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These spring blooms do double duty in the garden

Primroses. Credit: Roger’s Gradens
Pretty primroses, in an array of spring colors.
(Roger’s Gardens)

So it’s Easter and Passover, and you want some flowers to brighten the table or front porch. Here are some quick options that go beyond favorites such as lilies and orchids. And when the holidays are over, you can plant them in the yard and enjoy them for years to come.

Our recommendations come from Rachel Young, the director of horticulture at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. All of Young’s recommendations involve showy, water-saving plants that will transition well from pots into the garden:

Primroses

Fill a basket with five or six primrose plants and you’ll have vibrant color for $30 or less. These spring flowering plants bloom in colors as varied as Easter eggs, including purple, pink, violet, yellow, coral and white. Young recommends seeking out English primroses for their lovely fragrance. Plant in a shady spot that doesn’t get too hot and they’ll come back for years.

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Moroccan daisies

Super cheerful, Moroccan daisies come in white and pink with dark yellow centers, and they’re incredibly tough once they hit the garden,Young said. With regular deadheading — clipping dead flowers off their stems — these perennial daisies will bloom for much of the year.

Moroccan Diasies. Credit: Roger’s Gardens
Moroccan Daisies
(Roger’s Gardens )

Osteospermum

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If you’re looking for a dependable workhorse flower, this is it. Osteospermum have daisy-like blooms in dreamy shades of yellow, violet, purple, copper, red and white. They’re easy to mix and match, and once planted they keep blooming no matter how hot it gets, Young said. Deadhead regularly and you’ll have endless summer color.

LOS ANGELES, CA. MAR. 21, 2013: MUTED PURPLE OSTEOSPERMUM, flower in 1 gallon black pot. Often calle
Muted purple Osteospermum
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times )

Blooming daffodils

What could be happier than a pot of sunny daffodils? Unlike tulips and other bulbs that need lots of cold to rebloom, daffodils thrive in Southern California gardens, Young said. When the leaves start to shrivel, plant the bulbs in a sunny garden spot and then forget them. They don’t need watering in the summer, and with a little feeding they will bloom every spring and naturalize, creating new bulbs that can be divided and replanted.

Daffodils from Descanso Gardens.
Daffodils in bloom at Descanso Gardens.
(Descanso Gardens )

Pelargoniums

These fragrant geranium cousins come in pink and white, but their scented, colored leaves are as attractive as the blooms. They come in a variety of “flavors,” Young said, including rose, lemon and, her favorite, chocolate mint, with dark, variegated leaves that are fuzzy and soft. “Kids love them.”

RIVERSIDE CA - OCTOBER 5, 2016: Pelargonium “Oldbury Duet” geraniums are just one of many plants ava
Pelargonium “Oldbury Duet” geraniums
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times )
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Columbine

These perky flowers with lacy leaves come in a range of bright pastel colors. Plant in partial shade and mulch well when you’re ready to take them outside, and look for California native varieties as well as hybrids.

Aquilegia / Columbine.
Aquilegia / Columbine
(Flowerphotos / UIG via Getty Images )

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