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Harbingers of Spring

Budding flowers bursting through the freshly thawed soil are glorious omens of spring. Spring flowers can revitalize even the most winter-weary of us when we need it most. While April in Michigan can still bring snowfall, cold-tolerant flowers are hardy enough to start blooming before the last frosts have dissipated.

Home gardeners looking to warm up their gardens with early blooms can use these flowers in their early-season containers, window boxes and plant beds. Let these early-blooming beauties serve as a sure sign that spring is underway.

Pansies
Pansies prefer cool weather, making them one of the best flowers to plant in early spring and late fall. Pansies come in a vibrant, vast array of colors, so there’s bound to be an offering that will make your landscape pop.

Creeping Phlox
Also known “moss phlox,” creeping phlox is a short ground-covering herbaceous perennial. Phlox produce small, fragrant flowers in dense clusters, which can attract wildlife, such as butterflies, to their mats across the soil surface.

Snowdrops
Snowdrops can peek out even when there is snow still on the ground, sometimes as early as January and February. But their name is actually a reference to their appearance, as snowdrops have three white petals that hang down like drops dripping off the stem.

Violets
These flowers are closely related to pansies and prefer cool seasons. Violets are slightly smaller than pansy blooms, but can be just as beautiful. As with pansies, violets will start to fade when the heat arrives.

Crocus
Crocus plants are small, only reaching 3-to-6-inches in height. Their grass-like leaves are some of the first sprouts that can be seen among bulb and corn plantings. Preferring full to partial sun, these gold, purple, lavender, white or yellow flowers are to be relished during the earliest days of spring.

Daffodil
Daffodil bulbs produce cheerful, yellow flowers in early spring. They’re one of the most recognizable flowers thanks to their familiar shape and fragrant aroma.

Lenten Rose
Hellebores, also called the Lenten rose or Christmas rose, can tolerate light frosts. These blooms get their name from the time of year when they bloom, which is typically around the Christian Lenten season. These delightful blossoms come in a variety of shapes, from deep eggplant purple to buttery yellow.

Courtesy of MCC

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