Bearded irises are a fragrant and beautiful fixture in the spring garden. They come in a huge range of colors and even in a few cases, variegated foliage. Some rebloom later in the year. They need little care but over time, irises need to be divided so they can continue to flourish.
Prized for its ability to handle dryish soils, basket-of-gold is a low-growing perennial that blooms in early spring. Cutting back after bloom often stimulates rebloom.
Good for Shade
The feathery plumes of astilbe appear in mid to late spring. Flower colors range from white and light pink to rosy pink, red and lavender.
You'll appreciate coral bells (Heuchera sp.) for its flowers in late spring to early summer, but also for its foliage, which varies in texture and color and adds interest to the garden from spring to fall. USDA Zones (3)4 to 8(9), depending on cultivar.
When deadheaded regularly, pincushion flower (Scabiosa sp.) blooms from late spring to early fall and attracts butterflies and bees. USDA Zones 3 to 9.
Months of Bloom
One of the best selections among hardy geraniums, 'Rozanne' flowers from late spring to frost and tolerates heat and humidity. USDA Zones 4 to 8.
Substitute for Lupine
Baptisias produce their upright racemes of pea-like flowers in mid spring. This drought-tolerant perennial often thrives where lupines don't. Colors range from light yellow to white to blue.
Hearts in a Row
Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) blooms in early spring with dangling \"hearts\" lined up in rows on the stems. Foliage turns yellow and dies back in summer. Give this plant well-drained moist soil in the shade. USDA Zones 2 to 9.
Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) is a shade-loving perennial that blooms in midspring. The ferny foliage grows to about three tall. USDA Zones 4 to 9.
Peonies are extremely long-lived perennials.