Melinda's Gardening How-To: Spring Color

Melinda's Gardening How-To: Adding Spring Color to Garden

Welcome spring with a burst of color.

Include spring flowering annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs in your landscape. Now is the time to look for spaces in your landscape where a bit of spring color is needed. Make a note of areas where spring flowering bulbs can be added next fall. Then, visit Pasquesi to gather ideas and purchase some of these and other spring flowering plants for your landscape.

 

Spring Annuals

Add color to your containers and garden beds with cool weather annuals. You'll enjoy the early season color and the pollinators will enjoy the nectar many provide.

-Pansies come in a variety of colors and are sure to generate a smile as they liven up the spring landscape. Include a few fragrant ones in containers by your entryway and patio.

-Sweet Alyssum is a traditional favorite for season long beauty. The fragrance is wonderful and many like Snow Princess, not only tolerate the cool temperatures of spring but also the heat of summer.

-Stock is a fragrant favorite of butterflies and will soon be one of yours. The spikes of white, yellow, pin, purple and lavender flowers provide a vertical interest in containers and the garden.

-Dianthus (pinks) thrive in the cool spring weather and full sun to partial shade.

-Edibles like ornamental mustard, Bright Lights Swiss Chard and kale are tasty and colorful additions to containers and the garden.

 

Spring Flowering Perennials

Include a few spring flowering perennials to fill the voids in the garden beds and mixed borders. Select those that complement existing plants and add to the overall and season long beauty of the landscape. Start with these and look for others that fill Pasquesi's indoor greenhouse.

-Bleeding Heart: A traditional spring favorite. The common bleeding heart grows 2-3' tall and dies back mid season. The smaller, 15" tall, fringed bleeding heat blooms a bit later and maintains its fern-like foliage throughout the season.

-Brunnera: The blue, 'forget-me-not' flowers welcome spring and the variegated foliage of many Brunnera varieties brightens shady spots in the landscape all season long.

-Columbine: Bring in the hummingbirds with this spring bloomer. Grow them in full sun or partial shade with moist, well-drained soils.

-Hellebore: This long bloomer provides early season color and evergreen foliage. The colorful sepals often persist throughout the season.

-Perennial Viola: Plant this self-seeding perennial viola two years in a row to ensure spring flowers year after year.

 

Spring Flowering Shrubs

Plant spring flowering shrubs in mixed borders, foundation plantings and shrub borders. Place them here you can enjoy their spring floral display. Combine them with other shrubs and perennials that flower at different times, provide fall color and winter interest to ensure year round interest in your landscape. And, only prune, if needed, right after flowering to avoid eliminating the spring bloom.

-Azalea: Brighten those shady spots with early blooming Northern Lights series azaleas.

-Dogwoods: You and the butterflies will enjoy the spring blooms. Then watch for the fruit to form and the birds it attracts. Dogwoods finish off the season with reddish-purple fall color and many hav colorful stems to brighten the winter landscape.

-Forsythia: The bright yellow forsythia flowers signal spring has arrived. 'Show Off' (in photo) is a compact variety and perfect for smaller spaces. All have winter hardy flower buds that reliably bloom each spring.

-Fothergilla: Enjoy the fragrant white flowers and outstanding fall color this relative of witchhazel adds to the landscape.

-Lilac: Enjoy the fragrant white, pink and purple blossoms on this easy-care plant. Use a combination of early and repeat blooming varieties to extend you enjoyment.

-Spirea: Spring blooming varieties like Vanhouette steal the spring show with flower covered arching branches. Smaller varieties like Snowmound have the same flower power only on a smaller scale plant.

- Deutzia 'Yuki Cherry Blossom': Enjoy mounds of pink blossoms on this 12-24" tall shrub. Resists deer, attracts hummingbirds and loves the sun! Increase light reaching your plants by supplementing with artificial light. Check out more efficient bulbs in newer styles that clip onto pots or can be mounted on the wall making them attractive and easier to use. Or, rotate plants between low and bright light conditions every few weeks to expand your plant palette.

-'Double Take' Quince: Intensely colored flowers with double petal. Showy, early spring-blooming flowers on a onded, deciduous shrub. Deer resistant, too.

 

Spring Flowering Trees

And don't overlook the beautiful spring flowering trees.

-Crabapple: Select one of the disease resistant varieties available at Pasquesi. Enjoy the spring flowers, fall color and colorful persistent fruit. Then watch as the birds visit throughout the winter to feed on the tasty fruit.

-Redbud: The reddish-purple buds burst into rosy, pink blossoms that line the branches and trunk of the tree. The flowers are followed by green heart shaped leaves that turn yellow in the fall.

-Serviceberry: Another four season plant with white, spring flowers, blueberry-like fruit that you and the birds can eat, fall color and smooth gray bark to brighten the winter landscape. The fruit are favorites of cedar waxwings and robins and do not create a mess on walks, drives and your landscape.

 

Evergreens

Evergreens provide a nice backdrop for spring flowering plants. Plus, you will enjoy their greenery all season.

-Arborvitae: The soft branches of this landscape favorite grow best in full sun and light shade. Avoid extended periods of drought and protect them from winter winds and hungry deer.

-Boxwoods; grow them in full sun or partial shade and sheltered from drying winter winds and sun. Winter Green, Green Velvet and Green Mountain are the best varieties for the north.

-Juniper: Great for hot, dry locations and the deer tend to leave them be. Select from upright, spreading and groundcover varieties.

-Yew: Upright or lower growing, spreading varieties combine nicely with spring flowering shrubs and perennials.

 

Written by gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda‚Äôs Gardening How-To with you!