Spring is the season to appreciate lush flora, and flowering perennials are the perfect pick for a particularly spectacular show. Read on for 10 of senior garden editor Todd Carr's favorite perennials, which grow proflically between March and May.
Renowned for its amethyst and cobalt hues and unique petal configuration, columbine is a distinctly simple perennial to grow and maintain. Martha suggests coaxing columbine germination by placing the plant’s seeds in a dampened soil mixture and transferring the amalgamation from a temperate spot to a chillier location like a refrigerator before planting.
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Despite their delicate appearance, peonies are a perennial variety with significant staying power. With adequate sunlight, peonies can blossom bountifully for decades. “Peonies should be transplanted only in the fall when they are dormant,” Carr advises gardeners.
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A rainbow of hues from light lilac to indigo make scabiosa flowers an elegant and easy addition to any garden. “Make sure you purchase the perennial scabiosa -- Scabiosa caucasica,” Carr reminds horticulturalists. “The annual type, Scabiosa atropurpurea, is often sold as a perennial.”
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A number of differing strains make perennial geraniums a decidedly diverse classification of flora -- and a clever choice for fledgling floral cultivators. However, the geranium genus can withstand a range of conditions to yield headily perfumed blooms and ornate leaves.
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Each full-sun perennial possesses its own unique set of care requirements, but Carr reveals that many favor rich, moist, well-draining soil. Beloved by Queen Victoria, the primula, or primrose, in particular prefers damper soil.
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With their bold, jewel-toned blossoms and daintily rippling petals, perennial iris flowers are a singularly striking strain of flora. “Irises do not like to planted too deep,” Carr cautions. “Their rhizomes, or root stalks, should be planted just above the soil line.”
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With their graceful bell silhouettes and orchid hue, foxgloves can transform an ordinary garden into something truly extraordinary. “Foxgloves are a biannual,” Carr relates. “Therefore, foxglove plants purchased that are just foliage will flower the following year.” Carr encourages gardeners to leave the seed heads on foxgloves to let seeds germinate in the garden.
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Many gardeners consider the radiant blossoms of daffodils a picturesque portent of spring, and rightly so. The perennials should be planted several inches under the soil line of a garden plot, and enjoy an abundance of sunshine. “Perennials that form tight clumps and don’t require staking tend to be the easiest to maintain,” Carr states.
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Despite the genus’s reputation for producing pungent edible plants including onions and chives, alliums also offer an array of alluring flowers. With minimal care and sufficient sunshine, alliums serve double duty by providing treats for the tabletop and the chef’s kitchen.
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Also known as grape hyacinths, conical, colorful muscari are choice perennials for a spring-blooming garden. The plant's blooms also happen to create especially arresting arrangements.
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