Full-Sun Spring Perennials to Plant for a Gorgeous Garden
Perennials, or plants that return and put on a show year after year, are considered by many to be the superstars of the backyard garden. These come-back friends—peonies being among the most popular—accent and complement the bones of the garden, which typically consists of woody trees and shrubs.
Their vast array of shapes, sizes, and blossoms in every color of the rainbow make these plants a landscaping must-have. What's more, their beauty blends into any garden style—from cottage to xeriscape to Asian Zen—and you'll find a variety of options no matter what kind of sun exposure you have (although we're partial to the sun-loving varieties ahead). When designing a garden, and particularly when incorporating these versatile plants into the mix, remember to choose a variety of different perennials with different flowering periods to ensure a continuous show of blooms throughout the season (and the year, if possible in your zone). You'll also want to make sure you provide plenty of space for perennials to spread because they're constantly growing and don't like being overcrowded, a gardening pitfall which can lead to disease and an unhealthy environment.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, there's no better time to plant perennials than in the spring, since that's when the soil tends to be moist, rather than dry or water-logged. With spring approaching—and gardens beginning to come awake—we understand that gardeners are ready to roll up their sleeves and get their gloves dirty. Luckily, now is the perfect time to think about adding some tried-and-true flowering favorites to your outdoor spaces. Read on to learn about some of our favorite sun-loving perennials, perfect for announcing the fresh new season ahead.
This alpine perennial is at home in rock gardens and nooks and crannies where its politely spreading carpet of foliage trails and softens edges. It's perfect for the novice gardener. Try mixing Arabis with spring-flowering bulbs for an especially lovely show.
This classic and showy plant instantly adds charm and nostalgia to a garden. Its fast growth, lush foliage, and fragrant blooms make peonies a must-add to cutting gardens, as specimens or even planted en masse. Stake as needed to prevent toppling over. Be sure to appreciate them while you can—their display is enchanting, but it's also fleeting.
Blooming in colors from light lilac to indigo, these delicate and elegant flowers are a must for any cut flower or cottage garden. Scabiosa also tolerates drought and draws masses of butterflies.
This un-thirsty perennial boasts compact green mounds that shoot up 6- to 10-inch stems adorned with charming pink pompons. They're perfect when added to a seaside garden, given the job as a border or edging plant, or tucked in between rocks. This tidy plant requires good drainage and blooming is prolonged with deadheading.
Blooming profusely in white or pink, this drought-tolerant, ground-hugging perennial definitely brightens the garden with masses of flowers. On top of being a smart addition to moon gardens and low-water rock gardens, it's also the ideal add to your pollinator garden: The small blooms attract multitudes of bees and butterflies.
Part of the daisy family, these plants are easy to grow and will keep blooming throughout the season. In fact, if you cut back your plants back after the first flush, your erigeron will reward you with more blooms. They're also deer resistant and drought tolerant.
Also known as Veronica, this vertically inclined flower brings container or garden bed interest with its colorful, carefree blooms coming in colors such as blues, reds, pinks and violets. Hummingbirds and other pollinators adore this plant.
Incredibly easy to grow, bursting with flowers and giving more than it takes, hardy perennial geraniums (don't confuse them with the annual type) only require well-drained, fertile soil and to be appreciated. With over 300 species, there is a geranium for every occasion and they are well-suited to most garden situations.
Known affectionately as the Black-Eyed Susan, these yellow flowers have a black center. The perennial thrives in the sun and adds a splash of color to your spring garden.
These bright-hued flowers bloom daily in late spring and early summer. They look lovely placed near outdoor pathways and come in a variety of colors.
Tall Bearded Iris
Growing up to 28 inches tall, these perennials bloom in late spring, and come in a number of colors. As an added bonus, they fare well against deer and other wildlife.
These tall perennials grow best in full sun with shelter from strong winds. While they bloom in the spring, these flowers do not thrive in hot, dry areas—if these blooms can tolerate your zone, their gorgeous electric blue color will add an unexpected pop to your garden. Just be careful if you have pets or small children, as these plants are toxic when ingested to both humans and animals.
Tolerating droughty soil, this pink flower blooms in late spring and grows best in a sunny area with well-drained soil. Deer resistant and non-aggressive, these perennials will add splashes of pink and white to your garden.