Whether you like flowers in bouquets, beds, planters or pots, it’s always a treat to expand your gardens with a few flowers and plants you wouldn’t usually try. There’s nothing like experimenting with your garden or flower arrangement, adding colorful blossoms that celebrate the coming of spring and warmth of summer. Here’s a collection of springtime perennial flowers and greenery that will bring the joy of sweet smells and colors to your life after a long winter.

Ranunculus is a popular spring perennial that produces vibrant colored flowers that feature layered, thin petals. These lively, delicate blooms look like miniature peonies. The plant is part of the buttercup family of about 2,000 species. Several of the common flowering plants belonging to the ranunculus family include clematis, anemone, delphinium and columbine. The most popular ranunculus for home gardens is the Persian ranunculus (R. asiaticus).

Another common strain is the Tecolote Giant, which has stems up to 18-inches tall. The blooms feature a variety of colors, such as gold, pink, red, rose, salmon, orange, yellow and white. These are perfect for planters, beds and bouquets for cheery springtime color.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, Ranunculus is very easy to grow in USDA Zone 3. Plant the tubers 3-6 inches deep in full sun and you’ll have blooms from spring to summer.

Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is a perennial plant that belongs to the Lily family. It blooms in late spring with small, white flowers shaped like stars. These small flowering plants are ideal for beds, borders, rock gardens and ground cover in USDA Zone 3. They tolerate dry conditions but need water in the spring. The Star of Bethlehem plants prefer full sunlight in the morning or late afternoon. They grow up to 6-inches tall and add a touch of color to lawns and spring beds.

Alstromeria originated in the Andes. The common names for this plant are Princess Lily, Peruvian Lily and Inca Lily. Alstomeria is an easy to grow perennial plant that blooms from spring through summer in USDA Zone 6. Its purple, yellow, red or white petals brighten up the garden after a harsh winter. It is also ideal as an indoor plant for vases because the flowers have a long life. They don’t require much care and the more stems you pick, the more blooms you’ll have. Alstromeria prefers warm days and cool night temperatures. If the weather is hot, spread mulch around the base of the plant to prolong blooming.

Scabiosa (Scabiosa caucasica), also known as the Pincushion flower is popular in cool areas. It has round, deep blue or white flowers that have a long blooming season. The Butterfly Blue cultivar produces lavender flowers that start blooming in the early summer and have the bonus of attracting butterflies. These plants grow up to 24 inches in USDA Zones 3-7. Pincushion flowers prefer full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil. You can divide the plant every three years for additional blooms in your garden. Pincushion flowers also make attractive cut flowers for bouquets.

Hyacinth (Hyacinthus) grow from bulbs and bloom in early spring with sweet smelling flowers in a rainbow of colors. Nothing says spring like the scent of hyacinths in the garden in USDA Zones 3-9. The flowering spikes are made up of individual, tiny flowers. If you plant the bulbs about 6-inches deep in the fall, you’ll have a multi-colored, sweet-smelling garden in the spring. Hyacinths prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Over 2,000 different cultivars of Garden Hyacinths give you the choice of every color imaginable, such as red, blue, white, yellow, purple, pink and other shades.

Israeli ruscus (Ruscus hypophyllum), also known as Holland ruscus or Butcher’s Broom is a compact, durable perennial plant that prefers warm, humid weather in USDA Zones 8-9. It grows up to 18-inches tall and produces small, white or yellow blooms in the spring. Butcher’s Broom makes a wonderful ground cover, especially under trees where it’s difficult to grow grass. It needs average amounts of water and loves shady areas. You can propagate the plant by dividing the root ball or grow from seeds sown indoors in the winter.

Lily Grass is decorative filler for flower arrangements. You can create romantic bouquets of colorful flowers with long-lasting lily grass for a deep green contrast. Lily grass is a favorite for wedding and anniversary flower arrangements because you can weave the flat blades around the flower stems for a unique effect. Use lily grass with your freshly picked garden flowers for a colorful bouquet on your dining room table.

Experiment with different flowers, colors and greenery, adding excitement and drama to your bouquets and gardens for every season. Perennials add quick color in the spring, sometimes popping right through the snow on the ground You can tell winter’s over when you see small green buds sprouting from the half-frozen soil.

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