They are out early this year, especially this plant, a variety named ‘Red Bells’ that I planted last spring in my own garden — it is already on its third bloom!
Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is one of my favourite spring ephemerals and a wonderful perennial plant that thrives in full sun or part shade rock gardens. I have mine planted just at the edge of my dry bed/rock garden where dry pea gravel meets a slightly moister wood chip pathway and early morning shade is cast by the house. Pulsatilla is a good choice for dry spots underneath slightly shady trees as it seems to grow tolerant to drought once established.
I find the soft and delicate hairiness of this plant irresistible and after flowering the silky seed pods leave behind something to look as well as some seeds to help it spread.