See What Bloomed in the Early Summer Flower Garden

Welcome to my early summer flower garden tour! Follow along as I show you which flowers bloomed in my cottage-style garden and cut flower garden in late June and early July.

The beginning of summer is that time of year when all of the hard work has paid off and the flower garden comes alive with a burst of color and fabulous fragrances. Early summer blooms such as lilies, zinnias, hydrangeas, daisies, and sunflowers really brightened up my outdoor spaces.

early summer cottage garden with veronica, coneflower and lilies.

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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 personally.

view of the early summer garden and the bay

I know we’ve already hit the mid-summer mark with August here, but I wanted to give you a look at what the growing season brought after the spring season.

When I share the mid-summer garden next month you will see an entirely different look with more black-eyed Susans, sedum autumn joy, asters, and different varieties of dahlias.

early summer perennials in the garden

The view above shows the early summer flowers in my pollinator garden. My entire garden really is pollinator friendly but the purple blazing star (Liatris) and coneflowers are always buzzing with bees.

I’ve had many questions about where my front garden is located. We are looking out at a saltwater bay in the Puget Sound. It’s not a lake like most people think. the tides go in and out throughout the day and there is a lot of wildlife here.

purple coneflowers

These hardy and vibrant summer blooms are one of my favorites. Coneflowers have a daisy-like flower head and a unique center cone, attracting bees and butterflies all through the season.

white coneflower among other summer perennials

Also known as echinacea, coneflower blooms in the summer season for a longer period than most perennials. They also look great planted in garden containers.

As you can see here, I was able to find several different colors other than the popular purple coneflower.

early summer garden with white coneflowers just starting to bloom

I even found my favorite coneflower color, white. This is when I first planted it after finding it at the nursery the same day.

white coneflower

This is what it looks like a week later. The white flowers are just so calming to me.

purple hydrangeas

I think I’m most excited about my hydrangeas this summer.

I had a couple of hydrangea bushes that didn’t bloom until September and were very short-lived. Fortunately, whatever happened last summer did not repeat itself.

early summer garden purple and blue hydrangeas just blooming

This is what they started out like in June.

purple hydrangeas

And here they are in July.

What fascinates me about this hydrangea bush is that there are a few pink flower heads in with the blue blooms. Usually, the color is determined by the soil so to have both colors on one plant seems very peculiar.

early summer garden blue hydrangeas

Here’s another plant next to it with a darker blue color.

As for these perennial flowers, they get some early morning sun but partial shade in the afternoon and thrive in this location.

eyeliner lilies

Eyeliner Lily

I only started growing lilies in my garden a few years ago when Breck’s Bulbs asked me to partner with them and grow some of theirs.

The eyeliner lily is one of my favorites and has such a unique appearance. This was one of the first lily varieties to bloom in my garden.

early summer garden with stargazer lilies

Stargazer Lily

This variety of lilies brightened up the early summer garden and continues with its stunning pop of color in the August flower beds.

Their sweet fragrance fills the air and pollinators such as bees and butterflies are attracted to this stunning garden flower.


Garden Show Reblooming Daylily

What I love about the reblooming lilies is that the blooms keep coming back all season long.

This variety has a lavender-mauve flower head with a yellow center. The fragrance keeps the deer and rabbits away.

lilies in the early summer garden

Daylily Ageless Beauty

This daylily is the most colorful. Its thick, creamy white petals are decorated with a raspberry-red throat and matching trim and are a conversation starter when I’m giving a summer garden tour.

orange daylilies

Primal Scream Daylily

I don’t have many orange flowers in my early summer garden so these daylilies are truly one-of-a-kind for me.

Did you know that a daylily will bloom for just one day? The good news is that they produce numerous buds, so the flowering plant has flowers throughout the season.

fuchsia clematis in the early summer garden

These climbing vines make such a statement as they grow up my arbor in early summer.

fuchsia clematis

Did you know that clematis’ roots should be shaded? A flat stone can be most helpful, especially for the large-flowered varieties. 

pink gladiolus

In my early summer garden, I have the most beautiful colors of gladiolus. There are deep purples, rich reds, and shades of pink. For a taller plant like gladiolus, it’s important to stake them or they will fall over without support.

early summer garden with pink gladiolus

They make the most gorgeous cut flowers!

drumstick alliums starting to turn purple

I love that allium is not just for the spring season.

The drumstick variety blooms in July but as you can see, this flower makes quite an impression even before its beautiful purple color has taken over the flower head.

drumstick alliums in the early summer garden

Here they are in full bloom. This was one of my favorite flowers blooming in the early summer garden this year. They are so unique looking and the bees go crazy over them.

daisies and allium in the cottage garden

You can see them mixed in with the daisies along the white picket fence.

I love this flower bed in the summer. Early summer looks like this with the allium and daisies. Mid-summer has an entirely new look with purple phlox and golden-yellow black-eyed Susans.

early summer garden with daisies and allium


And speaking of daisies, they are the happiest flowers in the summer garden, don’t you think?

The daisies started blooming right around the 4th of July and bloom through July. They’re easy to care for as long as you support the taller daisies so they don’t fall over, and divide them when the plant clump gets too big.


I bought these Daisy Seeds or Crazy Daisies last year towards the end of the year so I didn’t get to see how pretty they were until this season.

alstroemeria in the early summer garden

I have a love/hate relationship with these yellow flowers, also known as Lily of the Incas or Peruvian Lily.

They’re beautiful cut flowers and have quite a long vase life. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it is extremely invasive and I have been trying to get it out of my garden for years with no luck. Be very careful with where you plant them if you decide to grow them in your summer garden.

pink Veronica flowers in the early

When it comes to charm, Veronica wins the prize.

This pretty perennial plant has slender spikes of tiny flowers. I bought a few plants this season in purple and blue shades.

I’m growing these flowers in my pollinator garden along with the coneflowers and blazing stars. The butterflies and bees love them.

lime zinnias in the cut flower garden

Now we’re at my favorite part of the garden tour! Let’s take a look at the cut flower garden.

I am growing vegetables along with my flowers in the raised garden beds. The tomatoes and zucchini do very well growing alongside the flowering plants. And they benefit from great pollination.

early summer cut flower garden and raised beds

The flower seedlings were taken from the greenhouse and transplanted to the cut flower garden in late spring. They were SO TINY!

Small plants were all that the cut flower garden was growing in June. The seedlings were just starting to take off but there were few blooms.

This garden space has raised beds and containers and is located in the full sun. Two of the beds are 4’x4′ and 2 are 4’x8′. Everything is watered by a drip and sprinkler system that is on a timer. It has made my life so much easier!

Shop here for a Drip and Micro Sprinkler Kit. And here for the 4 Station Sprinkler Timer

Early summer cut flower garden in bloom

By the end of June, the garden you saw in the previous picture had transformed.

It still wasn’t in full bloom like it is in August, but cut flowers like zinnias, snapdragons, bachelor’s buttons, sweet peas, and some strawflowers were starting to flower.

We did not get the hot weather that we had gotten the last year or two in June so there was no need for shade cloth which was such a relief.

colorful zinnias

In my early summer garden, the zinnias were one of the earliest bloomers. Their daisy-like petals and vibrant colors make this cut flower so easy to fall in love with.

zinnias waiting to bloom in the raised beds

This is what the zinnias looked like in the first part of June.

The seed germination of zinnia seeds is so quick. I saw growth popping out of the soil in just a few days.

bright colored zinnias in early summer garden
bright lilliput zinnias in wine barrel

There are so many different varieties I have grown in the past few years but I always come back to lilliput zinnias because of how bright and beautiful the flower petals are.

early summer lilliput zinnias in the garden

This is the perfect cut flower for new gardeners…they are so easy!

I will say that I had some pest problems with my zinnias at the beginning of the summer season. But I cut all the damaged foliage off the plants and sprayed them with both neem oil and insecticidal soap and now they look pretty healthy.

Chocolate lace flower getting ready to bloom

A volunteer flower in the garden is like a surprise gift from nature. It’s a plant that grows on its own, without being intentionally planted by the gardener.

These flowers are usually the result of seeds dropped by previous plants or carried by the wind or birds.

Here are a couple of huge surprises growing in my cut flower garden this summer.

Chocolate lace flower volunteer in the cut flower garden

Chocolate Lace Flower Dara

This was the best surprise for me.

I grew the chocolate lace flower last year in the garden and liked it. But it didn’t perform as well as I would have liked. So I decided to pass on it this year.

My garden had other plans. I found several plants growing out of the brick pavers and was shocked that they even survived without being watered.

Needless to say, I’ll be growing them again next year, and I’m sure there will be some other plants coming up out of the corners of the garden as well.

Bachelor's buttons growing through the pavers in the cutting garden

Also known as cornflower, these bachelor’s buttons came back on their own. Growing up through the pavers and with little water, these plants still thrived in the early summer garden this year.

bachelor's buttons growing through the brick pavers

Here’s another view. I love the color of the flowers and how whimsical they look. And of course, the pollinators love them.

The only issue I have with bachelor’s buttons is that I can never keep up with deadheading enough to keep them looking healthy and tidy. They always seem to look tired because of all the spent flower heads mixed in.

Do you like growing bachelor’s buttons?

Frilly sunflowers in the early summer garden

These tall and majestic flowers have the sunniest of blooms. The birds and the bees love them as well.

I grew 3 different varieties this year. On the back of the seed packet, it says you can direct sow them but I found that the best way for me to grow sunflowers is to start the seedlings in the greenhouse, Then I transplanted them after the average last frost date.

This way the birds didn’t pluck the seeds up before they started to grow.

Greenburst sunflowers

Greenburst Sunflower

This is the most common-looking sunflower variety that I had in my early summer garden. They are also the tallest of the three.

Frilly sunflowers


The Frilly variety is more of a whimsical take on the summer sunflower. I would say that this variety gave me the most blooms.

pro cut white lite sunflowers

Pro Cut White Lite

This variety didn’t give me as many blooms but I loved how different it looked in the garden from the others.

Chantilly mix snapdragons in the early summer garden

I love how pretty the Sherbet Toned Chantilly mix snapdragons look in my cut flower garden. The orange and pink flowers are the perfect color combination.

Chantilly mix snapdragons

The bees and butterflies love snapdragon’s unique snap-like blooms.

Chantilly mix snapdragons in the early summer garden container

Once these flowers are established they’re easy to care for. Just make sure you are providing support for them or they can topple over and break.

sea shell cosmos variety

Here’s a pretty summer annual that brings a touch of whimsy to the garden.

Cosmos are very easy to grow and germinate quickly, making them perfect for any gardener, experienced, or beginner.

They have almost a carefree, wildflower vibe and attract pollinators to the garden.

seashell cosmos growing in the early summer garden

I grew the sea shells mix cosmos variety.

pink double click cosmos

And of course, one of my favorites, double click cosmos.

These blooms look great in any summer flower bouquet and the feathery foliage is an extra added bonus.

orange strawflower in the early summer garden

I always grow my tried and true Floret Flower strawflowers from seed. These unique annual flowers have papery petals that retain their color and form even after they dry.

But this year I also bought a different variety ( I can’t remember which or where I got them) and I hate to say it but I was underwhelmed.

The blooms did not last long at all and they were much shorter than the others I’m used to growing.

I’ll share the apricot mix and frosted sulpher strawflowers with you on the next tour. They started looking beautiful at the end of July.

pink dahlias

I had a shocker this season.

Dahlias generally don’t bloom until the middle of July. But I had blooms as early as the 4th of July this year. I’m not sure why but I won’t complain!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as diligent as I usually am about pinching the center of my dahlias when they reach a foot or so. I was on a boat trip in May and missed the opportunity.

I am trying to cut back the centers of the tall dahlia plants right now though. They’re not nearly as bushy as they should be and some of them are a bit scrawny.

fuchsia dahlia

Here’s one of the first dahlias that bloomed in the garden early in the summer.

Dahlias are one of the last flowers to bloom in my garden. As long as there isn’t a lot of heavy rain, they should last until the average first frost date of the season. They will turn black after the first hard freeze.

The best time to dig up and store dahlia tubers for the winter is before your area has a deep frost.

café au lait dahlia growing in the garden

The cafe au lait dahlia variety is my very favorite!

Be sure to support your dahlias so they don’t break off or fall over, especially large flower head dinner plate varieties like this one. Just the weight of the flower will topple the plant over.

dahlias and alliums growing in the early summer garden

Dahlias are such beautiful flowers and look stunning in any summer floral arrangement.

red dahlias
sweet peas growing on the trellis in the early summer garden

My only wish when it comes to annual sweet peas is that they would last longer in the summer garden. I had to take them out of the garden in early August.

They are the most delicate-looking and sweet-smelling bloom I’ve ever grown. They have gracefully climbed my arbors, trellises, and along my picket fences throughout the years.

Sweet peas are the first seeds I sow in the greenhouse in February and they germinate quickly.

pink sweet peas growing in on the trellis

I grew 4 varieties this summer.

  • Jilly – white flowers: I grow this one every year and it’s the first color to bloom in early summer.
  • Jacqueline Heather – pink flowers: this is my second year growing these.
  • Happy Birthday – orange-red petals: I was very disappointed with this variety. I had hardly any of these bloom throughout the season.
  • Karen Louise – light purple: beautiful, loved this one.

This annual has papery blooms and is another great option for dry flowers. Statice has clusters that look like tiny stars.

They look gorgeous in any flower arrangement but the best part about statice for me is drying them. They seem to last forever tied to my kitchen pot rack.

zinnias and dahlias in the early summer garden

From the stunning sunflowers to the graceful lilies, charming daisies, and more, my early summer garden is such a haven for me.

Sometimes I can’t believe that I grew the flowers that are here.

Now is the perfect time to reflect on how your garden performed in early summer, which plants you want to bring back, and any lessons you learned along the way.

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 Gardening!

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One Comment

  1. I have to live vicariously through you and Stacy this year! What a bust of a garden season we are having in NH! In my bed of zinnias, I have 1 flower blooming that is only 4 inches tall and the rest of the hundreds of stems are maybe 5 inches tall. I have to laugh or I would cry!! That lily is just the prettiest color. So much inspiration!!

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