Create a fragrant and colorful centerpiece with fresh lime slices and blooming perennials. The trick to keeping the lime slices upright is to use two vases of varying sizes, fitting one inside of the other and filling in the space with 1/4-inch-thick lime slices. The luscious fruit and floral scents will last for two-to-three days.
While plants infuse an outdoor space with texture, shape and a lush layer of green, fresh-cut flowers add a punchy pop of color. During mild seasons, add a burst of life to your tabletop surfaces with fresh-cut floral arrangements. By cutting the stems at an angle under running water every other day and changing out the water daily, you can extend the life of the flowers by one to two weeks.
Vibrant spring flowers become the star of the show when displayed in handmade vases for Mom. Pick up a ready-made bouquet from the local flower market, or form your own arrangement to add a splash of color to the table.
Why we love it: Dark leaves provide consistent season-long color in planting beds. Cut stems of this shrub are terrific in bouquets. Pretty spring flowers open in pink shades. Look for different sizes of dark-leaf ninebark, including dwarf and miniature versions.
Add an evergreen shrub that also brings a burst of fragrance with its pretty pink blooms. Spring flowering is the heaviest, but blossoms continue to form through summer and early fall. Compact plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 6-9. Botanical name: Daphne x transatlantica ‘BLAFRA’
Once known as false forget-me-nots, brunnera are shade-loving plants with blue flowers like this variety, 'Henry's Eyes'. These perennials open in early spring and make great companions for hostas, pink and white bleeding hearts, early tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs. Grow your plants in fertile, moist soil, and don't let them dry out.
Korean spice viburnum is beloved for its wonderful fragrance that can perfume an entire yard in mid-spring. Flower clusters start with pink buds that open to reveal white blossoms. Korean spice viburnum also has good fall color with red leaves and is deer resistant. Spice Baby viburnum is a tidy size that suits even the smallest yard, growing 42 to 60 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
Cheerful daffodils are classic spring flowers. For a natural look, toss them around your yard or landscape and plant them where they fall. Choose big, healthy bulbs and plant them 6" deep about 2 to 4 weeks before your ground freezes. They need sun to part sun and will come back year after year; they're hardy in USDA zones 3-8. 'Sunshine Boys,' pictured here, is a blend of early-blooming daffodils.
Spice Girl viburnum is a selection of Korean spice viburnum, which is beloved for its wonderful fragrance that can perfume an entire yard in mid-spring. Flower clusters start with pink buds that open to reveal white blossoms. Spice Girl viburnum dazzles with bright red fall color and is deer resistant. Give it a spot in light shade to full sun. Spice Girl viburnum grows 6 to 7 feet tall and 7 to 8 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
Meet a dogwood that blends disease resistance with small stature (no pruning required!). Venus dogwood is the result of a cross between Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) and Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa). The resulting beauty features 6-inch-wide spring flowers, red berry-like fruits in autumn and red fall color. Birds flock to this dogwood to gobble the fruit, making it a must-have in a wildlife or bird garden. Size: Up to 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
Most cooks value fresh garlic, and many a gardener also enjoys its large spring Allium flowers. The ones that grow best locally are often shared between gardeners, who plant individual cloves in the fall and harvest and dry the bulbs the following spring.
If you’re having trouble finding true-blue flowers for your garden, look for muscari, or grape hyacinths. Hardy in zones 4-8, these little bulbs, which are available in white and various shades of blue and purple, like full sun and soil that drains easily. They mix beautifully with other spring-blooming flowers, such as daffodils and tulips. Plant them in the fall, 2-3” deep, spacing them every 3-4”.