17 Spring Blooming Perennials, Evergreens, and Bulbs

There can be a gap in blooming time between the blooms of Tulips and Daffodils, and your common summer perennials, so these are seventeen of my favorite mid-spring bloomers that help bridge the blossom gap in the garden and keep color moving through your yard.  If you need a pop of color to tide you over before it gets warm, try your hand at growing one of these!

 17 Spring Blooming Perennials, Evergreens, and Bulbs

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Spring Tips: Inspecting Perennials For Winter Damage

Old Irish Cottage Spring Tips: Inspecting Perennials For Winter Damage

Winter is over, at least according to the calendar. Whether the snow has stopped in your neighborhood or not is less certain.  No matter where you live, your early Spring garden checklist needs to include inspecting your perennials for winter weather damage.  Snow, ice, and the wind blowing and laying around you yard can cause your garden favorites to shift and uproot themselves.

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A Coleus Container Garden For Partial Shade

img 1561 225x300 A Coleus Container Garden For Partial Shade

Coleus is a colorful annual that is great for brightening up your shady spots. It comes in dozens of different color variations, and it grows to be quite bushy in only a few weeks, so it makes a wonderful pot filler.

Ingredients:

  • One 24 inch pot
  • 2 Coleus Plants of differing varieties
  • 4-5 Blue Star Creeper plants
  • 4 Brown Faced Pansies
  • 2 Pale Spiked Lobelia

This design uses two varieties of Coleus, ‘Splish Splash’ on the right, and ‘Granny Smith’ on the left, to fill in the background of this container. The foreground of the pot is encircled with delicate ‘Blue Star Creeper,’ which is actually a groundcover that does a great job of filling in any open spaces around the edges. The mid-ground of the container is mixed with wide Brown Faced Pansies, and the delicately blooming Pale Spiked Lobelia.

Mixing Annuals and Perennials:

This idea like many others mixes annuals and perennials, which can allow you to change out the spent annuals seasonally to add fresh and relevant plants to your display every couple of months. Changing just a few flowers with the season can lend you a bit of continuity in your designs while giving you the option of adding fresh colors and textures cheaply depending on what is available in small sizes at your local nursery or grocery store. The Coleus, and Pansies in this pot are annuals, and will not return for you after the fall season – although the Pansies often self seed, and plant themselves in new spots. The the Lobelia is actually a North American native perennial, and will come back for you repeatedly, as will the Blue Star ‘Laurentia,’ which is not native.

Be sure to plant your flowers in a layer of compost or leaf mold, or add a time release fertilizer like  Ozmocote to guarantee fast growth, and lots of healthy blooms.

Container Garden Ideas: Funky Perennial (#001)

img 0177 225x300 Container Garden Ideas: Funky Perennial (#001)I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy the flexibility of container gardening! Unlike established garden beds, containers can be changed seasonally or even more frequently just to suite the mood! I like the ‘play room’ containers give me to try out new plants, such as those I get occassionally as gifts from friends and family. Sometimes I use my personal pots as holding tanks for new plants undergoing a trial period – until they either prove their worth as a pot plant, or inspire me with a new bed layout that includes them. This month I have a cluster of Bachelor Buttons awaiting a verdict. Unfortunately for them, I designed some summer pots without them (at least for now), and set out renovating two large patio pots.

Around porches, I tend to use larger pots because they have a lot more space for designing and visually help bridge together in-ground plantings with taller trees and shrubs. Today I wanted to add a splash of color and texture to two pots near my door – so I planned out a perennial garden pot that should provide lasting color from late Spring through early Fall. Here’s what I did:

Funky Perennial Pot Idea:

I began with a very large pot capable of holding 3.5 cubic feet of soil, with a diameter of about 24 inches. I had two left over clumps of English Ivy in each of the pots that I decided to work with, but for my new design, I clumped them together for continuity, leaving room on another side of the pot for other trailing vines or ground covers.

My shopping list for these two pots includes:

My goal for this pot was to really show off the shapes and textures of some of my favorite perennials, so I mixed draping plants with the mounding and upright ones. I chose the Ivy, and the Nettle to add clumps of low-growing, draping color over the sides of the pots. The tiny purple flowers on the Nettle also attract bees and butterflies, while the multi-colored leaves of both plants look great, and brighten the edges of the pot. The Dwarf Cypress is a mounding plant that I love using, since it adds beautiful yellow color and movement wherever you plant it. Not only do I like its evergreen color, but I love that it doesn’t leave you with the scratchy growth that other evergreen ground covers do. Pruning it, or collecting cut flowers around it is never an unpleasant task, and it smells pleasantly year round.

I chose the red Lily because it is a great bloomer, and a great addition to the mid-ground of the pot. With dark green foliage to compliment the other plants, and a firm upright growth pattern, this plant will lend the pot some structure. Tickseed Coreopsis is another great mid-ground bloomer that can send out heaps of yellow blooms for five or more months straight, depending on your climate. Both the Lily and the Coreopsis also attract large amounts of pollinators to your pot, and add a height of about one foot to the design.

The centerpiece of this pot is the Purple Coneflower – my all time favorite flower. This plant will rapidly fill in the center of your pot with tall flowers up to 2 or 3 feet, and it is such a hardy native plant that it’s hard to kill if you are the forgetful type, and miss watering it. This flower will bloom from mid-Summer to frost, and attract all kinds of wildlife.

Your thoughts: Do you have a favorite perennial plant you find yourself sneaking into many of your garden spaces? What successes have you had mixing together some unusual plants?