After a long cold winter, there is no better sight than an early spring flower. Spring flowers are a great addition to any garden. And the earlier they flower, the better. Spring flowers come in so many colors, shapes, and sizes that it is not hard to find one that suits your preferences. When planning a garden, it is obviously imperative to choose spring flowering plants. However, they are not the only plants to include. Make sure your garden provides flowers all season long. This way, you can have a beautiful garden, no matter the season.
Spring flowers represent rebirth and rejuvenation. It is very fitting, considering they pop out right after the dormancy winter spreads through a garden. If you plan your garden correctly, you can include plants that pop up even when there is a little bit of snow left on the ground. Be the envy of all your neighbors by creating a garden that is the first to bloom in the spring. As an added bonus, several early spring flowering plants make for excellent cut flowers. You can bring the garden inside by choosing the right plant material.
In this article, we discuss:
* Early spring bulbs
* Early spring perennials
* Spring flowering shrubs
Early Spring Bulbs
New bulbs are traditionally planted in the fall so they can bloom in the spring. It is essential to plant them in the fall because they need the cold of winter to produce blooms. Once a bulb is planted correctly, it can continue to bloom every spring. To keep your bulb healthy, wait until their leaves have completely yellowed before cutting them back. Cutting foliage back too early may cause the bulb to die, meaning it cannot flower the next spring.
Crocus – Crocus bulbs are the very first flowers to emerge in the spring. They have been known to come out and show their flowers even when there is still snow on the ground. These cup-shaped flowers are low growers, which make them ideal border plants. Often, crocus bulbs flower in different shades of purple and yellow.
Tulips – Tulips are the most well known of all bulbs. Tulips are absolute showstoppers when planted in masses. They grow between 12″ and 18″ so they should be planted in front of tall shrubs. Tulips are available in just about every shade and color under the sun. Every year new varieties are invented, so the possibilities for garden design are endless.
Early Spring Perennials
Spring perennials are essential to any well-designed garden. Choose perennials that flower in your favorite color in order to really get the most out of your garden. Do some research on the plants you choose. Some perennials can continuously produce flowers throughout the season if they are trimmed back at the correct time. Others only flower once per season, but the flowers are so beautiful that they are worth it anyways.
Dianthus – Dianthus plants, often referred to as pinks, are excellent perennials for the spring. They typically flower in reds, purples, pinks, and whites. Some flowers are even a blend of multiple colors to really add some unique interest in the garden. Pinks have attractive silver-colored foliage. This helps add a different color to the garden, even when they aren’t in bloom.
Hellebore – Hellebores are a unique, often overlooked spring perennial. Their cup-shaped flowers are usually produced in shades of purple and white. Hellebores are difficult to grow and are on the more expensive end of the plant spectrum. If you are game to try and grow this plant, your efforts are rewarded by their spectacular spring show.
Moss Phlox – Also known as creeping phlox, this plant is ideal for border planting. Moss phlox grows quite low to the grow, spreading outwards across the garden. Phlox looks great when they are allowed to grow over rocks and walls. Their white, purple, or pink flowers really stand out when contrasted against the grey colors of the stone.
Spring Flowering Shrubs
Shrubs add height and drama to any garden. Shrubs make for excellent garden plants due to their low maintenance tendencies. Shrubs usually only need to be pruned and trimmed once per year. After that, let them do their own thing, and they are quite happy. Most spring-flowering shrubs should be trimmed right after the flowers fade. Do not prune them in the fall or early spring. If you do, the buds are going to be cut off, and the plant cannot flower.
Forsythia – Forsythias are a very popular spring shrub. Depending on the variety, forsythias can grow as high as 12′ but can also be as short at 5′. This shrub produces vibrant golden flowers in early spring. Before any leaves even emerge, this shrub is covered in flowers. Consider using forsythia stalks in flower bouquets or as a backdrop for spring container arrangements.
Lilacs – Lilacs are another popular spring-flowering shrub. Their blooms are traditionally purple or white. The flowers on this plant are quite fragrant, and the smell can be picked up all throughout the yard. Lilacs come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the variety. Some lilacs grow as full trees, others as umbrella-shaped shrubs. There are miniature versions that grow only 4′ tall and others that grow as small standard trees. Do your research to be sure you are planting the proper plant in the correct space.
Rhododendrons – Rhododendrons originate in mountain regions, so they are tolerant of colder temperatures. Rhodos produce flowers in mostly pinks and purples in the early spring. Depending on your climate, rhododendrons can grow into full trees. In other locations, they may remain as shrubs, growing less than 10′ tall. Rhodos are broadleaf evergreens. This means they hold their broad shaped leaves all winter long, providing visual interest all winter. Interestingly, these plants produce fragrant foliage, which makes them easy to enjoy all growing season.
Including a variety of spring-flowering plants in your garden is an important gardening tip. Come spring, your garden can hit the ground running and be ready for a magnificent growing season.