By: Kena Morris
‘Tis the season that spring is… springing. Now that we’ve gone and mixed cliches, let’s talk about seasonal springtime flowers. They’re one of the best ways to add some color to your garden and attract not just you, but pollinators like butterflies and honey bees. Here are seven flowers perfect for any garden in the spring. Before you begin planting some lovely new additions, be sure to check with your homeowners association to make sure that these flowers are not on your prohibited plants list.
Roses are a classic favorite that starts putting on their show in the spring -- but the blooms last well into the autumn. That means you can enjoy their beauty and scent all season long. Roses are also great for clipping and making your own flower arrangements. You can buy small rose bushes right now and transplant them in your garden, and see flowers this season. Roses are also fairly hardy -- they love the sun -- and grow well in most climate zones across the U.S.
You won’t see pansies come back year after year on their own. That’s because they are annuals, not perennials -- but that also means they are an easy pop of color in your garden. You'll find pansy plants in any stage, from seedlings to full-flowering plants, for sale at your local garden store. Pick your favorites from the purple, white, and yellow blooms and transplant into a garden border or flower bed. Pansies are a low-maintenance springtime favorite and grow well in climate zones 2-9. Learn more about your climate zone on the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s zone map.
Frilly blooms of pinks, purples, and white. That’s the rhododendron, a shrub or small tree with glossy leaves and unforgettable spring flowers. There are a lot of different varieties as well, so you can find one that will thrive in your hardiness zone. You can also find rhododendrons that bloom in lavender, yellow or peach shades. Just make sure you have space for it to grow into, and acidic soil to help it blossom.
Another favorite springtime flower, azaleas are in the rhododendron family, but the leaves and the shrubs are smaller. Good news if you are working with a small space garden. You can find these smaller shrubs in an even smaller dwarf variety. Azaleas are popular in the warmer climate of the South, but you can find hardier varieties that can survive harsh winters.
We’re saving these three gorgeous flowers for last because although they're favorites, and also take more planning than the flowers above. The grape hyacinth looks like a mini hyacinth. It’s about 6 inches tall and has small clusters of purple-blue blossoms that look like grapes. But like it's springtime cohorts, the tulip, and the iris, the grape hyacinth has to be planted in the fall to bloom in the spring. The good news is that if you do plant them, they are hardy little plants -- and will spread, casting a blue mist over your flower beds every spring.
The tulip is one of the first flowers of spring, and it’s a showy bloom that comes in pinks, reds, yellows, white, even purples. This flower actually made world economics history by triggering Dutch tulip mania in the 17th century -- the first asset bubble and market crash. Thank goodness it’s the 21st century, and you have nothing to lose by planting a few tulips. This is another bulb flower that you plant in the fall to reap the benefits in the spring.
The iris’ tall spikes and fluffy blooms are unmistakable, and make an immediate impact in a garden. Choose whichever color you like -- blues, purples, white, yellow, pinks, and reds -- the iris has a rainbow of varieties. You can find the bulbs or rhizomes for sale at your local garden store, but this too is a flower that needs to be planted in the fall, in order to bloom next spring. This elegant plant also has a few meanings -- faith, hope, and wisdom among others -- to make this springtime flower a regular favorite.
This isn't an exhaustive list of the springtime stunners you can plant in your garden. There are hundreds more on the list of flowers that can grace your space all season long. But if you're wondering where to start or you’re paralyzed by too much choice, these seven favorites will help you get your garden off to a colorful start.
Kena Morris is a gardener and flower expert who loves sharing in the growth of nature. She is a gentle spirit and a self-described introvert. You can find her in any nearby botanical garden relishing in the peace and serenity and taking photos of the flowers.