Grow Easy Spring Perennials for Early Color

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Spring Blooming Perennials for the Cottage Garden

Spring is a marvelous time in the garden, after the winter snows melt away the flowers begin bursting into bloom and filling the air with their fragrance. Some perennials won’t begin their show until summer but you can start sooner!

Consider these wonderful spring-blooming perennials if you’re dreaming of a cottage garden brimming with charm and color earlier in the season. I’ll share some of the best-performing perennials that bring such gorgeous color to my Spring garden. They are easy to grow and so tough they virtually care for themselves.

Let’s explore some of the best plants to include in your garden for abundant spring color and easy maintenance.

walkers low junior nepeta in bloom with Ebb Tide Rose beside it. Cottage garden spring blooming perennials

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Just FYI, I have articles on how to grow many of these perennials and they will be linked below each if you decide you want to learn more about them.

Iris

Bearded Irises are known for their stunning, showy flowers that come in a rainbow of colors. These hardy perennials are easy to grow and can thrive in most garden soils. They bloom in late spring and add a touch of elegance to any garden.

How to Grow Iris

Get all the details here.

Nepeta (Catmint)

Nepeta, also known as catmint, is a tough and reliable perennial that produces masses of small, lavender-blue flowers.

It’s a great choice for edging and attracts bees and butterflies to your garden. It blooms from late spring through summer. There are many varieties and they come in a range of sizes so there is one or two that will easily fit in your garden space. Or do like me and start collecting them.

I have recently discovered a white nepeta which I am anxious to try out and see how well it will do in my garden.

Grow Nepeta in Your Garden

Tough, beautiful, and easy to grow!

Hardy Geraniums

Hardy geraniums, or cranesbills, are low-growing perennials (some are not low growing) with delicate, fuschia, white, pink, or purple flowers. They are perfect for ground cover and look beautiful spilling over the edges of paths and borders. They bloom profusely in late spring and can continue on into summer with judicious dead-heading.

Hardy Geraniums: The Resilient Bloomer Perfect for Every Garden

What is so fun is you can easily divide hardy geraniums to pop them into several spots of your garden!

Roses

No cottage garden is complete without roses. These classic flowers come in a variety of forms and colors, and many are highly fragrant. Choose varieties that are disease-resistant and suited to your climate for the best results.

Choosing rose varieties that perform well in your local conditions is what makes them easy to grow so ask around and see what grows well for your neighbors.

Roses are Easy to Grow

they really are!

Verbascum (Mullein)

Verbascum, or mullein, is a striking perennial with tall flower spikes covered in tiny blooms. They come in shades of yellow, white, pink, and purple. Verbascum adds vertical interest to the garden and blooms in late spring.

Wedding Candles verbascum growing in a cottage garden at flower patch farmhouse

Oriental Poppies

Oriental poppies are known for their dramatic, papery flowers in brilliant shades of red, orange, pink, and white. These perennials are easy to grow from seed and provide a bold splash of color in the garden. They bloom in late spring to early summer.

Oriental Poppies, Easy and Budget Friendly!

I have even gotten rebloom from them with dead heading but many times the seed pods are just a lovely in the garden and they will reseed readily creating a drift of them with no effort.

Be careful though, when they first sprout they look suspiciously like a weed and you may pull them out without realizing it.

Foxgloves

Foxgloves are tall, elegant perennials with tubular flowers that come in shades of pink, purple, white, and yellow. They are perfect for the back of the border and create a charming, old-fashioned cottage look. Foxgloves bloom in late spring to early summer. Some may rebloom with deadheading.

Foxgloves, the Cottage Garden Staple!

I even grow them in pots and show you how here!

Clematis

Clematis are versatile climbers that can be trained to grow on trellises, fences, or even through other plants. They produce large, star-shaped flowers or bell-shaped blooms in a variety of colors. Many clematis varieties bloom in late spring.

Simple to Grow with Beautiful Results

Many clematis will bloom later as well so find different varieties with different bloom times to always have some flowering in your garden.

Dianthus

Dianthus, also known as pinks, are low-growing perennials with fringed flowers that have a sweet, spicy fragrance. They come in shades of pink, red, and white. Dianthus blooms in late spring and is perfect for edging and rock gardens.

Sweet Williams are in the Dianthus family and are so easy to grow from seed!

Grow Perfumed Sweet Williams!

Forget-Me-Nots

Forget-me-nots are charming, low-growing perennials with tiny, sky-blue flowers. They are perfect for adding a touch of whimsy to the garden and look lovely in shady spots. Forget-me-nots bloom in late spring.

Some can be considered a bully or even invasive in some areas so please check before planting.

Peonies

Peonies are beloved for their large, lush blooms and delightful fragrance. They come in shades of pink, red, white, and yellow. Peonies are long-lived perennials that bloom in late spring and make excellent cut flowers.

Planting Peonies for Romantic Blooms

Santa Barbara Daisies

Santa Barbara daisies, also known as erigeron or fleabane, are dainty perennials with small, white, daisy-like flowers that age to pink. They are excellent for ground cover and bloom profusely from spring through summer.

They are said to reseed themselves readily but so far mine have not. But maybe that will come in time. Their airy quality adds movement and grace to the front of garden beds.

Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are large shrubs with stunning clusters of bell-shaped flowers in shades of pink, purple, red, and white. They prefer acidic soil and partial shade. Rhododendrons bloom in late spring and early summer.

If you want to visit a gorgeous public garden filled with glorious rhododendrons then check out Mendocino Botanical Gardens around April. They even have a rhododendron festival.

Lupines

Lupines are tall, spiky perennials with dense clusters of pea-like flowers in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white. They add vertical interest to the garden and attract pollinators. Lupines bloom in late spring to early summer.

Grow Gorgeous Lupines

Creeping Phlox

Creeping phlox is a low-growing perennial that forms a carpet of vibrant flowers in shades of pink, purple, white, and blue. It’s perfect for ground cover and looks stunning when draped over walls or planted along borders. Creeping phlox blooms in early to mid-spring.

Gorgeous groundcovers, Creeping Phlox

Valerian (Jupiter’s Beard)

Valerian, also known as Jupiter’s Beard, is a charming perennial with clusters of small, fragrant flowers in shades of pink, red, and white. It’s easy to grow and attracts butterflies to the garden. Valerian blooms in late spring and adds a cottage garden feel to any space.

red jupiters beard aka valerian in the garden with white echinacea

Columbine

Columbine is a delicate perennial with unique, spurred flowers in shades of blue, purple, pink, red, white, and yellow. These airy plants add a touch of whimsy to the garden and bloom in late spring. Columbine is perfect for shaded or partially shaded spots.

related: plant your garden for all season color

With these beautiful spring-blooming perennials, you can create a cottage garden that bursts with color and charm early in the season before the summer blooms appear.

Happy gardening!

Hi, I’m Pamela

I am a 40-year master gardening enthusiast who loves to share the simple tips, tricks, and inspiration I have learned from personal experience.
My goal is to cultivate the love of gardening and help make your gardening life more enjoyable!
a Garden Friend!

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2 Comments

  1. You are most welcome. I need to make a list of the Summer blooming perennials now. Some cross over but most are completely different.

  2. Thank you, Pamela! I loved all the suggestions for Spring blooms. I have some of them but need to add the phlox and Poppies. Hopefully this winter I have success with winter sowing poppies. Up until now I’ve had no success. Going to go on over and watch your garden video you recently posted.
    Many Blessings,
    Jamie

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