A Seasonal Summer PNW Cottage and Cut Flower Garden Tour

Isn’t it fun to see what’s blooming in other areas outside of your own this season? Let me take you on a tour of my Pacific Northwest (PNW) cottage and cut flower gardens to show you what’s been blooming this summer.

When it came to my summer flowers, both in my cottage garden and the cut flower garden, there were a lot of surprises this year.

The unusually cool temperatures confused my poor garden flowers to the point that they didn’t know what season they were in.

Our dogwood tree which usually blooms in the spring was flowering at the same time as the summer dahlias. I’m saying “all kinds of strange” was happening this summer.

summer cottage and cut flower garden -summer gladiolas

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summer cottage and cut flower garden - greenhouse view

Here’s a view of the “greenhouse garden” in July. This is when the black-eyed Susans were just starting to bud.

This is the second year I’ve planted petunias in the flower planter along the edge of the walkway. I love them because of how fast they fill out the space.

What I don’t love about them is how leggy and sticky they get. Now that it’s August, the petunias are just starting to fall over which is when I start thinking about planting fall annuals in their place very soon.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

The daisies bloomed over a month late this year so there were a lot of holes in my cottage garden last June. But we are enjoying them in August for the first time.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

The phlox was also a month late and eaten by the deer more than ever this year.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

Here’s a view that you don’t see too often.

It’s the walkway from the front door and deck to the greenhouse pathway. Usually, the hydrangea bushes on the left are full and colorful. Only 2 bushes bloomed in July.

summer cottage and cut flower garden -greenhouse and pathway

This path to my greenhouse is probably my favorite space in my entire cottage-style garden.

I love EVERYTHING about it.

  • the bistro lights hanging on the arbor and across the greenhouse garden
  • a vintage bike with a flower basket
  • copper lights along the path’s border
  • it’s one of the few areas in the garden that can grow shade plants
  • it has a secret garden vibe…so whimsical
summer cottage and cut flower garden -vintage bike with basket of flowers
summer garden pathway with vintage bike and white picket fence

Last month I added the two white picket fence pieces for a bigger and better backdrop for the vintage bike.

summer cottage and cut flower garden -dahlia wind spinner

For those of you who have been around for a while, you know that I love yard art in my cottage garden. Here’s a dahlia wind spinner from Happy Gardens.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

Do you have a particular space in your garden that you can’t figure out what to do with?

That would be my patio garden or bike garden as I used to call it. I could never find the right combination of summer flowers and the area always looked like it wasn’t finished.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

I think I’ve finally figured out what to plant here.

I’ve always had coneflowers (echinacea) and blazing star (gayflower) in this space. I think these perennials are perfect for any cottage garden.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

I love the color of these coneflowers as they compliment the yellow black-eyed Susans and red dahlias.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

Here’s a sunflower that survived the season.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

Having a cottage and cut flower garden with a view of Puget Sound is such a summer treat,

summer cottage and cut flower garden

Daisies were transplanted to the patio garden this spring and gladiolas from Longfield Gardens brighten up this garden space.

summer cottage and cut flower garden
summer cottage and cut flower garden

In the past, I’ve had a seating area on the flagstone patio but I wanted to try putting a vintage table and chairs in this spot this summer.

water view from the patio garden

I love having this special space among the summer garden flowers to dine al fresco.


Delightful and Dainty Daisies

As I said earlier in the post, the daisies were one of my biggest surprises this summer. They should have been blooming by the 4th of July but it took several more weeks before they were all blooming.

And the biggest surprise of all is that they are still in bloom in mid-August but won’t last much longer.

This delightful summer perennial is beautiful in cottage-style gardens.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

Bold and Beautiful Black-Eyed Susans

I’ve had black-eyed Susans growing in my cottage garden for 9 years now.

If you are on a budget and want to fill in your garden quickly, buy a black-eyed Susan plant or two. You will be dividing and transplanting them to other areas before you know it.

They add such a pop of color to your garden when other summer perennials are starting to fade.

The picture above pretty much tells the summer 2022 story of how our cool temperatures confused the flowers. I have NEVER had daisies and black-eyed Susans growing in this area at the same time…until this year.

summer cottage and cut flower garden alliums along the white picket fence

Late Blooming Alliums

These drumstick alliums were all over my cottage garden in July. When I planted the bulbs last fall I had no idea that they would be around in the summer. I thought alliums were just spring flowers.

They added so much color to a confused garden that lacked the usual blooms in July.

summer cottage and cut flower garden -strawberry candy daylilies

Dreamy Daylilies

Confession time.

I never really thought much of daylilies. I don’t know why. They just never did anything for me. That was until I planted the most fabulous lily varieties the last couple of summers.

The gorgeous daylily above is a Strawberry Candy Rebloomer Ageless Beauty. Aren’t the colors remarkable?

And these daylilies are equally impressive.

  • Lily Stargazer
  • Orange Daylily
  • Chocolate Eyeliner
summer cottage and cut flower garden -daylilies and daisies

This is my second year growing gladiolas in my cottage garden. Why did I wait so long?

I LOVE these gorgeous summer flowers and the colors I got from Longfield Gardens.

Everything you see here, except for the purple gladiola, is part of the Large Flowering Sorbet Blend. Preorders begin in December and Longfield Gardens will notify you when they are available.

The purple variety is called a Large Flowering Performer.

summer cottage and cut flower garden -large flowering sorbet blend gladiola

This is my favorite gladiolus color. They are gorgeous in any summer floral arrangement.

summer cottage and cut flower garden -limelight hydrangeas

Hydrangea Highlights

I have many hydrangea bushes throughout my cottage garden.

  • Mophead
  • Lacecap
  • Climbing
  • Limelight
  • Pistachio

I’ve had great luck when it comes to hydrangeas.

I had no idea what I was doing when I first started buying them from the nursery (and even Home Depot).

As soon as I figured out how to prune them each year, they took off.

summer cottage and cut flower garden -pink mophead hydrangea

This would be my second biggest cottage garden surprise of the summer.

Only two of the front garden’s hydrangea bushes bloomed and were very late. These blooming bushes are now starting to fade away and will be brought in to dry soon. But their coloring is off this year. It’s a much paler bloom than in past years.

The bushes that didn’t bloom this summer are just now starting to get flowers. Isn’t that strange?

Are you going to dry your hydrangeas this fall?

summer cottage and cut flower garden - sunflower

Sensational Sunflowers

Yay me!

I finally grew some sunflowers from seed.

I realized that I needed to sow the sunflower seeds in my greenhouse to get them started so the birds wouldn’t take off with them.

Sunflowers are the most beautiful transitional flower in my cottage garden and make an amazing cut flower to add to your arrangements.

Here are the varieties I grew this year…

  • Pro cut lite white
  • Pro cut red
  • Panache
  • Ruby Eclipse

I bought all the sunflower seeds from Floret Flowers.

summer cottage and cut flower garden coneflower

More Fabulous Flowers in the Cottage Garden

  • Coneflower or Echinacea
  • Alstroemeria
  • Jupiter’s Beard
  • Blazing Star or Gayfeather
summer cottage and cut flower garden  -loosestrife
  • Loosestrife
summer cottage and cut flower garden

The cut flower garden pretty much has the same story as the cottage garden this summer.

There were some hits and many misses this summer.

Most of the cut flower garden was not in full bloom on the 4th of July like in the past. It took quite a bit of time for the annuals to fully bloom. My zinnias still haven’t reached their potential height as this post is being written.

Did you know that I have a CUT FLOWER GARDEN blog series?

summer cottage and cut flower garden

I always grow cosmos in the cut flower garden for summer. The double-click cosmos is just as beautiful as ever.

double click mix cosmos

All three of these gorgeous cosmo blooms are a Double Click Mix.

summer cottage and cut flower garden- white snapdragons

I sowed two varieties of snapdragons this year. The Sherbet Toned Chantilly Mix is what I grow every year in the cut flower garden.

I added the Madame Butterfly Peaches ‘n Cream Mix this summer. It has a combination of apricot, white, and peach.

The crazy thing is that all the white snapdragon seedlings were planted in one bed and the other colors were planted in the other.

They are supposed to be a mix so the fact that the white was separated is such a mystery to me.

summer cottage and cut flower garden -chocolate lace flower

This cut flower is new to me but I love using them as a filler in my flower arrangements.

summer cottage and cut flower garden

Hands down, the strawflowers have been my best-growing annuals in the cut flower garden this summer. They were the first to bloom, and are going strong!

If you have never tried growing strawflowers, I hope you try them. They look like dried flowers and are such an interesting addition to any summer flower arrangement.

lilliput mix zinnias

Zinnias are always a favorite cut flower for summer. I had a lot of problems this summer with this annual never quite reaching the maximum height.

  • Benary
  • Queen lime orange
  • Zinderella lilac
summer cottage and cut flower garden

First-time yarrow flower grower here!

I love these beautiful blooms. This is the summer berry mix and the colors are gorgeous!

summer cottage and cut flower garden -sweet peas in summer cut flower garden

My beautiful sweet peas didn’t bloom for long this year but they were gorgeous when they were. I can’t get enough of that sweet fragrance.

Here are the varieties I grew this year…

  • Dynasty (hot pink)
  • Jilly (white)
  • Jacqueline Ann (purple)
  • Castlewellan (peachy-pink)
summer cottage and cut flower garden -Bee's Choice dahlias in cut flower garden

Delightful Dahlias

Here’s another shocker. My dahlias bloomed sooner than expected this summer.

Above are the dahlias from the Bee’s Choice Mix I sowed last summer. The pollinators LOVE them!

red dinnerplate dahlia
  • Happy Single Flame
  • Happy Single Date
  • White Linda

Sadly, as much as I love dahlias, I am really bad at knowing the names of the ones I got from friends. So if you are an expert and know any of the other dahlias I haven’t listed, leave me a comment at the end of the post.

pink dahlias

If you are looking for tips on how to overwinter your dahlias you can see them.

I also have a post on how to divide dahlia tubers.

café au lait dahlias

I got these cafe au lait dahlias last year from Breck’s Bulbs. Aren’t they gorgeous? I don’t know why I waited so long to grow them.

vegetable harvest from the garden

It’s Not All About the Flowers

Mixing vegetables with flowers in my cut flower garden is great for pollination.

Here are some of the veggies I grew this summer.

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • onions
  • bush beans
summer cottage and cut flower garden

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my Pacific Northwest summer cottage and cut flower gardens. This year was such a strange year but I just enjoyed what was happening and tried not to stress too much about what I was unable to control.

I did love the new flowers I planted in the gardens this summer. I love experimenting each year.

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. What a beautiful garden and gardens you have, Oh how I would love to sit at a table and gaze out over all the flowers and the sound.
    At least I can visit the pictures again. I live in Missouri and it too has been a very weird spring and summer. Do you grow the surprise lilies?

  2. Your yard is just beautiful. I am very envious! We both had Covid here in Maine in late May and I did no yardwork. I have a few straggly perrenials and a lot of weedy wildflowers this year. My pink phlox are an exception, tho. The woodchucks didn’t eat them this year! Your photography is wonderful; I can just imagine sitting and looking at your garden–especially after a session of weeding with a tall glass of iced tea in my grubby hands!

  3. It’s actually a nice surprise that Mother Nature gave you a different and interesting growing season. Black Eyed Susans and Daisies together! I enjoyed how you listed your flowers with the variety names. My flower gardens have always been a sort of three row border. Something tall in the back, medium and then small in the front. It amazes me how gardeners are able to put so many colors and different flowers together without it looking like a thief had just tossed your house! Thank you for always being inspiring with your gardening.

    1. I love the way you said that Beth! I sometimes feel like my garden looks like a thief showed up. That’s why I chose the cottage-style garden look so I can have more of a “no rules” kind of approach. It’s already hard enough for me to keep the garden up but if I had to make it look clean and orderly, I don’t think I’d survive! I do think it’s time to move some things around and organize colors a bit for next year. And you are right. It is a positive thing to see changes and surprises in the garden. I LOVED having the daisies and black-eyed Susans growing together. I took so many pictures! I love your comments, my friend. Keep them coming!

  4. So pretty I love the color on those gladiolas and the Lilys. Everything looks so good…I need to figure out a better spot for my blazing star bc the bunny hacked them all down. ??‍♀️

    1. Those crazy bunnies are killing me this year! And the deer, and the slugs, and the… You get the idea I’m sure. I really loved the colors of the lilies and gladiolas as well Stacy. They really were such a beautiful addition to the garden.

  5. I live in Kansas, it has been so hot here my gardens are struggling. I’ve decided it’s survival of the fittest here, what lives will live. I can’t wait for cooler weather to be outside and tidy things up. Do you know the variety of your daisies, they are so pretty? Your gardens are beautiful and give me inspiration.

    1. Happy Sunday Sylvia! Thank you for the kind words. I love the attitude you have taken when it comes to your garden. I was such a wreck last year when the sun and pests were taking a toll on my flowers and have really done a 180 this year. We absolutely need to let go of the things that we can’t control in the garden. And you will be a much happier person with the “survival of the fittest” thinking! I bought one daisy plant 9 years ago before I knew anything about gardening so I am just assuming they are Shasta daisies. I REALLY hope I’m right because that’s what I’ve been telling people. It’s crazy what one plant can do in 9 years. I have just divided and transplanted every year and now look where I am! Thank you for commenting today. I love it!

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