As winter drifts away, spring emerges and presents the garden with brilliant plants and flowers. Warmth begins to penetrate the garden soils to signal the emergence of many spring flowering bulbs. Grown in every color imaginable, with varying sizes, shapes and textures, spring flowers are a sign of new growth and renewal. Tucked into beds or flanking a garden walkway, spring flowers are a warm, refreshing welcome to the garden.
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is a spring-blooming shrub with a moderate growth rate and medium to fine texture. The upright, pendulous branches of lilac hold the brilliant blooms. Lilac colors include, white, purple, pink, cream and rose. The single or double flowers dress up the garden with their sweet scent. Lilac's heart-shaped leaves are dark green to blue and range from 2 to 5 inches long. Growing 8 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 12 feet wide, lilac shrubs require full sun to part shade and tolerate a wide range of soil varieties, including heavy soil. Plant lilacs in USDA Hardiness Zones 3b to 7.
A popular spring-blooming perennial bulb, tulips (Tulipa spp.) have a moderate growth rate and clumping habit. Growing 6 to 24 inches tall, the erect green stems hold the single, double, fringed, or peony-shaped bloom. Tulip's vessel-like flowerheads grow in a wide range of colors including, red, yellow, white, with some striped and flamed varieties. Their bright colors are invaluable along a flower border or tucked within a perennial bed for vibrancy. Tulips require full or afternoon sun and well-drained soil that is nutrient-rich. Plant in USDA zones 3 to 7.
Grape hyacinth (Muscari paradoxum) is a spring flower with a moderate growth rate and clumping form. The plant, which grows 6 to 12 inches tall, has wide, grape-like flowers that emerge in April and last into May. The blue to purple blossoms form a conical shape and are contrasted with their deep green foliage. The fragrant plants are ideal tucked into a container or along a flowerbed border for a splash of color. They require full sun to part shade and well-drained soil to thrive. Plant in USDA zones 5 to 8.