Many of us are itching for spring at this point and can't wait to get a jump on gardening season.
I'm anxious to get planting, without a doubt. But I know our last frost is a long way off. Typically in my Zone 5A garden the last frost date is somewhere around Mothers' Day.
That's like....a million weeks away!
But that doesn't mean I wait until then to start planting - it just means I have to be smart about what I put out in those first containers. The plants I select need to be able to take a light frost - if we have a heavier frost coming I may throw a blanket or garbage bag over the pot. Worst case scenario I can move them into the shed if we get a spell of awful weather.
Hey, it happens - we've had snow in May up here!
Here are my go-to plants for those early spring container gardens:
Without a doubt, pansies are my number one go-to flower for my early spring containers. They have the happiest little colorful faces and brighten up those early days of spring. They can take a light frost without any adverse effects and in my mountain top garden they will actually keep going all summer long. they come in a variety of colors but I am usually partial to purple and yellow - to me that combinations just screams SPRING!
Very similar to Pansies but with a smaller head, Violas have all the same wonderful attributes as Pansies and earn a spot in my garden every spring. I have a few that I'm trying to overwinter in my garden cottage....fingers crossed they survived so I can get a jump start on spring this year.
3. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet Alyssum is incredibly easy to grow from seed if you wish but are also readily available at any garden center in the spring. These tiny flowers are also frost tolerant and have the added bonus of a lovely sweet scent, as the name implies. I love to include the white version to balance out all the colors I use - white gives the eye a place to rest and also makes the other colors really pop!
I told you about my love for Stock in this post - this flower belongs in your spring plantings not as much for the flower itself but for the heavenly scent - I just can't get enough of it! Stock releases it's scent in the evening so you should include it in a planter that is near a patio door or seating area where you will enjoy it on a lovely spring and early summer evening.
5. Creeping Jenny "Goldilocks"
Creeping Jenny "Goldilocks" is absolutely my go-to for the 'spiller' in all my container gardens and for very good reason - it comes back every year.
At the end of the season I can put a pot in the shed or garage with some Creeping Jenny in it, completely neglect it for the winter, and then put the pot out in the garden when the first nice days come along. A couple of weeks later? A lovely full pot of Creeping Jenny, ready to split among my other pots!
This plant also propagates so easily - if you just cut a small piece off and stick it in moist soil more often than not it will root within a few days. I love some of the other 'spillers' such as Sweet Potato Vine and Vinca Vine but this one just wins me over. It's easy, it saves me money, and I love the chartreuse color against the other colors in my containers.
Perhaps those of you that aren't true gardeners just yet might try your hand at some of these simple favorites....you never know, you might get hooked!
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