When you are designing a perennial flower garden or landscaping make sure that you have something that is blooming at all times. Each of the seasons has specific plants and species that do better than others to produce bright brilliant colors and foliage. Think of this as watching a fireworks show; the best shows are those with continuous pops and colors. The ones that you are most likely to forget are the fireworks shows that have large gaps or time between each part of the show. This is much like a year round garden. The time between blooms leaves the flower garden less than desirable or attractive during down times.
With that said, we move to listing some of the most popular flowering perennials that bloom in the Spring. Your climate zone will help to determine when these beautiful perennials will flower. Some of the best fragranced perennials come alive in the
Spring and if they are done correctly the plants will be a treat for the nose as well.
The following plants are my top 10 picks that can be grown outdoors without protection and are excellent for cutting:
Bearded Irises are a fragrant and beautiful fixture in the spring garden. They come in a huge range of colors and with different foliage. Some species of the bearded Irises re-bloom later in the year as well. Irises need little care but over time and will need to be divided so they can continue to flourish.
Scabiosa (Pincushion flower)
This is a beautiful flowering perennial that when deadheaded (cut back) will bloom consistently from late spring to early fall and attracts butterflies and bees. Due to the pincushions versatility with dry to moist soil it is a growers’ favorite. The foliage is neat, forming a low mound of decorative leaves. It should be divided in spring every few years to rejuvenate the plant.
How can you have a perennial flower garden without tulips? There are actually 109 species of tulips making this one of the most widely grown Spring perennials. While not known for their fragrance, they are known for their variety of colors and showy flowers. They are typically one of the main signs that tell a novice Spring is here. Tulips are great as cut flowers and although they flower for only a few weeks they really make a garden or landscape pop with color to welcome in the Spring.
There are about 30 different species of crocuses that are raised commercially. The giant Dutch Crocus is the most popular with large beautiful plumes of color produced in mid-Spring. Crocus, like tulips are available in many colors and sizes so when you are designing your Spring garden just make sure to pick the right plants with the right colors for your garden. Also, even through they are all the same species; Crocus can bloom up to 2 weeks apart.
Muscari is one of the hardiest bulb perennials around. They reproduce on a consistent level and provide a beautiful ground covering for any Spring perennial garden. They also come in about 30 varieties but the most common is Muscari armeniacum or grape Hyacinths. The bright blue flower looks like clusters of upside down grapes. Due to the dense growth this is a favorite for ground cover. The Muscari species grows around trees, shrubs, and other spring flowers creating a sea of blue effect. Muscari is also a fragrant flower, which also helps draw attention to your garden.
The Spanish Bluebells produce a beautiful blue, bell shaped flower, which grows and multiplies easily. The Bluebells grow in sun or shade and can also grow in any soil type. They are also well known for growing in locations where homeowners can not grow grass. The flower stands between 10-18 inches and are a violet – blue color, pink, or white color.
There are a number of different types of daffodils in the market today but the most appealing to this writer is the Trumpet daffodil. They have are exceptionally long stemmed adding height dimension and layers to your Spring perennial garden The petals are also longer making a more dramatic appearance. Daffodils also bloom for longer periods of time than other Spring perennials, such as tulips and are recommended to be planted in bunches.
Anemone (Grecian Windflower)
There are a number different anemones but our favorite is the Grecian Windflower. They bloom in a beautiful pink, mauve, blue and fuchsia array of colors. They are low to the ground flowering perennials (2-4 inches tall) and tend to bloom for a long period of time 4-6 weeks.
Galanthus Nivalis (Garden Snowdrop)
Out of the 75 species of snowdrops, that are all white in color, this is our favorite. It is the earliest flowering Sprig perennial in our selection and is known for peaking through snow to bloom in the Northern regions. In the South, snowdrops can actually bloom through Winter. The flower and plants are small and should be planted in clusters and abundance to be noticed. Snowdrops also look great against a backdrop of rocks or in a rock garden.
For that shady spot, you can’t go wrong with holly ferns. Their evergreen fronds always look good and they mix well with other shade lovers, without taking over. They can be planted close and massed as a groundcover, or used as accent plants where soil is rich and well drained. What this adds to a perennial garden is stable color and depth.
Samantha Michaels is an avid gardener and freelance writer.