What is more inviting in a garden than a mass of flowers? Creeping phlox, also called moss phlox or ground phlox (Phlox subulata) if you prefer, certainly delivers on this attribute! Spring brings a carpet of jostling blooms in choices of mauve, pink, white and bi-colour. The swath of pastels reveals dainty, notched-petal blossoms on closer inspection. The evergreen foliage grows in a dense mat, with next year’s buds starting to form soon after the blooms finish. Creeping phlox nestles well into rock gardens, or as an easy care ground cover in a sunny perennial bed.
Technical stuff – Creeping phlox/Phlox subulata, perennial hardy to zone 3, height of 4”-6” and spread of up to 24”, full to part sun, prefers well drained soil but will tolerate poor soil and is drought resistant, blooms May into June.
Grape purple lollipops are bouncing and bobbing on the spring breeze. Alluring alliums bring exuberance, height, and brilliant pops of colour to the spring garden! Read more about alliums by clicking here.
A last hurrah for the terrific tulips! Thanks to early, mid and late spring blooming varieties, and thanks to our cooler temps, the glorious show has lasted over a month. Whether pert and perky, floppy and luscious, swirled and curled, frilled and fancy, blushing and romantic, or kapows of thrilling colour – tulips are just stellar in the spring garden!
I had a walkabout this morn to cherish the last of the daffodils – we have jungle warm temps forecast for the rest of the week that will brown out the last of their blooms. From buttery golden, to fragile pearlescent, lemon yellow, or accents of blush or orange, daffodils offer dazzling range. Six ‘petals’ (tepals) surround a center ‘cup’ (corona), that is often frilled and of a contrasting colour (with the double Rip Van Winkle blooms above as an exception!). Pert blooms nod atop strong leafless stems that blend with spring green leaf blades. By planting an assortment of daffodil bulbs, their iconic cheer can enrich your garden from early to mid-spring, or until we get that first several days of hotter weather. Bulbs are planted out in the fall, and are not a favourite of squirrels! Above photos include some of my favourites: Green Eyes, Jetfire, Rip Van Winkle, Velocity and Ice Follies, but there are many, many varieties for experimenting!
Technical stuff – Daffodil/Narcissus, perennial bulb flower, height varies greatly by variety, sun to part sun, bloom early to mid-spring, like most bulbs they appreciate well drained soil and snip off browned blooms leaving the foliage to feed the bulbs for next year’s show.
The flowering quince opened its juicy orange blossoms this weekend! Lavish clusters of coral orange cups that shine in the spring sun. The long weekend's warm weather brought on many blooms - just lovely! Read more about flowering quince by clicking here.
Sometimes (okay, often!) a particular bloom will capture me. I appreciated every detail of this elegant tulip: the stately, slim stem, the curl and flare of its petals, the snow white centers with a splash of lemon yellow, the curvy, matte green leaves. I am romanced by its graceful form blushing rosy pink. On a sunny day it reaches to the sky and the blossoms softly splay to the warmth of the sun. These were new bulbs, called ‘Tender Whisper’, planted last fall. I am reminded why, even though I have many, many bulbs in the garden, it is so worth planting a few new ones for delight in the spring! See more tulips by clicking here.
Be it true blue, or pink, yellow, orange, red, purple or white – hyacinth will satisfy your colour craving! And the divine perfume of hyacinth is one of the joys of spring, whether you get down on hands and knees to drink in the tantalizing fragrance straight from the bloom, or bask in the wafts of scent drifting on the spring breeze. The stalky cone clusters with rows of trumpet blooms, emerge from wide blades of bright green. Like all flowering bulbs, once the flowers have browned cut them back, but leave the foliage to feed the bulbs for next year’s show.
Technical stuff – Hyacinth/Hyacinthus orientalis, bulbous perennial hardy to zone 4, height of about 10” and spread of about 3”, full or part sun, like all bulbs appreciates good drainage, plants bulbs in the fall for blooms in spring.
Trilliums are a perfect Mother's Day flower, and they are blooming now! This classic native perennial celebrates spring with stately, pearly-white blooms, accented by a trio of elegant green leaves. But they do come in red too! Read more about trilliums by clicking here.
Magnificent and miraculous spring has arrived! It is amazing what a few warm days can do. The early tulip above embraced the spring sunshine to go from elegant and expectant bud, to rosy and romantic bloom. Buttery yellow daffodils are popping up everywhere. Glistening green is erupting and stretching to the sky. The forest floor is turning green – mottled blades of dog tooth violets are licking through the brown leaves, and trilliums shine with their fragile new leaves. Lovely lettuce, ruffled rhubarb and gorgeous garlic have sprouted in the veggie garden. From these humble beginnings glorious things will grow!
Just like that – add a little sunshine and buds explode into bloom! Pasque flower is a favourite perennial with its brilliant blue-purple blooms (comes in white and burgundy too!) to lift our spirits when much of the spring garden is still dry brown. Read more about pasque flowers by clicking here.
These furry, fluffy, feathery buds will be exploding into their jewel tone glory, hopefully tomorrow judging by the forecast of warmer tidings. Just one pasque flower shyly peeking out today. Read more about pasque flowers by clicking here.
These lovelies are now stirring in the ground, and I watch dutifully as they can go quickly from ‘not much of anything’ to upright clusters of enchanting pink and purple blooms. Pulmonaria (commonly called many names – lungwort, Bethlehem or Jerusalem sage, or spotted dog) is refuted for its dashing foliage. Stiff, hairy leaves can range from lime to olive green with silver spots or splotches or sheen, depending on the species. This perennial offers a striking mix with hosta, coral bells, hellebore and other shade/part shade champions. And though they are not long bloomers, when the dainty bells in varying shades of pink, mauve or white are twinkling atop the rich foliage, it is a spritely addition to the spring show.
Technical stuff – Lungwort/Pulmonaria, hardy perennial to zone 4, height of 8”-18” and spread of 12”-24”, part shade to shade, prefers well drained, moist soil, blooms early to mid-spring, slug resistant.