The last couple weeks of the official winter season seem to pass by pretty quickly, teasing with hints of spring. Daffodils break the surface tentatively as though they are checking to see if it is warm enough to burst into bloom. Days become noticeably longer. The earliest of the flowering cherries frame the late winter sky in shades of soft pink.

The problem is, although it doesn’t turn into spring overnight, my desire to celebrate spring’s arrival by filling the balcony with planters and hanging baskets, overflowing with summer bloomers, is just so tempting!

I know I’ll need to wait until May to be successful with the tender impatiens, coleus, and begonias that thrive in warmer temperatures on my balcony. Happily, until then there are plenty of spring divas that like to stay cool & flower for months!

Pansies & Violas are probably the most popular “go to” plant for long lasting spring blooms. Spring pansies display impossibly large blossoms with a vast selection of colours to choose from. I don’t know how our growers decide which colours to grow each year! Violas have smaller and daintier blooms, and come with immense flower power!

Cool Wave Pansies are exceptionally long blooming, with a trailing habit that makes them ideal choices for early spring hanging baskets. Enjoy non-stop colour from beginning in March, until the time comes to put out your summer baskets in May.

Despite their common name, African Daisies, or Osteospermum are much happier in the cool of the spring than in the heat of summer. Years ago, the colour palette was restricted to shades of purple, mauve and white – but now it’s a free-for-all colour fiesta, with striking shades of orange, yellow, coral and more joining in the fun. Some varieties feature “double” flowers, others display spoon shaped petals. All are fantastic planted in containers, producing blooms all spring long!

The gardening world is absolutely crushing on Ranunculus these days. The fluffy, densely petaled flowers are lovely and come in a rainbow spectrum of bright spring colours, as well as some lovely soft pastels. Sturdy plants and long stems make for great for cut flowers too. Expect blooms until the somewhere around the end of April.

Perhaps surprisingly, many selections of  pot carnations, like the Super Trooper series, thrive in spring’s cool temperatures, displaying showy double and single blossoms that give off a delicious scent – one of the key elements of spring! Often they’ll continue to bloom until the hottest summer months. An absolute delight in pots close to your entry or patio doors, where their fragrance can be fully enjoyed!

So although we’re not quite ready for the zesty Zinnias or dazzling Dahlias of summer, it’s the perfect time to embrace SPRING and free the balcony from the winter blues – with long lasting and rewarding bloomers custom made for cool weather!

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