Virginia Bluebells Photograph: Will County Forest Preserve


What A purple cluster of flowers atop a three-to-four-foot stalk. “They’re magnificent!” Tennison says.
Where to plant Full sun. Without enough light and heat, the plant will get spindly and droop or might not flower at all.
Tip Alliums naturalize, meaning they multiply in the ground once planted. So make sure you love it, because wherever you put one, it will definitely spread.

Lenten Roses

What A pink, rose-like flower and one of the earliest blooms. “It will literally come up in the snow.”
Where to plant In a shady spot, they’ll bloom all summer.
Tip Add bone meal or bulb booster and plant deep — four to six inches down — to reduce the risk of the bulbs freezing.

Delight Darwin Hybrid Tulips

What A new variety of tulip, based on cultivars bred hundreds of years ago, that stays in bloom two weeks longer than most kinds
Where to plant Sun or shade — tulips are versatile.
Tip Squirrels love these, but they hate alliums, so plant some nearby.

Virginia Bluebells

What Little blue flowers that bloom in early spring
Where to plant In the shaded, moist soil near the base of trees, where the woodland native would grow in nature.
Tip After the bloom dies, so do the leaves, so plant other things around it.

Dwarf Rhododendrons

What An evergreen flowering shrub that blooms in late spring. They have a beautiful waxy leaf that adds to your garden all year.
Where to plant Full sun — rhododendrons love heat.
Tip As with most bulbs, even if you accidentally plant a rhododendron upside down, the spring shoots will follow the sun and still find their way up.