How to Optimize Your New England Flower Garden


It’s not easy to have a beautiful, flowering garden in New England. Our spring and summer growing season is so short and growing plants can be a challenge. Often, we have lots of spring flowers that bloom all at the same time and then we are left with only green in our gardens for the rest of the summer. This New England flower garden guide will teach you which plants bloom in each month so you can design a garden that blooms all spring, summer and into late fall.  

Perennials and Annuals

it is important to know the difference between perennials and annuals before you start your New England garden. Annuals are plants that only live for one year so next year you can start fresh with your garden if you are someone who likes to change it up every year. Perennials are plants that come back every year, but usually have a shorter flowering time.

March and April

Spring bulbs must be planted in the fall and it’s worth the effort! Daffodils, Crocus, Tulips, Hyacinth, Siberian Squill, Snowdrops, Spanish Bluebell, Grape Hyacinth are all spring blooming bulbs. They start blooming in March and continue to bloom through May. Tulips can be tricky because they are a favorite of deer, rabbits, and other local furry friends. I plant mine close to the house along our busy front path to deter most animals. Pansies, Stock and Ranunculus are all annuals. Before you buy any plant in March and April, make sure it is displayed outside. If you buy a plant from inside a greenhouse it will not be hardened. A hardened plant is one that has been put outside to adjust to the cold temperatures so it won’t die when you plant it outside this early in spring. Spring blooming perennials are Phlox, Primrose, Bleeding Heart, Canadian Anenome, and Candytuft.

New England Garden


By this time, it’s pretty safe to plant annual flowers such as geraniums, Cosmos, Dianthus, Daisies, Petunias, Snapdragon, Lobelia, Love in a Mist, Marigold, Salvia, Pincushion, Sweet Pea and Zinnias. Perennials that bloom in May are, Peony, Lilac, Iris, Clematis, Hellebore, Lungwort, Lilly of the Valley, and Cornflower.

New England Garden


June is when you want to fill in your garden with annuals. Most annuals will continue to bloom all summer if you keep them watered and pick off the dead flowers. Perennials that bloom in June are Echinacea, Lillies, Poppies Begonia, Caladium and Lavender. Dahlias and Gladiolas are bulbs you plant in the spring that will give you spectacular blooms in June.

New England Garden


This is the most difficult month to keep your flowers going. The best perennials for July are Roses, Sedum, Hibiscus, Black Eyed Susan, Cone Flower, Coreopsis, Bee Balm, Chrysanthemum, Balloon Flower, Hydrangea, Blue Cardinal Flower and Hyssop.

August – September

Surprisingly, there are many plants that bloom in late summer. If you choose the right flowers you can have a beautiful garden right up to the first snow. Mums, Asters, and Ornamental Cabbage are showy annuals that are easy to find and plant in the fall.  Nasturtium, Native Clematis, Japanese Anenome, Sedum, Rudbeckia, Coneflower, Straw Flower, and Yarrow are all great chaired for late summer blooming perennials.

October – December

 The best way to keep your garden looking good in late fall and into winter is to leave flowers such as Echinacea, Hydrangea and ornamental grasses alone instead of cutting them back. Many flowers provide seeds or berries for birds in the winter and still look nice as they dry.

Gardening is for the Whole Family

Gardening and planting flowers is a great family activity. Planting bulbs in the fall and seeing early spring flowers poking up through the ground will always boost to your mood after a long New England winter.