Areas Requiring Less Water Can Help
Perenials are the most trustworthy plants to return year after . It’s amazing to see them coming back after a cold and miserable winter and you have to have so much respect for them. Spring can be very unpredictable in many parts of the country, and it is difficult to know when the right time is to start planting your spring garden.
Remember that most garden vegetables and annuals really can’t stand the frost. However, many hardy perennials can be planted quite early in the spring, especially if they have already been outdoors at a nursery, or if you acquire them as “bare root plants” or plants that have had their roots washed clean and are not potted.
If you are worried about whether you might just have an unexpected early spring frost, you can hold your plants in their containers in a sheltered spot either outdoors or in a shed until you are more certain of the weather. Make sure they get enough morning sun and that they are protected from the wind. They will not do well indoors, because they need the cool air at night, as long as it is not frost. Keep the soil damp and they should be fine until you are ready to plant them.
Lamb’s Ears is another wonderful choice for a rock garden, since it has a fantastic texture and grows quickly. You just may have to cut it back occasionally, however, so that it doesn’t take over. It has silvery foliage and light purple flowers. But its most striking characteristic is its velvety texture. Fortunately, it is also deer-resistant.
Two other favorites, each reaching around 2 feet in height are Moonbeam and Purple Coneflower. Moonbeam bears clusters of light yellow, almost daisy-like flowers. This relatively bushy plant has a long blooming period. Purple Coneflower also has a daisy-like flower but it ranges from pink to purple. It also has a long blooming period, all the way into fall, and its seeds attract goldfinches. This is a very special plant, in that echinacea is derived from it.