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My Seasonal Garden Year in Review

It’s amazing how much my seasonal garden can change from month to month. 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 changes throughout the year.

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 provided. Yes…garden therapy is 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.

 garden view overlooking the Puget Sound

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summer greenhouse

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 looking forward to seeing my garden in Cottage Style Magazine in their spring issue.

early spring greenhouse

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.

spring greenhouse

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.

Daylilies 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.

inside greenhouse

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.

geraniums inside greenhouse

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 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 fewer and fewer 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.

clematis climbing on arbor in front of greenhouse

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.

greenhouse and pink clematis
rhododendron with greenhouse

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 is known for rhododendrons, along with azaleas, and they come in so many amazing and vibrant colors.

planting seedling in 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 in the beds for added interest.

seedlings in raised beds

We attached a 1″ X 2″ piece of wood on the sides of the raised beds to support any 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.

cut flower garden in early stages
cut flower garden and greenhouse

Here’s a BEFORE view, when the sweet peas were just starting to grow, and the AFTER view is below when the sweet peas are starting to bloom.

sweet peas on trellis
evening spring greenhouse 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.

spring greenhouse with metal green chair

Things are starting to fill out in this view, but I 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 June.

Any ideas?

If you have a garden in the PNW, what flowers are blooming in your garden in late spring?

spring flowers near birdhouse and greenhouse

We put up our new birdhouse from Good Directions which created such an amazing focal point in the garden.

cottage garden birdhouse

Early summer is when I start getting excited! This is when the sweet peas, phlox, and daisies were blooming beautifully.

greenhouse with daisies

I 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 to stake them to prevent them from falling over.

garden overlooking the water

The black-eyed Susans and dahlias usually start blooming after the 4th of July.

cut flower garden and Puget Sound

Mid-July is my very favorite time of the entire 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.

snapdragons and metal green chair

I will plant these gorgeous snapdragons year after year. This variety is called Sherbet Toned Chantilly Mix, and the seeds were from Floret Flowers.

cut flower garden

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 Gems.

dahlias and greenhouse

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.

pink and red dahlias

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.

row of dahlias in cottage garden

Have you read my blog post All You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Dahlias?

pink dahlia

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.

dahlias in front of beach cottage
evening view greenhouse and cut flowers
late summer evening greenhouse view

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.

black-eyed Susans in cottage 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.

vintage bike in cottage garden

Coneflowers are such a pretty perennial and come in many more colors than what I have planted here. They are another great plant to divide and transplant to other areas.

cut flower and white picket fence garden

This is one of my very favorite pictures taken this summer. I spent an evening strolling through the garden, taking in the gorgeous view with the magical outdoor bistro lights.

greenhouse and cottage garden path

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.

late summer evening cottage garden blooms
fall garden and green metal chair

Cabbage, pumpkins, and pansies are perfect for porches and flower containers.

fall greenhouse with cornstalks and pumpkins
fall greenhouse

Adding cornstalk and pumpkins to my greenhouse instantly dresses up the garden for autumn.

I hope you have enjoyed my cottage garden as much as I did 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 who have asked me to share some tips on starting a cut flower garden of your own.

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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  1. Beautiful blog, but way too many ads. Especially the ones that bounce and jump. So distracting. I’m probably not the first person to mention this, but I do it out of love. Anyone who can produce such beauty has to be a wonderful person.

    1. Thank you so much for your input. My ad placements were actually changed last week by the agency so I thought I would take a week to see how it went. As bloggers, we try to make money from ads to pay for the many blog expenses, but at the same time, I want the experience to be a positive one when you come on here. It would be helpful to know which ads are jumping around. I can’t see it from my own site. Is it the video or something else? Thank you for the compliment about my blog and for taking the time to reach out.

  2. I love reading Your’s and Stacy’s blog on gardening. Your yards are just stunning! Wish I had more yard!
    Thank you for sharing and doing all the hard work to help us learn more!

    1. Your comments mean so much to me. Thank you so much for reaching out and letting me know that you enjoy our blog posts. I love doing so many things with Stacy, she’s so talented! Amazing what you can do together, even clear across the country!

  3. I can hardly speak it is so beautiful. I admire people who love gardening. You must really enjoy sitting outside and basking in the beautiful peace with the water and gardens. I must find a way to entice you to my yard for the summer! I can’t complain as we have stunning Mountain views here in Boulder and open tree filled golf course where your water is…but I can imagine the water and flowers there! Sorry, you will be working with very clay type soil, that puts a crimp in things 🙂

    1. I do love to sit outside and enjoy the garden blooms! This time of year is really hard for me, but spring is so close! Mountain views are so beautiful. I used to live on a golf course, and being surrounded by all the greenery is so incredible. Thank s for being here!

  4. It looks so pretty! It’s so cool to see how much it changed particularly with your seed starts! Love the sweet peas and dahlias!

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