Plants that bloom early in the season are always sought after by those of us dying for some early spring color. I encourage gardeners looking for season-long color to visit the nursery throughout the year to see what’s blooming that can be added to their flower beds; this way in future years they have something blooming each season.
Favorite early spring bloomers are the perennial violas. These are not the standard violas, but a true perennial that is dependably hardy. An added bonus is that they are also heat tolerant which makes them tough enough to withstand our dry, hot summers. Celestial Starry Night and Viola Etain have large, stunning blooms that continue blooming heavily in the spring and periodically throughout the year.
Two other favorites that always stand out due to their intense spring blooms are Veronica Georgia Blue and Arabis. The bright blue flowers of the Veronica Georgia Blue may be small but they are so prolific that they carpet the low growing bushy plants beautifully. Arabis comes in many different colors that are very intense and quickly draw attention to landscapes. The blooms cover the grey-green foliage making an excellent groundcover once the blooms are spent. Both of these plants are low growing making them excellent choices for borders and around the base of shrubs or trees.
Beyond early spring bloomers, don’t forget that February is a great time to get your herbs. Chives, oregano, sage, and thyme can be planted as well as all your cool season vegetables like lettuces, cabbage, broccoli, and kale. If you don’t have your garden ready for planting don’t hesitate to plant your herbs and cool season vegetables into containers. If they’re close to your house it makes it easy to care for them and harvest.