Spring garden ideas: 17 beautiful ways to welcome warmer weather to your plot

Our spring garden ideas are sure to bring a sense of cheer to your outdoor space – from pretty furniture, gorgeous planting, straightforward jobs, and more

spring garden ideas: potted plants
(Image credit: David Brittain/Styling: Selina Lake)

Are you ready for some spring garden ideas to welcome in the new season? The days are getting longer, the temperature warmer, and all around us, new life is beginning to emerge from its winter slumber.

There are so many things we love about spring. The sprightly songbirds and dozy bumblebees begin to fill the fragrant air, bringing a soothing soundscape to the garden. The evenings start to stretch luxuriously, as sunlight hangs on later and later by the day. Of course, there are all the beautiful bulbs, blossom, and magnolia, too. 

And, by mid-spring, almost all at once, all the deciduous trees turn fresh and green, knitwear is discarded to the back of the wardrobe, and seasonal garden design ideas come to the forefront of every grower and flower-lover's mind. 

To help you celebrate the upcoming months in style, we've rounded up our favorite ways to get a plot spring-ready.

17 stunning spring garden ideas to start the new season in style

You'll find all kinds of springtime styling tips, design ideas, and straightforward tasks in this guide, complete with advice from the experts, of course. 

1. Dress up your spring containers

spring bulbs in containers with Easter decor

Vintage planters give this scene a charming feel

(Image credit: Dan Duchars/Future)

One of the best ways to pep up a patio as sunnier weather returns is to add some show-stopping spring container ideas

It's both easy and enjoyable to do – and there are tons of beautiful blooms to choose from that will offer a welcome pop of color and scent. And, if you didn't plant your bulbs last fall, don't worry – our tips on how to plant a last minute spring container have got you covered for a relaxing weekend job.

For a vintage-chic look, mix and match secondhand planters, such as galvanized buckets. Layer them up at different heights for added interest. For sheltered spaces, consider adding hay or moss as a mulch for rustic appeal. 

If you're hosting a garden get-together, you could also push sturdy twigs of pussy willow into the soil for hanging Easter-inspired decorations. It'll give the overall look an even more magical touch.

2. Give a garden building a springtime makeover

wayfair painted shed with Easter decorations

This shed from Wayfair is ready for spring

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Even the best sheds can look a little worse for wear after winter. So, spring is an ideal time to blow away the cobwebs and give your garden building a stylish makeover.

Although they are great for storing tools safely, sheds can also be used as chic retreats, hosting a space for hobbies, entertaining, or simply relaxing. This structure is spring-ready with its pastel-painted palette, prettily-patterned cushions, bunting, and seasonal wreaths – the perfect hideaway for children and adults alike.

You can find more styling inspo in our she shed ideas feature.

3. Make a statement by planting en masse

tulips and magnolia in rhs garden

Beautiful blooms at the RHS Garden Wisley in spring

(Image credit: Joanna Kossak/RHS)

Planting en masse will always create a show-stopping scene, whatever the season. But if you love tulips as much as we do (they're easily one of the best spring flowering plants in our books), then a view like the one above is especially enchanting. 

There are plenty of gorgeous types of tulips to choose from. These are called 'Orange Emperor' tulips, and look wonderful beneath an early-flowering Magnolia stellata. Bulbous blue muscari or 'Pheasant's Eye' narcissus also look lovely in generously-planted swathes.

If you were a little late to the bulb-planting party for this year, then you can opt to buy plants from garden centers. However, you may want to downsize the look, as costs can quickly add up. Even a small display will still look lovely, but be sure to follow our guide to planting bulbs in autumn, ready for a bigger show next spring.

4. Give your seating area a spruce

John lewis seating in garden

This chic setup is from John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Spring is the perfect time to refresh your patio or terrace to give it a smart new look.

Start by giving it a good clean – you can find guides on how to clean garden furniture and how to clean a patio in our features. Marcus Eyles, Horticultural Director at Dobbies, also suggests taking the opportunity to give your fence a fresh coat of stain for the new season.

And, once your space is feeling spick and span, why not treat yourself to some beautiful new garden furniture ideas? This setup above is inspired by a natural Scandinavian vibe, and feels light, bright, and airy – perfect for welcoming warmer weather.

As Fionnuala Johnston, Partner and Senior Designer at John Lewis says, 'This trend is effortless in style and the pared-back color palette of neutral tones and light woods creates a calming space.' 

Fionnuala also comments on the use of soft furnishings to help create an inviting atmosphere. Think faux fur throws draped over the backs of chairs, linen cushions, and one or two of our best outdoor rugs.

5. Enjoy the delights of wisteria

wisteria in rhs garden

Wisteria is a wonderful sight in springtime – this one was spotted at RHS Garden Rosemoor

(Image credit: Jason Ingram/RHS)

One of the most magical sights of late spring has to be wisteria in full bloom. Its cascades of softly-scented purple trails look just as wonderful climbing up the side of a house as they do trained around a pergola. You can often find the white 'Alba' variety for sale too, which offers an elegant twist.

If you'd love to add one to your own plot, our guide on how to grow wisteria will help you get started.

6. Tidy up your patio with a new storage solution

planters on shelves

This on-trend storage solution is from John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Another lovely way to get your outdoor space in order for the new season is to invest in pretty garden storage ideas. This plant ladder will add a country-cottage vibe to any sized space and will give all your garden bits and bobs a proper place.

And if it's a sunny day, why stop the spring cleaning there? As the team at Squire's Garden Centres says, a garden clear-up can help you feel a sense of clarity. So take the time to rake up fallen leaves, tidy your shed, clean your garden tools, and prune roses, hedges, and shrubs if you haven't already.

7. Make a feature with pretty pastel hues

hyacinths in pots

Choose soft hues to create a focal point

(Image credit: David Brittain/Styling: Selina Lake)

A pastel palette will always look lovely for spring garden ideas, mirroring the milky blue sky and the soft blossom on the trees. So to create a truly special and springlike focal point, why not spend a relaxing afternoon putting these colors to good use?

Get creative by pairing a selection of vintage-inspired containers and old glass bottles with tulips and ranunculus, punctuated by a few deeper-toned hyacinths. 

And if you're in the mood for a bigger update, give your shed or fence a gorgeous new shade. We love this duck-egg blue above, and it will make the perfect backdrop to your scene. Need a bit more help on getting started? Our guide on how to paint a shed has everything you need to know.

8. Host an Easter-themed garden party

Easter decorations outdoors

Seasonal decorations will make your entertaining space feel extra special

(Image credit: Polly Eltes/Future)

As the days get longer and warmer, alfresco entertaining becomes even more appealing. So, why not mark the new season with a spring-themed garden party?

An Easter-egg hunt will always go down a treat if you're looking for garden activities for kids. And if you're serving up snacks for your guests, dress your outdoor table with pretty linens and jugs of blossom alongside the best outdoor dinnerware, and hang colorful paper decorations from nearby trees and shrubs. Even the simplest of garden decor ideas will make the space feel even more special for the occasion.

9. Bring spring cheer with hanging baskets

spring hanging basket from Dobbies

We love this cheery display from Dobbies

(Image credit: Dobbies)

Hanging baskets offer extra color and life without taking up floor space. For this reason, they're ideal for smaller gardens, but will always look beautiful no matter what your plot's size.

There are lots of spring flowers that work well in these displays, including primroses, pansies, and wallflowers. Trailing, variegated ivy is a lovely addition too, as are narcissus or hyacinths that will fill the air with fragrance.

10. Surround a patio with bright bulbs

Valencia teak day bed from Jo Alexander on patio in spring

Tulips aplenty provide a beautiful view from this stylish day bed from Jo Alexander

(Image credit: Jo Alexander)

If you tried out some bulb lasagne ideas last fall, they should now start coming into bloom. Be sure to position them somewhere where you can fully enjoy them – for instance, framing a smart garden sofa, like in this scene.

We love the narrow border of tulips that divides the lawn from the patio in this space, too. It provides a gorgeous view from the seating space. All that's needed is a nice cup of tea, and maybe a soft throw if the weather is still a little chilly, for a relaxing hour or two spent alfresco.

11. Make the most of warmer evenings with festoon lights

lights from Lights4fun over garden seating area

Welcome in warmer weather with festoons from Lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Once the warmer weather sets in, spending evenings outside suddenly seems incredibly enticing. And one failsafe way to create a cozy atmosphere once dusk settles is to add festoon lights to your space.

Strung around pergola ideas, they bring a laid-back, romantic vibe to any outdoor seating area. And if it starts to feel a little cold (it is still spring, after all), then one of our best fire pits is a worthwhile investment.

12. Add to the cheerful mood with yellow hues

yellow bistro set from Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Yellow is one of the cheeriest tones there is. And we think it makes a fabulous hue to introduce to your plot this spring.

The team at Dobbies agrees, taking the hue as inspiration for both outdoor furniture and planting schemes.

In terms of plants, Marcus Eyles of Dobbies shares a few recommendations to brighten up your springtime borders. For hardy plants, he suggests Forsythia 'Lynwood' and Cytisus 'All Gold', complemented by the fiery-tinged tones of Acer 'Orange Dream'. Beautiful bedding plants include the 'Golden Yellow' pansy and the delightful primrose 'Veristar Lemon'.

And when it comes to furniture, why not soak up the sun from a vibrant seating setup such as the one above? It makes a cheerful addition to our best bistro sets, and is foldable too, making it a great choice for small spaces.

13. Give miniature containers a springtime twist

daffodils in pots

Pretty nest planters add a perfect springtime touch

(Image credit: Marcus Harpur/Future)

Combining a nest-like structure with verdant moss and elegant bulbs results in a beautifully-curated display. We think these small planters truly capture the essence of spring.

It's a wonderful way to brighten up a more sheltered spot, or to bring all the joy of spring inside as part of your indoor plant ideas. Don't forget you can force bulbs, too, for an even earlier show. Scented hyacinths are a failsafe way to bring spring cheer into your home.

14. Create a spring-themed window box

easter themed window box planters

Adorn your windows with a seasonal display

(Image credit: Spike Powell/Future)

Speaking of beautiful displays, spring is a wonderful time for fresh new window box ideas.

The team at Lechuza suggests creating a bright arrangement using mixed spring flowers of various heights – think pansies, tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths. And if you're using potted bulbs bought from a garden center, they share their top tip: 'Look for ones that are just beginning to bud for a coordinated bloom time.'

Another option is to pick one spring favorite, such as these delicate violas, and pair them with glazed pots in soothing hues.

15. Get a picture-perfect lawn

lawn in rhs garden wisley

Battleston Hill in spring at RHS Garden Wisley

(Image credit: Clive Nichols/RHS)

Why does freshly mown grass smell so good? According to the team at Squire's Garden Centres, it's because it reminds us of summer and weekends, which boosts our mood. Just as well that spring is the time to get mowing!

You can also start preparing the ground for new lawns in early spring, depending on the soil's condition, says Marcus of Dobbies. Then, sow new grass seed in April onto firm, level ground. For quicker results, you can learn how to lay turf.

Marcus also suggests straightening up lawn edges using a half-moon edging iron. And for really lush growth, you might want to add a nitrogen-rich lawn feed towards the end of March.

Looking for more advice on how to get your lawn looking tip-top this season? Our spring lawn care tips have got you covered.

16. Plan ahead for summer

tools for seed sowing

Plan ahead to make the most of your garden this year

(Image credit: Dobbies)

There are lots of spring garden jobs to be cracking on with, to ensure that you're organized for the growing season ahead. 

If you love our cottage garden ideas, then now's the time to start sowing hardy annuals such as nigella, centaurea, and calendula, says Marcus from Dobbies. Sweet peas can also be sown straight into the ground in spring. 

Marcus also suggests planting new cottage garden plants now – they will establish quickly for a stunning display come summer. You can also re-invigorate existing plants that look a little lackluster or congested. Simply lift and divide them, before planting them into new positions. 

You can plant summer flowering bulbs now too, such as gladiolus and lilies, Marcus adds. And, in the greenhouse, continue to prick out and pot on seedlings and cuttings. There are top tips on how to transplant seedlings successfully in our guide. 

17. Welcome feathered friends

bird feeders from Pangaea Home

(Image credit: Pangaea Home)

Learn how to attract birds into your garden and you'll be graced with these beautiful feathered creatures visiting your outdoor space as the weather begins to warm. Investing in one or two of the best bird feeders is a good place to start.

If you can bear the early morning, listening to the 'dawn chorus' – when birds sing to attract mates and defend their territories – is a lovely thing to do to mark the arrival of the season. Squire's Garden Centres suggests picking a day with fine weather and little wind – the birds will begin to sing about an hour before sunrise.

What flowers can you plant in early spring?

There are lots of fabulous flowers you can plant in your garden in early spring to get your plot looking gorgeous throughout the season. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Tulips: Try 'Black Parrot' for a sultry look, whilst 'Purissima' is perfect if you love white flowers.
  • Daffodils: The pale-hued 'Thalia' is an elegant choice, but if you love a sweet scent and double blooms, go for 'Bridal Crown'.
  • Primulas: The pale-yellow, wild variety will add a dose of cottage-garden charm to any plot.
  • Hyacinths: All varieties offer wonderful fragrance, and there are lots of vibrant colors to choose from too.
  • Snake's head fritillaries are a classic if you love a more natural look.
  • Muscari latifolium have a fabulous, two-toned appearance and broader leaves than the usual variety.
  • Crocuses: The silvery-lilac 'Blue Pearl' with its yellow center is a timeless choice.
  • Pulmonaria: Sporting attractive, spotted foliage and blue-purple flowers (although you can also get white varieties), these are a pretty and easy-care perennial. 

tulips in border

Tulips are a springtime favorite

(Image credit: Marcus Harpur/Future)
Holly Crossley
Acting Deputy Editor

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.