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Early Spring Flower Garden Ideas

Let’s face it, in spring your flower garden is not at its peak! Yes, the first signs of spring are crazy exciting, especially after a long winter! Plants are poking out of the ground and shooting up new growth, the landscape is greening up and temps are warming up. However, not everything is awake and looking good. Gardens need to be cleaned up, but maybe it’s too early in your area.

A spring garden with colorful pansies and a water fountain.

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Honestly, here in my zone 4b gardens, the landscape and gardens can look pretty drab, especially in early spring. And oftentimes we are dealing with dirty, melting snow piles. Ha ha! I’m not painting a pretty picture at all!

Side note: If you don’t already know, click on the link to find out what USDA hardiness zone you are in. From there you can determine your estimated last frost date.

This article is especially for those of us that live in cold climates that don’t have all the beautiful late spring flowers blooming yet. Although if you live in a warmer climate, you can utilize these ideas but it may be more like late winter for you. Spruce up your front porch and landscape in spring with these early spring flower garden ideas that can add to your home’s curb appeal.

Colorful spring flowers in a decorative yellow watering can in a window box.

It’s always a good idea to make sure you fill your flower beds and front yard landscape with lots of spring perennials and spring-blooming bulbs. Yes, this will take some planning and planting ahead, but if you plan this year, next spring things will look much, much better. And, every year after that your curb appeal will improve as your spring perennial plants and shrubs mature. Check out the linked posts when you’ve finished up here and save a pin to your Pinterest gardening board, so you can refer back to it later.

Tipped planter in a garden bed with pansies

So what if you haven’t planned? What if you didn’t plant all the beautiful spring flowers and spring bulbs, like tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinths last fall? Maybe this is the first spring season in your home, and you have no idea what to expect. Read on and I believe you’ll come away with lots of ideas to spruce up your spring landscape and garden beds. There are even some cute ideas for your front porch.

Bearing all that in mind, there are ways to fill your spring garden with charm and add some curb appeal to your home landscape.

Spring flower pot with colorful flowers
Spring flower pot filled with ranunculus, violas and dianthus.

Spring Flower Pots

Let’s talk about pansies for a minute. Pansies are cold-hardy annuals that aren’t pansies at all and their bright colors make an excellent choice for both spring container gardens and in your flower beds. They are tough, yet pretty little flowers and they are a great choice for both spring and fall planters. Some of our gardeners in the south grow pansies all winter. And, pansies are also sold in autumn for fall containers.

Violas are also cool-season annuals and in some cases perennial flowers too. The easiest way you can tell the difference between these plants is their size – viola flowers are about the size of a nickel. There is also something about which way the petals grow, but it’s too confusing so I won’t bother to repeat it here.  Both these plants love full sun in the spring but prefer partial shade in the heat of summer. Often times, they will perk up again when temperatures cool down again in fall.

Pansy bowls in a garden center.

To get started, make a trip to your local garden center. Now, don’t go crazy and buy all the new plants and flowers (that bit of advice was for me). It’s a good idea to make a list before you go plant shopping. Specifically, look for

  • 6-packs of pansies, violets and snapdragons and any other annual flowers that can take a frost.
  • Primroses and ranunculus are good choices as well.
  • See if you can find a few done-for-you, reasonably priced spring containers.
  • Ornamental grasses, ivy, vinca vine and other filler plants will work well for spring containers too. Remember you can pull spring plants out of your flower pots and replace them with warm-season annuals.
  • Inexpensive small hanging baskets are a good option to plop into a container, if you don’t want to go to the trouble of planting one.
  • Often times garden centers will also have pots of spring blooming bulbs.
  • Look for items like stems and branches to add to your planters too. I especially like pussy willow branches or forsythia branches. If you’re lucky, you may have these in your own backyard.

If you want to make your own spring planters, for the best results be sure to use a good potting mix. You can read more about container gardens in this post.

Spring Front Porch Ideas

It’s a great time to clean up your front porch and the area around it. Go ahead and pitch the remains of your winter planter. Get rid of the ugly doormat, or at least give it a good cleaning. Clean up any outdoor furniture you may have on your porch. A power washer can be your best friend when it comes to spiffing things up in the spring.

Spring vignette with galvanized containers and flowers on front porch.

If your front door is looking drab, now is a good time to give it a fresh coat of paint. Just be sure temps are above 50 and the weather is dry for a few days. When ready add a pretty, spring wreath to your front door.

Now that you have a clean, blank slate to work with, it’s time to add some welcoming charm. Take a trip to your garden shed and see what you can find to work with. Be creative and see if you can come up with a cute vignette for your front porch.

  • If you want to go minimal, add a pot of pansies to your front porch decorations and call it good.
  • If you have a large enough porch, add a bench or a pair of matching chairs with a table between them. My front porch is very small, so there is no room to sit here. As a northern girl, I can only dream of a big ole southern front porch with a porch swing and white rocking chairs. 
  • Add a solar lantern to your front porch decor. Solar lanterns or potted plants look quaint lining the porch steps.

Flower pots with pansies on stairs.

Be sure to clean up the walkway or sidewalk leading to your front porch too. Consider lining it with flower pots or solar lights hanging on shepherd’s hooks.

Spring flower pots lining a sidewalk.

These tips all apply to other outdoor spaces like patios and decks. Don’t forget to snap a few pictures; before and after shots are especially fun to look at later.

Now that the front porch is all cleaned up and looking good, let’s move on to the next outdoor space.

Spring Flower Bed Ideas

So how can you make a perennial garden look good without disturbing all the leftover plant debris? First, clean up as much as you are comfortable doing. Check out this post for some guidelines for spring garden cleanup. Here are some ideas to spruce up your garden areas:

  • Add a grouping of spring planters, along with some spring yard art.
  • Add a colorful spring flag.
  • What about adding a lantern-style solar light on a short shepherd’s hook.
  • Add a spring garden sign.
  • Birdhouses add so much character to spring garden beds.
  • Shepherd’s hooks can be used for more than just hanging baskets. Use them to hang solar lanterns, birdhouses, watering cans, etc. Use your creativity and imagination!

Pro Tip: When creating vignettes, add an odd number of objects to your grouping.

A ring of colorful pansies planted around a tree.

If the ground is workable in your flower bed, it’s okay to plant spring flowers around the edges. Be careful not to dig into spring bulbs or still sleeping perennials. It’s a good idea to stay off of garden soil in early spring.

More Ideas for Sprucing Up Your Spring Landscape

Early spring is also a good time to clean any water features you have and get them running. Talk about adding character to your garden areas or outdoor spaces.

A few more beautiful photos of ideas for your spring landscape. Don’t forget about window boxes.

Spring windowbox planter with bright flowers.

These rustic terracotta pots filled with pansies are so charming.

Rustic spring flower pots with purple pansies.

Early spring is a great time to make plans for the upcoming growing season. Actually, winter is the best time, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Check out these additional posts to help you make plans for your best gardening year ever!

Garden Planning
DIY Garden Journal and Planner

Also check out the cute garden planners in the Gingham Gardens Etsy Shop.

I hope we’ve given you some great flower garden ideas for early spring, as well as ideas for your spring front porch and overall curb appeal. Please leave a comment below and share your garden ideas for early spring.

Happy gardening,

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Images of spring flower pots and gardens with text overlay Great Ideas to spruce up your Spring Landscape and front porch.


Image of an old vintage step ladder with spring flowers in galvanized pots with text overlay 17 Outdoor Ideas for Spring Porches and gardens.