Narcissus or Daffodil bulbs are hardy to zone 5. Plant in fall for spring blooms. Colors range from yellow, orange, white, and shades of pink. Blooming now. Some varieties are naturalizing, and all prefer full sun to part shade. Just as with other bulbs, not all daffodils bloom at exactly the same time, so you could easily have blooms for up to 6 weeks if you plan it right. Suitable for container planting. For an easy spring container, plant a variety of spring bulbs in a frost proof container in the fall and enjoy come spring time! Also worth noting that daffodils are very deer resistant.
Pieris or Andromeda - 4/29/15
Evergreen shrub. Zone 5-8. Sun to shade, but prefers shady spots. Can reach heights of 15'+ but very slow growing, so buy a shrub close to the size you want it to be. Prune only as necessary to maintain shape. Best time to prune is after flowers fade in late April/early May. Poisonous to people and animals if ingested. Some varieties have variegated foliage, others solid colored leaves that start out as shades of red, progressing to green. Flowers are creamy white strands of baby bells that hang gracefully from reddish brown stems. A timeless classic that stands the tests of time. A springtime favorite.
Viola riviniana - 5/6/15
Shade loving perennial. Zones 3-8. 10"T x 1'W. Purple gray foliage starts emerging early in the season, soon followed by lavender blue blooms that cover the plant.
Epimedium or barrenwort - 5/13/15
Perennial. Zones 4-9 (varies, depending on variety). 12-24" T+W. Shade lover. Drought tolerant. This plant is understated elegance early in the season. Some varieties, the flower emerges before the foliage, others the opposite. But expect a big spring show with this tough plant. Flowers come in a variety of colors such as pinks, purples, yellows, whites, and combinations of the above for April and May. The foliage is heart shaped, and very often has its own show of color in reds or purplish hues that mature to green later in the season. Mounding habit or trailing groundcover, depending on the variety. Great plant for that shade tree bed that nothing else will grow under. Great plant!