With the unseasonably warm weather last week, many ask what plants (if any) can they put outside for Spring color. We are at least an entire month away before putting anything like geraniums, petunias, or herbs and veggies outside. However, there are some cold tolerant items that thrive in cooler weather.
Items like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and pansies do great in the chillier air. As long as they have been hardened off to withstand colder temperatures at night, these flowers can handle temperatures well into the low 30s. Watch out for anything lower in the forecast. You may want to toss a sheet over your plants or bring them indoors for the night if they are in containers.
My favorite plants for the beginning of spring are early blooming perennials. I like to call them inside-out perennials because they can be enjoyed indoors now and planted outdoors in your garden beds later in the season. They will re-bloom year after year. There are so many great perennials to choose from, but my favorites at this time of year are hellebores, ground phlox, heuchera, scabiosa, sweet woodruff, arabis, bellis, irish moss, artemis, iberis and thyme.
I love to mix and match these plants in containers. Small container gardens pack a punch. They add instant color and require a fraction of the maintenance that a larger garden would and they are super easy to create. For example: a blue pansy looks great with purple phlox, a blue hyacinth, and moss for an accent. Place these adorable little gardens on a windowsill, as a centerpiece, or on the front porch. Plant them up in Easter baskets for the perfect holiday decoration. Try adding in little accents like bunnies or Easter eggs for added enjoyment. Your kids will love them!
To create one of these containers yourself, all you need is a container or basket, a few of your favorite cold-tolerant plants, and some good potting soil. Decorative moss and accents can add an extra element of whimsy. Place your container in a well-lit spot and voila! You're ready to enjoy your creation.