garden.
Early spring white flowering trees covered in raindrops are a beautiful sight.
This tree isn’t officially in my garden. I enjoy it every morning on my daily walk but felt like I wanted to share its beauty.
Pink blooming trees in spring are my favorite. I believe this is a magnolia tree. Am I right?
Rhododendrons and Azaleas: Spring Blooming Perennials
We have a rhododendron and azalea garden space across from the greenhouse garden. The trees and shrubs all bloom at different times during the spring season.
This pink rhododendron is one of my favorites and is one of the first early spring blooming plants in the garden.
We also have rhododendron trees with purple, fuchsia, and white blooms.
This azalea is a show-stopper and has the most unique flowering blooms.
Camellia trees have the most beautiful early spring flowers and bloom quite early, usually during the last two weeks of winter.
We also have a very old camellia tree that we just had cut back. It was as tall as our house and needed a good trim.
Spring To-Dos Around the Garden
March and April are very busy months in the garden with so many things to take care of so your summer garden will thrive. Here’s what I’ve been up to.
Cutting Back Outdoor Ferns
Cutting back outdoor evergreen ferns in early spring will give you brand-new fresh fronds for the upcoming growing season.
Dividing Perennials in the Garden
Early spring is the perfect time to divide and transplant your overgrown perennials in the garden.
It’s not only a great thing to do to keep your plants healthy, but it’s a wonderful way to create new plants for the garden without having to pay for them.
Splitting Dahlia Tubers and Transplanting Into the Garden Beds
Every April is when I dig my dahlia tubers out of the ground and split the tuber clumps so they are healthy and maintain the size the plant should be.
Adding Fish Compost to the Garden Beds
We spread two yards of fish compost in the garden beds this spring to give the soil the right nutrients for our garden plants and flowers.
I hope you enjoyed my early spring blooming garden tour. I am already planning for next year!
It’s so fun to see the garden bursting with bright-colored spring blooming flowers again. I’d love to hear what your favorite flowers and plants were on the tour.
If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who may find these gardening tips useful.
Until next time,
Happy Spring Gardening!
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