Pansies (Viola family) are a perfect early addition to your spring garden!
Pansies are easy to grow, maintain and add a wide variety of color to any planter or border. Normally sold as an annual, they are actually biennials, meaning they last two distinct seasons. Spring pansies will bloom profusely in early spring, tend to go a little dormant in the strong summer heat- then return again in the fall. Fall pansies will bloom in fall, winter over and appear next spring. For such a little flower, it gives you nearly one solid year of performance!
They make great border plants (just remember they perform better in cool seasons)
Or in a planter - either alone or in combination with other summer flowering plants. The nice thing about planting them with other summer flowers is they tend to let their cohabitants thrive in summer until it's their turn again in fall. When it's time to remove the tender summer plants from the planter in fall (with frost) they will fill in the planter nicely until the winter arrives.