the spring garden

by Sharon Santoni

A view of the house and garden of My French Country Home by Sharon Santoni

This is a very exciting moment in the garden. It’s spring! It all started with the snowdrops, and now the magnolia and daffodils are in full bloom and I love it!

blossoms in a spring garden at My French Country Home by Sharon Santoni

Having been very expert for years at buying packets of seeds but never sowing them, I decided that this was the year to do much better, and actually got around to sowing seeds for Zinnias, marigolds, cosmos and foxgloves.

seedlings in a spring garden at My French Country Home by Sharon Santoni

This morning I went to water the tiny pots and was rewarded with the first tiny shoots!  A spring garden, miraculous in so many ways.

seedlings in a spring garden at My French Country Home by Sharon Santoni

This season is very much one for building the excitement and anticipation of the summer to come.  There is still time to introduce new ideas and to move or divide established plants.   I have some additional pressure this year as it seems likely that the garden will be photographed at some point.  Simultaneously exciting and scary!


I know that some of you are emerging from a long hot summer, and others are still under snow.  I’d love to know what you have planned for the season to come, do leave a comment and let me know. Or take a look at this story of spring renewal I wrote a couple of years ago.

daffodils in a spring garden at My French Country Home by Sharon Santoni


Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things March 20, 2019 - 2:37 pm

We moved in to a brand new house a little over a year ago. We planted some boxwood, lavender, roses etc. We will be planting more this spring and of course I will be planting my veggie garden soon!

Jo Johnston March 20, 2019 - 2:37 pm

It’s spring here, too. (Upstate SC, USA) The weeping cherry tree outside my dining room window is in full bloom. The winter pansies will hang on for another week or two, then they will be replaced with something for summer. Thanks for sharing your French garden.

LeVan rogers March 20, 2019 - 2:50 pm

Azaleas and flowering trees are almost full bloom here in Charleston, SC, on this first day of spring!

Mary Katherine March 20, 2019 - 2:56 pm

All we’ve got are daffodils at the moment, but I planted a lot of bulbs last fall and can’t wait for tulips! My garden is more and more in shade as trees grow, so I’m plotting where to transplant my sun-worshippers and bring in color to darkening corners. My husband talks me out of planting vegetables every year, but this could be the one where I persevere!

Denise March 20, 2019 - 2:58 pm

Even though it’s spring today! Here in Vermont it’s still winter this am it was 16degrees. I will be looking for some herbs to plant. This summer I am heading to Maine to work has a chef. But I will be on an island on the coast. No garden this year.
So I will enjoy your garden by the way the second issue of your magazine is magnifique !

Barbara March 20, 2019 - 3:10 pm

Love your garden, daffodils are one of my favorites!! Every year I think about starting seeds but never do, this is the year ! You and your beautiful pictures are so inspiring

Mariowen March 20, 2019 - 3:26 pm

Spring is definitely here in Texas! The plum trees have been covered with white blossoms that are now replaced with the fresh green of spring. The peach trees are glorious with a flush of pink, and the pear tree right outside my front door has the prettiest clusters of white blooms and new green leaves – all at the same time. I just came into the house from planting herbs right outside the door so I will be able to pick it fresh for my cooking…basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley, oregano, mint…and lavender because I just love it. We are moving so I won’t be planting any bulbs, but the rest is going into the ground right now – this week!!

Anne March 20, 2019 - 3:31 pm

We are still in the grip of cold temperatures in Ontario Canada, and even though I have a few spring bulbs to come there is a population on Rabbits who invade the garden as soon as any shoots show. I will have to rely on my container gardening to have some colour again this year.

Ida Duplechin March 21, 2019 - 2:28 am

Have you tried mothballs in the soil? We’ve used that in Texas for years. Many creatures can’t stand the scent. However, you must be careful if you have pets!

franki March 20, 2019 - 5:05 pm

Central Virginia reporting in…we have trees bursting in bloom everywhere! Daffodils along the roadside seem happy and crocus and hyacinth are blooming as well! Bring on Spring!! franki

Wendi Yates March 20, 2019 - 5:13 pm

Here in Ontario, winter has been long and brutal…every week for at least 5 weeks, there was a major weather event..Polar Vortex which peeled the paint on my back door (metal) – yes, it was THAT cold!, snow, ice, snow and ice…but today the sun is shining and the aconite has appeared…Hope Spring Eternal! My Dahlia tubers are awaiting potting up promising me LOTS of blooms this summer to make up for the winter. I started pruning my pussy willow and brought some branches in to enjoy this first breath of spring…and I promised myself that I too, would pot up the seeds that I bought in a moment of crazed panic that winter would be never-ending!!!

charles Spada March 20, 2019 - 5:41 pm

That lovely Norman soil looks good enough to bake a mud pie! Daffs are peeking up about 3″ in Boston but little else. Soon, Spring starts tomorrow and don’t those sleeping beauties just know it. I miss my home in Normandy more than I can say. Paradise for sure.

Emm March 20, 2019 - 6:01 pm

Sunny in NW NC, spring starts this evening, still chilly at night and often windy. Flowering bulbs and trees hard at work, though. In a few weeks, I’ll have about a day and a half to decide on divisions of hosta plants between the time it first peeks out and when it explodes into a giant ball of Green!

Joanna March 20, 2019 - 6:12 pm

Wow! Beautiful flowers and lovely home! Thank you for the treat!

Jean P March 20, 2019 - 6:17 pm

Love your magnolia. Here in Minnesota we have a variety called Star Magnolia, with fluttery, narrow petals. Mine is just a stick poking out of the snow right now, but I have hope.

Martha Ullmer March 20, 2019 - 6:20 pm

I have crocus blooming here in Ohio, daffodils are a few inches tall. I have about 8 flats of flower seedlings under lights- white lavender, salvia, pinks and annual bluebells.
Thank you for your inspiration- I can’t wait to get outside and clean up the yard.

Cindy March 20, 2019 - 6:22 pm

Here in Southern California we are experiencing a Super bloom of wildflowers everywhere. Poppies, mustard seed, lupine etc etc. so glorious after the drought we have been in past few years. My Baby Boomer daffodils are popping up along with the shady Azaleas..

Dottie Monta March 20, 2019 - 6:35 pm

Left PA as the snowdrops were just starting to bloom. We’ll see what else popped up on our return. Plans? More roses for sure, thanks to your inspiration, Sharon! Your little baby seedlings look promising. Welcome, First Day of Spring!

Dottie Monta March 20, 2019 - 6:42 pm

Left PA as the snowdrops were just starting to make their debut. We’ll see what else popped up on our return. Plans? More roses for sure, thanks to your inspiration, Sharon! Your little baby seedlings look promising. Welcome, First Day of Spring!

Taste of France March 20, 2019 - 7:40 pm

I tried to start seeds last year and was disappointed, especially in the marigolds, which I thought were one of the easiest things to grow. It might be our very clay soil, but I’ve been composting so it’s getting better.
Spring came about a month ago down here. We’ve had an incredible stretch of perfect blue skies and surprisingly warm weather. But it’s still too early to plant things like tomatoes. We have to wait for the ice saints.

Evangeline March 20, 2019 - 8:02 pm

Welcome to Spring! I have the last few container plants of Hyacinth, Paperwhites, large green bowls of Geraniums, one all white and one all red. Stock in all colors. They will thrive beautifully until the very first really hot day, here in Rancho Mirage, Ca. Everyone enjoy this beautiful season…..

Sharon, thank you for sharing. Always love what you send our way!

Barb March 20, 2019 - 8:04 pm

Very inspiring Sharon to start your own seedlings.
Here in Wanaka New Zealand, we are coming into autumn after a very hot summer, we planted a new garden last spring in our new home and the roses, lavendar, sun flowers etc have done brilliantly. Ill be planting spring bulbs any day and I might try my habd at growing seddlings next spring.

Teresa Phillips March 20, 2019 - 8:07 pm

I will be practising no-till in my vegetable garden this year in Canada. As food security is becoming a big issue worldwide I may even dig up some of the flower beds. Who can we count on to feed us healthy food but ourselves? The roses and peonies get to stay. And the hostas, although they might get eaten for dinner!

Rachel Whitehawk March 20, 2019 - 8:24 pm

i so very much enjoy receiving your emails. You’re a bright spot in my week. as a former “american in Paris” who has moved back stateside, I am transported back to France every time I open your email. Many thanks,

Our French Lifestyle March 20, 2019 - 8:58 pm

Isn’t it so exciting walking around the garden at this time of year. Our daffodils are all over now, but the tulips and hyacinths are in flower, the cherry is in full blossom and the wisteria buds are over an inch long. Soon everywhere will be a riot of colour and an abundance of green foliage.

Lorraine Wafer March 20, 2019 - 11:27 pm

Hi from Australia after a long hot summer, autumn is just beginning slowly. Days still warm and nights a little cooler. Lovely sea breezes. Through the summer our garden has been rewarding despite the heat…with a row of hydrangeas still looking beautiful in their autumn tones. Now the row of sasanquas covered in buds are bursting open. I love the petals as they fall and we leave this section unmonitored to enjoy the pink petal carpet over the next few months. They are so generous blooming for about 3 months.

We head to Europe for June July this year and will escape the winter here. Looking forward to seeing beautiful gardens and in particular the roses as we travel.

CINDY GILLESPIE LENA March 21, 2019 - 1:31 am

Happy Spring! I live in Michigan and our lake is beginning to thaw, a few more days and my Labrador, Findley can get in his first swim of 2019. Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden. Anticipation!

Judy Lambert March 21, 2019 - 5:22 am

After saying goodbye to our last home and wonderful garden last September, we are starting anew! I just staked out our new home today and—-crossing my fingers—will start forming our new courtyard patio garden next spring. (Have to keep those adventurous plant nibbling deer out!) I will love drawing and planning out this new space So exciting! And for our first day of spring, we are enjoying lovely weather. The cherry blossoms will be emerging before we know it. Love spring!

Nina Elliott March 21, 2019 - 5:26 am

Dear Sharon,

At the moment our garden here in East Sussex is full of hundreds of daffodils planted over half a
century ago by a previous owner (that is how long we have been here!) Reassuringly consistent they appear every spring without any help from us. Similarly the birds are flying around with nesting materials and singing to each other. Yesterday we saw the first yellow Brimstone butterfly. In another couple of weeks the swallows will have arrived all the way from Africa. Thank goodness nature is oblivious to all the troubles and changes that worry us in today’s world and instead helps to give us a more positive outlook.

Thank you so much for the second edition of your really beautiful magazine. The photographs are superb and every article was of interest to me. I can only imagine all the effort (and fun!) that went into producing it. Your blog lifts the spirits and gives an extra happiness to the day so I subscribed to the magazine as soon as I saw it was available and am delighted I did so. One of the upsides of modern technology!

With my very best wishes.


sari ojala March 21, 2019 - 6:37 am

H Sharon, still have some snow in our Garden in Finland. Next I will Start pruning my apple trees, and clients’ as well. Greenhouse is quite ready for the season and Have bought flower seeds, like tzinnia, foxgloves in 3 colors. Biggest renewal will be in greenhouse, as This season it will have only herbs. Thanks for inspiring posts.

Marilyn McPheron March 21, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Bonjour everyone! Reporting in from Columbus, Ohio, where it is still wintery. There are some crocus peeking through and the magnolia is getting buds. In another couple of weeks, I expect to see the crocus blooming, daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips pushing up and we will plant masses of pansies from the nursery. In our raised gardens beds, we will begin to sow onions, radishes, a variety of greens and peas (which my mum says should have been planted on 3/17!). Before any of this begins through, we need to clear beds of leaves and many twigs and sticks that came down over the winter. I suspect we will need to make an assessment of the trees and perhaps have tree trimmer in to clear away dead branches. It was delightful to read about everyone’s gardening plans!

Nancy March 21, 2019 - 4:23 pm

Oh Sharon, I am an expert at buying seeds also! I am also an expert at losing them….but since the ones I lost were terribly old, I bought new this year. This year an old veggie garden is now a flower garden! I set out bulbs and some seeds in September and October and now my garden is blooming! It’s exciting, I feel like a kid when I go out there. I completely redid the garden, tore out wood raised beds, dumpster dived (with permission) for bricks and used the bricks to make the new beds. I am repainting the garden picket fence the most delicious shade of gray!
Out front two new tree roses were planted, a pink and a red and white stripey one. There are more bulbs that got planted out front also. The bird bath got a solar pump, so now its a fountain! At a thrift store I found the most adorable copper bucket, it is now hanging out front on a shepherds hook, with a pot inside. And….I painted my boxes out front to look like patinaed copper. Lots of changes in our garden, front and back. Spring arrived here on the wings of bluebirds about 6 weeks ago, even the winter didn’t even realize it.

Joanne Day March 22, 2019 - 3:05 am

Dear Sharon,
I laughed at your comment that you buy seeds and never plant them! I do the same – always on the ‘To Do’ list!
A couple of years ago I came across an envelope with some tiny seeds inside that my mother had given me possibly 10 years prior. They were seeds from my dear old Nan’s garden – ‘Love in the Mist’, her favourite.
I planted them just on the off chance that they would grow – and they did! I know enjoy Nan’s ‘Love in the Mist’ in my garden.
Thank you for your lovely Spring post x

Babs Stilley March 22, 2019 - 5:41 am

I plant zinnias by taking a hoe and making a 1/4 inch scratch into the softened soil along my flower bed as big as I want. I sow the zinnia seeds in the shallow line and then cover it back up ever so gently. Within 2-3 days you will see the seedlings! And they grow so fast! I sow these seeds in Kansas City around the 1st part of May and have wonderful, colorful Zinnias all summer long to cut and bring into my home and give to friends!

Victoria Savu March 22, 2019 - 3:33 pm

Still cold here in Ohio but I started planting in my greenhouse and that makes my spirits lift. I planted sweet peas this year and am excited to see how they grow. Happy Spring to all.

Leslie Lord March 22, 2019 - 11:52 pm

I am so excited to hear about the May box theme of blue and white! Such a classic combination and so fresh…our garden is coming to life after the winter slumber. Daffodils, grape hyacinths, flowering currents, magnolias…love the sunshine and milder weather.

Linda Mahkovec March 23, 2019 - 2:03 pm

Really lovely, Sharon. Cold (35) and windy here in NYC. But I’ve spotted a few primroses and daffodils so not much longer.

Jeani Mertens March 25, 2019 - 7:21 pm

Spring is here in North West Florida. The birds are singing up a storm each day! My Amaryllis are blooming, as well as the Azaleas and Camellias!
I plan on planting a Crepe Mrytle tree since our large oak tree was sick. Also a new Bottle Brush tree and more Hydrangeas!!! I love to sit under the oak trees before the hot and humid weather arrives! Your beautiful French Country garden and home always inspire me – Thank you Ms. Sharon!

tracy brown April 6, 2019 - 3:18 pm

Sharon- As much as you enjoy flowers and arranging, I think you would glean inspiration from Kiana Underwood’s Instagram- tulipinadesign. Check her out.

Emeli Smith April 12, 2019 - 11:33 am


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Your blogs are lovely!!

KAY WILSON January 27, 2020 - 4:48 am

Hi Sharon, nice garden. I love gardening. I planted tulips, daffodils, and a flowers called moon flower. I am excited to see the flowers emerge from the ground. I planted a raise bed garden of vegetables. Everything is looking good. Thanks for the lovely blogs.

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