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Waking the Garden with Spring Bloomers and Cool Weather Crops

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Start the growing season off right by filling your gardens with cool season flowers and vegetables. Some of these plants are hardier than we are and can be planted outdoors even before the threat of frost is past. Others may need a bit of coddling to begin with, but cool spring weather is when they shine, so don't miss out by waiting too long to plant them.

1. Primrose

Hybrid Primrose
Marie Iannotti
Spring is often associated with pastels and dainty woodland flowers, but there’s nothing like a sprinkling of blooming primroses to give spring a shout out. This is a wide genus of plants and there’s one for every garden.

2. Rosemary

Growing Rosemary
Photo: Photo courtesy fantax /stock.xchng..
Rosemary plants are usually associated with the stone warmed Mediterranean counties. While rosemary can't handle freezing temperatures, it actually enjoy the brisk air of spring. It is an evergreen, after all. So if you have a rosemary plant growing on your windowsill, now's the time to let it take a spring vacation outdoors. Let it decorate your patio table and catch some rays.

3. Sweet Peas

Rosey Dawn Sweet Pea - from the Spencer
Courtesty of the National Garden Bureau, Inc.
Like their edible cousins, sweet peas prefer the cool days of spring. Start some climbing up the railing by your door, to have their scent welcome you home. Don't forget to include some in your vegetable garden, to entice more pollinating bees to visit.

4. More Cool Season Annual Flowers

Bachelor's Buttons, Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2008) licensed to About.com, Inc.
There's no mistaking which annual flowers thrive in cool weather. They're the ones in full bloom at your local nursery, while the warm season flowers are still snuggling close to the soil. Pick up a few packs of pansies and petunias to have your flower borders and containers announce spring.

5. Cool Season Vegetables

Pea 'Snow Sweet' (Pisum sativum)
Photo: © National Garden Bureau, Inc. Used with Permission.
The first vine ripened tomato may still be a few months away, but there's plenty to keep you busy in the vegetable garden. Take advantage of the cool, wet weather of spring to put in multiple crops of peas and lettuce. It's also a great time to get your perennial vegetables, like asparagus and rhubarb, started.
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