Pink is a well-loved color in the garden. It provides a beautiful contrast to green foliage, and its many hues, from pale to bright, offer a vast range of design possibilities. The color pink can appear in the perennial garden from early spring through late autumn, but spring bulbs are a great way to get the oink show started.
In addition to pairing well with all the shades of green, pink also looks excellent with different flower hues, including blues, purples, oranges, yellows, and whites. Some gardeners think pink and red together is a “no-no,” but this dynamic combination can look fabulous if you feel bold!
Here are some ideas to plant pink spring flowers, including bulbs, in your garden.
Also known as Narcissus (named for the Greek god who fell in love with his reflection), these cheery yellow flowers are a dependable sight in spring. Some daffodils have a range of colors, including white, orange, or pink. The “pink” in daffodils is usually more of a pale peach or salmon color. The trumpet is the pink part of a pink daffodil, and the petals are usually white or yellow. The pink coloration on daffodils performs best in filtered sunlight. Narcissus has classes including Trumpet, Large Cupped, Small Cupped, Cyclamineus (the petals angle back slightly from the cup), jonquilla (jonquils, which are smaller, wider than they are long, and often fragrant), and Double.
Pink varieties include the ‘Llanfair’ (trumpet with white petals and a long, pale pink cup), ‘British Gamble’ (white petals with frilly pale pink edges on the white cup), ‘Accent’ (ivory-white petals and small salmon-rose cup), ‘Faith’ (large cupped with bright white petals and solid salmon-pink cup), ‘Salome’ (large cupper with ivory petals and pale apricot cup tipped with pink), ‘Blushing Lady’ (fragrant jonquil with pale yellow petals and small apricot pink cup) and ‘Decoy’ (white petals with bright salmon pink cup).
There’s no prettier sight than pink tulips blooming in the spring. There are pink tulip varieties that bloom from early spring to mid-May, so if you choose carefully, you can have a long period of pink blooms. Early blooming varieties are often suitable for naturalizing, meaning they will return for a few years, unlike some tulips that only bloom for one year. Tulips are divided into Single Early, Double Early, Triumph, Lily Flowering, Peony Flowering, and others. Plant Tulip Bulbs in mid to late autumn, as long as the ground remains workable.
Kaufmanniana tulips and species tulips bloom earliest and naturalize very well. Pink varieties include ‘Heart’s Delight’ and ‘Hilde’ (both are white streaked with pink), ‘Lilac Wonder’ (pink with a purple tint), and ‘Odalisque’ (rich magenta pink). Fosteriana tulips (also known as ‘Emperor’) bloom reasonably early in April: suitable varieties to try including the warm pink ‘Albert Heijn’ and ‘Janis Joplin,’ too, which is a pale, blue-toned pink.
These are followed by Single Early and Double Early tulips, which have wide pink varieties. Some wonderful pink Single Early tulips include ‘Candy Prince’ (a delicate pastel pink), ‘Christmas Dream’ (warm medium pink), ‘Pretty Princess’ (warm, rich pink with peach accents), and ‘Aafke’ (lilac pink with pale pink edges). Some Double Early pinks include ‘Foxtrot’ (carnation pink with white accents) and ‘Margarita’ (vivid hot pink).
Giant Darwin Hybrids are very hardy with perennial tendencies. They have large blooms and sturdy stems. Pink varieties include ‘Pink Impression’ (huge medium pink flowers), ‘Design Impression’ (peachy pink flowers with variegated foliage), and ‘Big Love’ (rich pink with a lilac tint). Triumph tulips comprise a large group that blooms from April to May. Pink varieties of Triumph tulips include ‘Barcelona.’
(Large hot pink blooms), ‘Don Quichotte’ (deep rose-pink color), ‘Rosalie’ (pale pink with rose pink highlights), and ‘Apricot Beauty’ (delicate pale apricot with pale pink accents).
Peony Flowering Tulips bloom in late April and are a unique type with full layered blooms (fuller than Double Early Tulips) that look like peonies. Like peonies, some of them are also fragrant! Pink varieties include ‘Angelique’ (pale pink and
white, fragrant), ‘Amazing Grace’ (deep rose-pink maturing to silvery pink), and ‘Pep Talk’ (pink and white with variable rose-pink stripes and edges).
May-flowering tulips are the latest blooming and help prolong the spring color show in your garden. These include Single Late Tulips, frilly Parrot Tulips, and slender Lily Flowering tulips. Pink Single Late Tulips include:
- ‘Dreamland’ (white with pink rose edges).
- ‘Dordogne’ (warm peach and pink tones).
- ‘Belle du Monde’ (pale apricot pink with a shimmery hue).
Hyacinths come in several varieties, and all of them include pink cultivars. Dutch hyacinths produce stems full of trumpet-shaped flowers with a delightful fragrance. Pink cultivars include ‘Jan Bos’ (a deep rose pink), ‘Fondant’ (pale pink), and ‘Pink Pearl’ (shimmery light pink). The ‘Spanish bluebell flower is also a type of hyacinth and comes in shades of pink, white, and blue. Grape hyacinths (muscaria) come mostly in shades of blue, but there are two pink varieties: ‘Pink Surprise’ (a pale blush pink) and ‘Pink Sunrise’ (light lilac pink).
Pink Shrubs that Flower in Spring
Many shrubs and trees have glorious pink flowers in the spring. They include Crabapple Tree , redbud trees, weigela, rhododendron, and lilac (pink varieties include ‘Boomerang,’ ‘Crimson Doll,’ and ‘Beauty of Moscow’ which has pink buds that open to white flowers). Pink azaleas include ‘Perfecto Mundo’ (double rosy, pink blooms),
‘Rosy Lights’ (warm salmon pink), ‘Weston’s Parade’ (light pink with rose pink accents), and ‘Marie Hoffman’ (light lavender pink).
Pink Spring Perennials
Whose heart hasn’t melted at the spectacle of pink peonies in bloom? These large flowers come in single, double, or semi-double forms (about their petal layers). They bloom for weeks in June, often bringing delicious fragrance to the flower bed. These hardy perennials will live for many decades in the right conditions (full sun, rich, well-drained soil). There are wide pink varieties, including ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ (light pink double blooms, very fragrant), ‘Monsieur Jules Elie’) (ruffled edges on the light pink petals), ‘Edulis Superba’ (full coral pink blooms), ‘Gay Paree’ (hot pink outer petals with a smaller cluster of ivory petals in the middle), and ‘Felix Crouse’ (hot pink double flowers).
Columbines come in shades of pink, and when the seeds hybridize with each other in your garden, you might get new color combinations. Pink ‘Barlow’ columbines have fluffy medium pink blooms that last for weeks. There is also the ‘Nora Barlow’ columbine which is pink and white. Other pink columbines include ‘Pink Lanterns’ (with a touch of pale green), ‘Swan Pink and Yellow’ (with pink outer petals and yellow centers), and ‘Pink Petticoat’ (little rosy bonnets with white edges).
Pink irises can provide a range of beautiful pink shades for your garden. There are pink varieties of German, Siberian, Japanese, and Louisiana irises. One beautiful Japanese iris with lilac-pink petals is ‘Pink Lady.’ The Siberian iris ‘Sugar Rush’ is a multi-colored flower featuring dusty pink falls with yellow accents and powder-blue standards. Pink varieties of German iris include ‘Beverly Sills’ (pale peachy pink with pink beards), ‘Peggy Sue’ (pale pink with striking orange beards), ‘Pink Attraction’ (a pale pink ruffled beauty that reblooms in late summer), ‘Angel’s Rest’ (peachy pink with yellow shading and orange beards), and ‘Cherished’ (pale pink with pale yellow beards).