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Spring Flowers in my Southern Garden

Updated on December 28, 2015

Bulbs and Blossoms That Emerge in Spring

Who can resist the exuberant explosion of color that we know as spring? It starts off slow and gradually picks up speed as the sun unleashes a contagious riot of color. It's a real joy to step outside and marvel at all the little shoots that seem to pop out of the ground over night. But these little spots of green are gradually upstaged by the showstopping blooms that rule the season. Here's a look at the fantastic flowers that usher in the spring and make my garden come alive.

*Note: All photos featured in this lens were taken by me.

March Blooms - Red Buds

Redbud Blooms Cercis candensis
Redbud Blooms Cercis candensis

Red bud trees (Cercis Canadensis) are the king of spring flowers. These trees buzz with bees and the flowers have such a distinctive purple/pink color.


Johnny Jump-ups
Johnny Jump-ups

Pansies and johnny-jump-ups are charming early bloomers that come in all sizes and colors.

Daffodils and Hyacinths

Thalia Tete-a-Tete
Thalia Tete-a-Tete

Here in Tennessee, daffodils pop out in late winter and early spring, and they're great for planting in and around lawns where the foliage can be mowed after it withers. This one is called "Thalia" it's a soft paper white that sometimes produces double tete-a-tete style blooms.

Dutch hyacinth
Dutch hyacinth

Hyacinths are superb, highly fragrant bloomers that return year after year. They're easy to maintain and a joy to look at.

Tulip Happy Generation

Tulips are a classic spring flower. Unfortunately, hybrids don't fare well in our warm southern weather. Consider planting species tulips instead.

Tulip 'Happy Generation'
Tulip 'Happy Generation'
Spring Bulbs: Daffodils, Tulips and Hyacinths
Spring Bulbs: Daffodils, Tulips and Hyacinths
Read up on these spring favorites that come back year after year.

April Blooms - Iris Queen of May

Tall Bearded Iris 'Queen of May'
Tall Bearded Iris 'Queen of May'

Queen of May is a stunning old-fashioned bearded iris developed in the mid 1800s, and it still has a ton of charm and appeal. In my climate, it generally blooms in mid-April, but it all depends on conditions.

Snowball Bush

A Southern Standard

Snowball bush is a staple that you'll see in gardens all across the south. It's actually a type of viburnum, although I mistook it for an oakleaf hydrangea for the longest time. The blooms start off with a psychedelic green color before transforming into pouffy white round pom poms that really do look like snowballs.

Snowball Bush
Snowball Bush


A Super Groundcover

Ajuga or bugleweed is a versatile groundcover that spreads on its own and produces beautiful spikes of dark blue flowers that the bees just love.

Ajuga in Bloom
Ajuga in Bloom

Here it's pictured along with a mophead hydrangea. Blooms faithfully in April.

Mophead Hydrangea and Ajuga
Mophead Hydrangea and Ajuga


Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis
Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis

Wild columbine is an early bloomer that re-seeds freely. Its red and yellow flowers are charming and it thrives in partial shade.

Rocky Mountain Columbine
Rocky Mountain Columbine

I've always been a fan of columbines, and this Rocky Mountain variety is one of my favorites. It's a bit more tender than the wild columbines, but it's flowers and buds are so beautiful. Columbines are easy to grow by seed. Look for the McKenna mix, which has a great assortment of colors.

Spring Flowers in May - California Poppy

California Poppy Eschscholzia californica
California Poppy Eschscholzia californica

California poppies are great flowers, their orangey yellow color is mesmerizing and the petals have such a graceful shape and texture. Easy to grow by seed. Flowers in April and May.

Grow Spring Flowers By Seed

I am a self-described seed-o-holic. Many of the plants in my garden have been grow by seeds. Nigella, columbines, poppies and California poppies are easy to grow and the flowers are especially rewarding. They can be planted in late winter and will flower the same year! Here are a few of my favorite spring flowers to grow by seed.


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