If you're longing for spring to come early, you're not the only one. The good news is, you don't have to wait for summer to brighten up your yard. There are many varieties of early-blooming flowers that will bring life, beauty and color back to your landscape as Old Man Winter beats his retreat. Here are just a few to get you started:

Barrenwort (Epimedium rubrum) loves the shady areas under trees or tall plants and adds a bit of whimsy to your garden with its fairy-wing-shaped petals. Zones 5 to 9.

Chocolate Chip Carpet Bugleweed (Ajuga) is a chocolate brown ground cover with delicate blue blossoms in early spring. Give it partial to full sun and water weekly. Zones 4 to 9.

Dicentra spectabilis perennial plantBleeding Heart's (Dicentra spectabilis) long-lasting, pink heart-shaped blooms come to life in April, and are a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds. Zones 3 to 9. Pictured left.

Candytuft's (Iberis sempervirens) pink or white blooms are great for containers. This delicate stunner blooms from March or April through the summer. Zones 3 to 9.

Hellebore (Helleborus) aka Lenten rose, blooms as early as March, and lasts for eight to 10 weeks. Petals are white or cream and then turn a deep rose color. They thrive in the shade. Zones 4 to 9.

Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata) Also known as Wild Sweet William, these fragrant lavender or pink flowers are common in the woods and in fields. Bonus: they attract butterflies! Zones 3 to 8.

Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) blooms in March, forming a carpet of tiny flowers, and looks delightful in rock gardens or as borders. It loves full sun. Zones 3 to 9.

Majeste Lungwort perennial plantLungwort (Pulmonaria) is an excellent ground cover and their multicolor, long lasting blooms love shady spots. Zones 3 to 8. Pictured left.

Visit us at Homestead Gardens for everything you need to help your garden grow this spring.

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