As winter melts away and spring springs forth, the time has come to prepare your garden for a beautiful and bountiful summer.
This is the perfect moment to plant a variety of flowers that will not only add aesthetic appeal but also contribute to a thriving and diverse ecosystem.
In this comprehensive article, we delve into seven exquisite flowers that are perfect for planting in March, ensuring a vibrant and delightful summer garden.
So, grab your gardening gloves, dig out your trusty trowel, and get ready to transform your outdoor space into a floral paradise.
1. Delightful Daffodils: The Quintessential Spring Bloomers
When it comes to flowers that herald the arrival of spring, daffodils hold a special place in the hearts of gardeners everywhere.
These cheerful, trumpet-shaped flowers come in a variety of colors, including classic yellow, white, orange, and even pink. Daffodils are known for their hardiness and resilience, making them an ideal choice for novice gardeners as well as seasoned professionals. Planting daffodils in March will ensure a stunning display of blooms throughout the spring and early summer months.
- Narcissus ‘Tête-à-Tête’: A miniature daffodil variety with vibrant yellow blooms, perfect for containers or borders.
- Narcissus ‘Mount Hood’: Boasting large, pure white flowers, this variety adds an air of elegance to any garden.
- Narcissus ‘Pheasant’s Eye’: Featuring white petals and a striking red-rimmed, yellow cup, this variety is particularly fragrant and late-blooming.
When planting daffodils, be sure to choose a location with well-draining soil and ample sunlight. Remember to plant the bulbs with the pointed end facing upwards and space them approximately 3-6 inches apart. Additionally, incorporating compost or other organic matter into the soil will provide the nutrients necessary for healthy, vibrant blooms.
2. Tulips: A Colorful Array of Options for Your Garden
Tulips are another classic spring-blooming flower that offers an incredible range of colors, shapes, and sizes to suit any garden design.
- Single Early Tulips: With their simple, cup-shaped blooms, these tulips are among the first to flower in the spring. Plant them in March for an early burst of color in your garden.
- Double Late Tulips: Also known as peony-flowered tulips, these varieties boast large, full blooms that resemble peonies. Their late blooming period, which extends into May, ensures that your garden will be filled with color well into the summer months.
- Parrot Tulips: With their ruffled, feathery petals and vibrant colors, parrot tulips are a truly unique and eye-catching addition to any garden. They typically bloom in late spring, adding interest and variety to your flower beds.
- Species Tulips: These wild, naturally occurring tulip varieties are often smaller and more delicate than their cultivated counterparts, but they are an excellent choice for naturalistic or rock gardens. Species tulips often have a more extended bloom period, providing a continuous display of color from spring into early summer.
To successfully grow tulips, plant the bulbs in well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade. Space the bulbs about 4-6 inches apart and ensure that they are planted with the pointed end facing up. Like daffodils, incorporating organic matter into the soil can help promote healthy, vibrant blooms.
3. Primroses: The Charming Perennials for Shady Spots
If your garden has shady areas, consider planting the enchanting primrose to brighten up those spaces.
Primroses are herbaceous perennials that produce clusters of delicate, cup-shaped flowers in a wide range of colors, including yellow, white, pink, red, blue, and purple. These charming plants thrive in partial to full shade and prefer moist, well-draining soil. Planting primroses in March will ensure that your garden is filled with delightful blooms throughout the summer season.
There are several different species and cultivars of primrose available,each with its own unique characteristics and charm:
- Primula vulgaris: Also known as the common primrose, this species features pale yellow flowers with a sweet fragrance. It is native to Europe and is often found in woodlands, meadows, and hedgerows.
- Primula veris: Commonly known as cowslip, this species bears clusters of small, bell-shaped flowers in shades of yellow. It is also native to Europe and is frequently found in grasslands and open woodlands.
- Primula japonica: Native to Japan, this species is characterized by its tiered clusters of flowers in shades of pink, red, and white. It is well-suited to damp, shady areas of the garden, such as near ponds or streams.
- Primula auricula: Often referred to as auricula primroses, these unique plants are known for their striking, velvety leaves and vibrant flowers in a wide range of colors. They are ideally suited for rock gardens and container displays.
When planting primroses, be sure to select a location with well-draining soil and the appropriate amount of shade. Space the plants about 8-12 inches apart and water them regularly to maintain moist, but not waterlogged, soil conditions. Regularly removing spent flowers will encourage continued blooming throughout the season.
4. Pansies: The Versatile and Vibrant Cool-Season Annuals
For a splash of color in your garden during the cooler months of spring and early summer, pansies are an excellent choice.
These versatile annuals are available in a wide variety of colors, including shades of purple, blue, yellow, orange, red, and white. Pansies are known for their distinctive “faces,” created by contrasting color patterns on their petals. Planting pansies in March will provide your garden with a bright and cheerful display of blooms that can last well into the summer months, depending on the climate and growing conditions.
Some popular pansy varieties to consider for your garden include:
- ‘Matrix’ Series Pansies: These compact, sturdy plants produce large, vibrant flowers in a wide range of colors. They are an excellent choice for borders, containers, and mass plantings.
- ‘Cool Wave’ Series Pansies: Known for their trailing habit and exceptional cold tolerance, these pansies are ideal for hanging baskets and window boxes.
- ‘Freefall’ Series Pansies: With their unique, semi-trailing growth habit, these pansies are perfect for creating a colorful, cascading display in containers or along garden edges.
Pansies prefer cool temperatures and will thrive in full sun to partial shade. Plant them in well-draining, fertile soil, and space them approximately 6-8 inches apart. Regular watering and the application of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer will ensure a continuous display of vibrant blooms.
5. Anemones: The Elegant and Graceful Spring-Blooming Perennials
For a touch of elegance and grace in your garden, consider planting anemones this March.
Anemones are perennials that produce delicate, cup-shaped flowers in shades of white, pink, red, and purple. They are often referred to as windflowers due to their slender, swaying stems and the way their blooms seem to dance in the breeze. Anemones can be planted in March for a dazzling display of blooms from spring through early summer.
There are several types of anemones suitable for different garden settings and growing conditions:
- Anemone blanda: Also known as Grecian windflower, this low-growing species produces daisy-like flowers in shades of blue, pink, and white. It is ideal for rock gardens, woodland settings, or as a ground cover.
- Anemone coronaria: Commonly called poppy anemone, this species boasts large, showy flowers in vibrant shades of red, purple, and white. It is well-suited for borders, containers, and cut flower gardens.
- Anemone nemorosa: Known as wood anemone, this native European species features delicate white flowers and is perfect for naturalizing in woodland settings or shaded areas of the garden.
Anemones prefer well-draining soil and can tolerate a range of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade. When planting anemones, space them about 6-8 inches apart and ensure that they are planted at the correct depth for the specific variety. Adding organic matter to the soil, such as compost or well-rotted manure, will help to promote healthy, vigorous growth.
6. Camellias: The Evergreen Shrubs with Showy, Long-Lasting Blooms
For a stunning display of large, showy flowers on an evergreen shrub, consider planting camellias in your garden this March.
Camellias are native to eastern and southern Asia and are known for their glossy, dark green leaves and exquisite flowers, which can range in color from pure white to deep red. The blooms can be single, semi-double, or double, depending on the variety, and they often have a delightful fragrance. Planting camellias in March will provide your garden with a striking focal point and an extended bloom season, from late winter through early summer, depending on the cultivar.
Some popular camellia varieties to consider for your garden include:
- Camellia japonica: This species is the most widely grown camellia, with numerous cultivars offering a vast array of flower forms and colors. It is hardy to USDA Zone 7 and prefers partial shade and acidic, well-draining soil.
- Camellia sasanqua: Often referred to as the autumn-blooming camellia, this species features smaller flowers and leaves than C. japonica but boasts a longer bloom season, from fall into early winter. It is also hardy to USDA Zone 7 and thrives in partial shade and acidic, well-draining soil.
- Camellia reticulata: Known for its exceptionally large, showy flowers, this species is less cold hardy than C. japonica and C. sasanqua, with most cultivars suitable for USDA Zones 8 and above. It requires similar growing conditions, with partial shade and acidic, well-draining soil.
When planting camellias, be sure to choose a location that provides protection from strong winds and direct afternoon sunlight. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and slightly less deep, allowing the top of the root ball to sit slightly above the surrounding soil level. Backfill with a mix of native soil and organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, and water thoroughly to establish the plant. Regular watering and the application of an acid-forming fertilizer will promote healthy growth and abundant blooms.
7. Hellebores: The Hardy Perennials with Winter-Defying Blooms
For a touch of beauty and resilience in your garden, plant hellebores this March.
Hellebores, also known as Lenten roses or Christmas roses, are hardy, herbaceous perennials that produce nodding, cup-shaped flowers in shades of white, green, pink, purple, and even near-black. Their unique ability to bloom during the coldest months of the year has made them a favorite among gardeners seeking winter interest and early spring color. Planting hellebores in March ensures a stunning display of winter-defying blooms that can last well into the summer months.
Some popular hellebore varieties to consider for your garden include:
- Helleborus niger: Known as the Christmas rose, this species produces pure white flowers that can begin blooming in late winter, often pushing through snow. It prefers partial to full shade and well-draining, humus-rich soil.
- Helleborus orientalis: Commonly called the Lenten rose, this species offers a more extensive range of flower colors, including pink, purple, and greenish-white. It also thrives in partial to full shade and well-draining, humus-rich soil.
- Helleborus x hybridus: This group of hellebore hybrids, derived from H. orientalis, boasts an even greater variety of flower colors and forms, including speckled and double-flowered varieties. The growing conditions are similar to those of the parent species, with partial to full shade and well-draining, humus-rich soil.
When planting hellebores, choose alocation with well-draining soil and the appropriate amount of shade for the specific variety. Space the plants about 12-18 inches apart, and incorporate plenty of organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, into the soil to promote healthy, vigorous growth. Water regularly, especially during dry periods, to maintain consistently moist soil conditions. In addition to their captivating blooms, hellebores also offer attractive, evergreen foliage that provides year-round interest in the garden.
In conclusion, planting these seven marvelous flowers in your garden this March will set the stage for a stunning and captivating outdoor oasis throughout the summer months. By incorporating a diverse mix of spring-blooming bulbs, perennials, and shrubs, you will create a vibrant, dynamic, and flourishing garden that provides visual interest, supports local wildlife, and brings joy to all who visit. So, seize the opportunity to get outdoors, connect with nature, and transform your garden into a beautiful and bountiful haven for both people and wildlife to enjoy.