Welcome back to another installment of Tuesdays in the Garden brought to you in partnership with several of my gardening buddies! Today, we’re talking about favorite perennials for spring gardens! I’m more of a veggie gardener, so while many of my friends are focusing on flowering bushes and plants, I’m also sharing practical perennials you can plant for food too!
Favorite Perennials for Spring Gardens
While this might sound self deprecating, I consider myself to be a lazy gardener. That’s not meant to be derogatory, it’s just a fact of life. I want to do things that will give me the most bang for my buck and that includes planting perennials that will come back year after year. There’s nothing more satisfying than going out to my garden after a long winter and seeing signs of life in plants I planted several years ago! Including early spring perennials in your garden is not only a great way to get that first hint of spring with blooms and leaves, but it’s also a fabulous way to get the earliest food from your garden!
If you don’t like asparagus, you’re just crazy in my humble opinion. There’s nothing better than fresh asparagus straight out of the garden. I love watching for signs of life in my asparagus patch and I’m very excited that this is my asparagus’s third season. That means I can finally harvest a nice bounty. The first asparagus stalk is such a fun find each year!!
I really, really love rhubarb. I use it to make crisp, muffins, scones. If it was ever ready at the same time as my strawberries (and I had enough of both) I would use it to make jam. Recently, I tried to explain rhubarb to a city boy. He kept saying, so it’s a root? NO! It’s not a root. It’s a stalk, right? In Iowa it grows like a weed and most people don’t even harvest it. I find this almost weed status very ironic, because for some reason, I’ve had such a hard time establishing my own rhubarb. I’ve planted it the last three years and it never comes back! I’ve finally decided that it doesn’t like where I’m planting it. Maybe it’s too close to a black walnut tree. I don’t really know, but I’m trying again, and this year I’m planting it somewhere else. Fingers crossed that I finally can establish rhubarb!!
One of the first signs of spring in Eastern Iowa is the appearance of spring bulbs. After a long winter, nothing is more inspiring than when I first spot my daffodils and tulips. I love that I plant them once and they come back year after year. The first to show up at my house are usually the tulips. They come out in late March or April, depending on how severe our winter was. Then the daffodils come out. Sometimes, they even preceed the tulips, but it just all depends. At this time, my irises also start growing. They flank the four corners of my garden and provide such a pretty back drop year after year when they start blooming in late May or early June.
I’ve been traveling on the East Coast for the last couple of weeks and am simply blown away by the gorgeous azaleas. They’re every where in Washington, DC. Huge, beautiful bushes of so many different colors flank house after house. I’ve never really noticed them in Iowa before and wonder why. After a little bit of investigating, I think they’ll grow in my zone of 5b, and I’m excited to plant them around my house when we finally get to landscaping. I did read that they like shadier areas and don’t do well around black walnut trees which we have way too many of. The blooms are so cheerful and springy though, that I’ve got to figure out a way to add a few azaleas to my landscape
This hosta is at my friend’s house in New Jersey, but we also have hostas on the north side of our barn. I saw their little nubs peeking up out of the ground right before we left and am always thrilled to see them popping up. I particularly love hostas because they are so prolific and easy to divide. Plant them once, and then be rewarded with new hostas a couple years later. For free! 🙂
These five perennials come back year after year and I love them all in early spring gardens. Their promise of warm weather and fun summers is inspiration! I hope you’ll check out my blogging friend’s favorite spring plants as well!
Tuesdays in the Garden
11 Easy to Care for Spring Plants from Jami at An Oregon Cottage
What’s Blooming in May from Shelly at Frugal Family Home
Spring Flowering Bushes You’ll Love from Diane at Homemade Food Junkie
Top Spring Garden Blooms from Angie at the Freckled Rose
Do you have a favorite perennial for spring gardens? I’d love to hear!