10 Early Spring Perennials

Spring weather is unpredictable, yet spring flowers are hardy enough to handle it. Get a jump on the growing season with these pretty perennials that are the first to bloom in spring. These flowers are among the earliest blooming flowers and are often native plants well-conditioned to the crazy climate of Connecticut. Your garden can be brimming with spring color even before the last snows of winter fade.

Regardless of your garden style, early spring flowers bring color and warmth to your garden well before the heat of summer kicks in. Many of these flowers are hardy enough to take a little frost, and can be planted outside before the threat of the last frost has faded. Not only do they add beauty as well as the promise of warmer weather, they can also be helpful in attracting pollinators to your yard early in the season. This encourages your landscape to be a regular visit for them.

These early spring flowers will start blooming and give you color in the landscape before spring is even in full swing. When it comes to early spring flowering plants, most people think of bulbs such as daffodil and tulips. While those bulbs do have their place, consider bulbs that bloom even earlier such as Snow Drops, Crocus, Crested Iris, or GrapeHyacinth. Crocus are hardy bulbs that persistently poke through even when there’s snow on the ground. These bulbs come in gorgeous colors

Crocus image courtesy of Dutchbulbs.com

of purple, yellow, blue, pink, orange and white. They’re among the first to bring color to your spring landscape. Crocus are a great bulb because they will naturalize and return to your garden every year.

Many perennial flowers also bloom early in the spring, some even before the early bulbs. These loyal flowers will be the first to appear in your garden each year and include Lenten Rose (Helleborus), Lungwort (Pulmonaria), Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) and Pig Squeak (Bergenia).

One of my favorites is Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabalis). These flowers are like cheery little hearts dangling down the length of each branch. These plants fade in

Bleeding heart photo courtesy of Pride's Corner Farm

summer heat, so it’s best to plan around them and have summer blooming plants that will fill in the void once the bleeding heart starts to turn yellow and forlorn.

Another of my favorites is Primrose (primula vulgaris). I have fond memories of this

plant as a young girl growing up. Every year for Valentine’s Day my dad would give me a primrose in a colorful pot. My mom and I would plant it outside after a few weeks, and before long, we had a garden full of them.

Early spring flowers can really lighten your spirits after a long and dreary winter. Even when we have springs during which the lingering snows of winter have not yet melted, you can still enjoy the beginning of spring if you plan your landscape and plant early spring blooming flowers. These harbingers of spring will remind you that warmer weather is just around the corner.

It’s all in the timing. When planning your garden, mix early spring blooming flowers with those that bloom a little later to avoid bare spots in your garden. Know which flowers die back when the temperature warms up, and plan for perennials that can take the summer heat. Some maintain their foliage and can accent your landscape all season long.

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