Early Spring Bloomers
FOR MOSTLY SUNNY SPOTS
Dianthus (Sweet William)
The stars of the early spring perennial garden are the dianthus, also known as Sweet Williams. These dainty blooms come in a range of colors all the way from white with faint pink marks to solid red. Plants are profuse bloomers and form thick mats of color, blooming well into summer in many cases. Dianthus is deer resistant and multiplies readily. Along with well drained soil, select a site with neutral to alkaline soil pH. Dianthus will not tolerate wet soils, especially in the winter. Cut back mounding plants after they flower to encourage rebloom. They should not be heavily mulched.
One of the most spectacular bloomers in the spring greenhouse is dwarf coreopsis. The basal leaves are only a few inches tall, with prolific golden yellow daisy-like flowers gracing the plants all spring and well into the summer. Continue to deadhead the plants to extend the flowering season. Dwarf Coreopsis attracts butterflies, repels deer, and is an excellent choice for rock gardens, edging or borders.
Perennial Candytuft is a hardy evergreen sub-shrub with showy white blooms very early in the spring. It needs a well-drained soil; thick mulch is ideal. Fertilize Candytuft every couple of months with an all-purpose, slow-release flowering plant fertilizer. It is good in rock gardens, on a wall, along walkways & paths.