Aside from the usual bulbs of spring, there are some other plants that give good bang for your planting buck when it comes to colour in the mid-spring garden. Three of my favourites are heather, pieris, and pansies.
Pieris is a popular landscape plant around here because of its flaming red new foliage in spring. It reminds me of poinsettias, the way it puts out red growth at the top. The leaves will turn green as they mature. Mine has been slow growing compared to some of the other shrubs in the garden, but this year it is putting on a good show.
Pansies are like the petunias of spring. They come in so many colours and sizes, from the tiny and demure to the large and flamboyant. Pansies always make me think of my grandfather in England, as they were his favourite flower. When I worked in a garden shop as a teen-ager I would send him seeds every spring of the new varieties. I keep my pansies at the front door, as they do seem to get leggy if left in the garden. Some years I go for purple, this year I put in the red/yellow ones, trying to draw some heat to my front entrance!
Other than bulbs, what are your favourite flowering plants in the spring garden?