This is the year, guys—the year we get that gorgeous garden growing and become our cut bouquet-cultivating true selves. Since we need a little help getting started, we checked in with Kate Karam, Editorial Director of Monrovia, for the ten best spring perennials to plant come springtime.

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itoh tree peony
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1. Itoh Peony

Fun fact: A mature Itoh peony plant can produce 50(!) or more flowers in one spring season. With their enormous flowers, vigorous growth and leafy foliage, they’re total showstoppers.


bleeding heart flower
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2. Valentine Bleeding Heart

These delicate, old-fashioned favorites boast clusters of heart-shaped flowers and a long blooming season. Try pairing with hostas and ferns that will fill in your garden when their foliage retreats in summer.


blue clematis
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3. Clematis Integrifolia

If you haven’t added clematis to your garden yet, spring is the season to start and this low-growing, bushy variety has the prettiest bell-shaped, indigo flowers. Look to it to lift your spirits from early spring through early summer.


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4. Werner Arends Avens

Looking for a pop of bold color? Werner is one of the best (and most underappreciated) perennials for borders. It thrives in cool summer climates, blooming from late spring into the summer, and bonus: It often remains evergreen in mild winter regions.


sweet iris
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5. Variegated Sweet Iris

With their flashy foliage and ruffled petals, irises provide a classic grace note to modern and classic gardens alike. FYI: Irises tend to perform best in full sun, but this particular species is more shade-tolerant than most.


shell ginger
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6. Variegated Shell Ginger

Add some tropical vibes with this lush and fragrant plant. We love its unusual stripey leaves and large, drooping clusters of shell-shaped flowers that bloom in spring. Try planting these beauties in containers, then you can bring ’em indoors when the weather turns cool again.


purple butterfly plant
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7. Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina'

These all-stars offer months of gorgeous color (in mild climates they bloom year-round and, otherwise, spring through fall). Better still, they’re drought-tolerant—aka a great choice for a water-wise garden.


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8. Frosted Violet Coral Bells

These dark, dramatic beauties really come alive when their tiny, pearl-pink flowers appear in spring. They’re a fabulous choice for underneath shade trees, in naturalistic settings, in formal gardens or even in containers.


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9. Kudos Gold Dwarf Hummingbird Mint

With this mint plant, your garden will become a hub of bees, birds and butterflies. Try pairing it with lavenders, catmints and Russian sages for a fragrant, fauna-filled herb garden.


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10. Globe Flower (Trollius x cultorum)

These stunners are part of the popular ranunculus family. Note that they fare best in soil that’s moist to wet (but well drained)—making them a perfect choice for woodland and pond-side settings.


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