Gardening: Spring Garden Color

Cary, NC – Winter won’t seem to go away this year, but Spring actually started last week. Everyday, the sun lingers a little longer in the sky. Here are a few ideas to add some spring color to your early Spring garden.

Spring Flowers Blooming Now

Most of the flowers shown below are Spring perennials. They can take the cooler soil of early Spring.

Ranunculus

The rose-like blossoms of Ranunculus are a feature in wedding flowers and high-end bouquets. You can add them to your garden in a sunny spot.

Generally, Ranunculus is considered cold hardy in Zones 8-10. Cary is in Zone 7, but if you have a warm, protected spot, these beauties might put on a show for years.

Ranunculus

Cosmos

Cosmos flower freely with daisy petals and electric hues. Usually, they are grown as annuals but some self seed. Great for beds and mass displays of color.

Cosmos

Phlox

Phlox makes a great groundcover and erupts in a cloud of blooms ever spring. It’s an old-timey plant that is great for hillsides. Full to partial sun; low maintenance.

Phlox

Superbells

Superbells are a branded hybrid of Calibrachoa sold by Proven Winners. They have become very popular in garden stores over the last couple of years. Three to four inch bell-shaped flowers produce in abundance until fall. Beautiful as a hanging plant or a low mounding border flower. Easy to grow if you know what it wants – sun, water, fertilizer and good dirt.

Although sold as an annual, I’ve seen them come back for two and three years in my garden. Available in shades of white, yellow, pink and purple.

Superbells

Columbine

Amazing, daffodil-like flowers put on a show through Spring into Summer. The scientific name for Columbine is Aquilegia. A cooler spot in the South is probably best. Under the right conditions, you can expect Columbine to naturalize in your garden for years of Spring flower joy.

Columbine

Gerbera

Gerbera Daisies, also called Transvaal or South African Daisies, produce strong, large (three inch) flowers all summer in a sunny spot. They are also one of the longest lasting cut flowers.

Gerbera

More Early Spring Gardening Tips

Now is a great time to plant cool season vegetables like lettuce, chard and bok choy. You can also plant beans, onions, parsley and chives. I’d wait on tomatoes and peppers for a couple of more weeks.

You can still get Pansies and Violas at the garden store. They’re great for lots of color, now. The frost date is around Sunday, April 15, 2018 and I’d wait until then to plant Summer annual flowers like Marigolds and Petunias.


Story and pictures by Hal Goodtree. The Gardening column is sponsored by Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road in Cary.

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