Though the calendar says it's spring, April can be a tricky time of year in many parts of the country. Snow may just be melting--and in some cases still coming down--and night-time temperatures are generally too cool for all but the hardiest plants. There are still plants that can add a bloom of colour to your April landscape, though in most cases you will have to prepare in the fall to see flowers in early spring.
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Tulips, a cup-shaped flower, come in a variety of colours and shapes. Native to Holland, these bulbs are most commonly planted in the fall to bloom in the spring months, usually April. There are numerous types of tulips--including wild tulips, single-early tulips and Darwin hybrid tulips--each with numerous cultivars. Wild tulips are shorter in length and found mostly in gardens; single early is the first type of tulip that blooms in the spring; and Darwin hybrid is one of the tallest types of tulip. Tulip bulbs should be planted in the ground at least 6 inches deep. Tulips generally look best when planted in close groups with other tulips. According to PlantingFlowerBulbs.com, gardeners should leave 3 to 6 inches of space between each flower.
Daffodils are easily recognised by their trumpet-shaped cup and yellow and white petals. There are 13 divisions of daffodils. Two of these are small-cupped daffodils and triandrus daffodils, which have a pinker hue and the appearance of bells. According to the American Daffodil Society, daffodils "are probably the easiest and most dependable of all the families of flowers." Daffodil bulbs should be planted in September or November in a sunny area and where water can drain. If the daffodil bulbs do not bloom after a year, ADS recommends moving them to another location. Daffodils bloom in either March or April depending on temperature.
Pansies are a garden flower that stay low to the ground. Pansies are the plant of choice for gardeners looking for instant gratification in April. Though they may be started from seed--either sowed in place in the fall or started indoors in February--pansies are often found blooming by the flat in garden centres in March and April. Pansies are usually a solid colour of blue, yellow, white or purple and sometimes appear to have a darker "eye" or multicolour petals. Pansies should be planted in partial to full sun and watered just once or twice a week during dry weather.
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