Spring blooms signal the arrival of warmer weather and dot the green landscape with pops of color. Many April and May flowers are crucial for early pollinators. Those who enjoy bird song and first sightings of hummingbirds and butterflies will appreciate landscaping with spring blooms in mind.
One of the best loved native prairie plants by pollinators and people alike, Prairie Smoke produces nodding deep rosy pink flowers from mid spring to early summer. The unusual seed heads have the look of tinged silvery smoke. Plant in average soil, full sun to part shade, for growth of 6”-12” H by 6”-12” W as a deer resistant groundcover or unique evergreen rock garden.
Clumps of heart-shaped flowers gracefully arch along the stems of the Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart from late spring to early summer. Plant this deer and rabbit resistant perennial in part shade to full shade in moist, well drained soil for growth of 3’-4’ H by 3’-4’ W. The bushy foliage dies down in summer and can be cut back. Consider surrounding with Myosotis and Corydalis to fill in the space.
Vinca minor ‘Bowles’ Variety’
With a spreading habit, glossy green leaves, and long-blooming dark blue flowers, Vinca looks beautiful when interplanted with daffodils in the sun. In the shade of trees, this groundcover delights your imagination as a fairy garden wonderland. Plant in average soil in full sun to full shade. Grows 3”-6” H by 2’-3’ W.
Rhododendron x ‘Karen’
The 2” flowers are lavender-pink. This deciduous Azalea retains most of its leaves through winter. Select a site that is protected from winter winds and amend the soil to lower the pH and improve drainage. Slow to medium growth rate in average, well drained soil, full sun to part shade. Grows 2’-3’ H by 3’-4’ W.
Fothergilla major ‘Blue Shadow’
Ivory white, honey scented flowers bloom in feather-like filaments at the ends of the branches mid spring before the display of large, dusty blue leaves. Fall foliage boasts shades of red, orange, and yellow. Plant in average soil, full sun to part shade for slow to medium growth up to 4’-5’ H by 4’-5’ W.
Viburnum x lantana ‘Emerald Triumph’
Showy, white flat-topped 2”-3” flower clusters in May produce red fruit that turn black in late summer. Dark, leathery blue-green foliage has a bold, ornamental coarseness. Maroon fall color lasts for 3-4 weeks. Fruit set will be heavier if planted in groupings or near another Viburnum. Medium growth rate in average, well drained soil. Grows 6′-8′ H by 6′-8′ W.