After a long, cold winter, many gardeners don't have the patience to wait until summer for fresh, fragrant blooms. Gardening with plants that flower in the early spring is a rewarding way to welcome longer days and warmer nights. There are many lovely plants that can help bring in a much-needed burst of color to the garden.
The pagoda flower (Erythronium) is a low-growing evergreen shrub that produces clusters of distinct red or scarlet flowers in the late winter or early spring. The plant has attractive foliage, with large tropical-looking leaves in a soft green color. Native to Southeast Asia, the tropical plant requires a warm tropical or subtropical climate. Full sun is ideal, but the plant can also grow in a warm partial shade. A light soil that's rich in humus is ideal for the pagoda flower.
Ghost flower (Mohavea confertiflora) is a desert plant that can be found growing wild throughout the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of California, as well as throughout the Southwest. The plant produces almost translucent white flowers with deep crimson centers in early spring. A member of the Figwort family, ghost flower is a high-growing annual plant with long, silver-green leaves. A plant suited to an arid desert climate, ghost flowers require sandy, well-drained soil and full sunlight.
Grape hyacinth (Muscari) is an early spring flowering plant that produces bulbous purple, blue, pinkish-white or lilac flowers. There are about 40 species of this low-growing plant, which grows best in cool or temperate climates. Gardeners growing grape hyacinth in cooler climates should strive to give the plant full sun, while gardeners further South should aim for partial shade to protect the plant in late spring and summer. Grape hyacinth grows best in well-drained soil.