Warm Toned Early Spring Flowers

"All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar." — Helen Hayes

Photo credit: Aimee Ryan

In our last newsletter we discussed cool toned perennials that can be added to a garden in early spring. Today we’ll share our favorite warm toned early bloomers, boasting beautiful shades of pink, peach, orange, and plum. 

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First on our list is geum (Geum coccineum), a colorful garden filler that can grow up to 3 feet tall in 1-2 years.



Geum is known for its delicate, hairy foliage and gorgeous cup-like blossoms, in colors ranging from pale blush to deep orange. The flowers are delicate & papery, like a poppy. They tend to be short-lived, but are well worth the few weeks that they bloom. The best part about geum is that it forms nice full foliage in bushels and has lots of flowers, making it an ideal candidate for a spot that needs something larger to fill it up. Geum requires full sun and well draining soil. As this plant is nice and tall, it makes a great backdrop for an early spring garden.   

Next up is Veronica (Veronica spicata), sometimes referred to as “Royal Candlesticks” because of its cylindrical spires. Medium in height, Veronica goes well in the middle tier of a garden.



Each stalk boasts hundreds of tiny little flowers that come in shades of bubblegum pink, rich warm purple, and white. (Note: this perennial also comes in cool tones like deep periwinkle and dark purple!) Veronica is a versatile flower in that it can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. It will do best with at least 6 hours of full sunlight a day, but if you are trying to liven up a more dappled, shady spot in your garden, this is the plant for you. Veronica begins blooming in mid April and can continue all the way into late June, bringing some light to your garden right after the winter months.  

Last, but certainly not least, is Sweet William (Dianthus). 



Sweet William is a small clumped perennial with feathery petals. The blooms come in peach, baby pink, and bubblegum pink with a red center. Sweet William enjoy full sun but can tolerate part shade, and prefer to be in draining soil. It is drought tolerant, meaning it can handle drier soils. You are more likely to overwater it than underwater. This early bloomer kicks off in late April and benefits from deadheading, which helps to extend its blooming period. 

All of the plants mentioned above compliment the cool toned flowers outlined in our last newsletter. When planted together, these cool and warm tones create an early spring dreamscape. We planted a garden last year mixing warm and cool tones and it produced a color effect that reminded us of a sunset. The result is featured below:

Adding pops of stock and vinca annuals in a variety of warm and cool tones help support the lowest layer of the garden and punctuates the color contrast. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this early spring garden is how some flowers stand out in the sun and others shine in the shade. Either way, this botanical masterpiece is something that will really make you look forward to the early days of spring. 

Happy planting!

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