Spring Sprouts and Blooms

Spring is arriving nice and slow this year, so hopefully many of the early spring seedlings will have a chance to flower before our hot and humid summer arrives. Crocuses are passed and my tulips are starting to color up. My perennials are starting to break ground. I have gathered a few photos from around the garden, but excuse the weeds as this is my first garden-palooza weekend (if I can stop buying plants, that is).

These little bulbs were just added last fall. They started blooming March 22nd. I believe these flowers are from five bulbs.

Crocus ‘Cream Beauty’. These little bulbs were just added last fall. They started blooming March 22nd. I believe these flowers are from five bulbs.

I have a few varieties of daffodils and narcissus, but this is the first ‘pink’ variety. I would definitely call this a peach or even orange. Either way, they look great with the color-matched tulips and hyacinth.

These daffodils came in a collection of peachy colored bulbs including the tulips and hyacinth listed below.

Daffodil ‘Pink Charm’ These daffodils came in a collection of peachy colored bulbs including the tulips and hyacinth listed below.

The daffodils above and tulips below are just opening while the hyacinths are winding down. However, a few of the hyacinths are sending up a second flower (look at the base of the plant on the far right).

Tulip 'Apricot Beauty' and Hyacinth 'Gypsy Queen'. Hyacinths are well known for their fragrance, but I was astounded at the strength of their scent. I only have six flowers and the entire backyard smells delicious.

Tulip ‘Apricot Beauty’ and Hyacinth ‘Gypsy Queen’. Hyacinths are well known for their fragrance, but I was astounded at the strength of their scent. I only have six flowers and the entire backyard smells delicious.

The orange tulips below are a mid-season bloomer and they are just beginning to color up (though my early tulips are only two days ahead of them currently and my ‘late’ tulips are already open). These are great perennial tulips from my experience (when planted about 6 inches deep, given plenty of sunlight, and left dry in the summer). It is about time for me to divide them into new clumps, but it is a task that I always forget about in the fall. I believe I originally planted 30 bulbs and counted at least 80 buds this spring (there are also plenty of bulbs that aren’t flowering yet this year due to age). There are a few clumps that had less sun that seem to be fizzling out, but most look great year after year.

I've had this variety for four years now. They have done fairly well at dividing and producing a nice display every spring.

Tulip ‘Daydream’ I’ve had this variety for four years now. They have done fairly well at dividing and producing a nice display every spring.

My mother always suggests to plant bulbs around some large perennials so the messy summer foliage of your spring bulbs will be hidden by the next season’s plants. It is also good advice because you save garden space. Unfortunately, I am not usually planting them at the same time so this isn’t a technique I regularly employ. However, I achieved a perfectly paired clump when I forgot where the tulips were when planting last fall. I’m not sure how this group of tulips will do with such close competition for nutrients and light, but it will be a nice experiment.

This is a mixed clump of tulips and daylilies. It was more or less an accident, but should turn out nicely.

This is a mixed clump of tulips and daylilies. It was more or less an accident, but should turn out nicely.

In addition to flowering bulbs, the foliage is coming in nicely on a number of shrubs and perennials. Below is a spirea that has bright orange foliage in the spring. Once the new growth has hardened off, it returns to a more typical green. You can get small flushes of orange by doing some pruning throughout the year (possibly at the expense of flowers, but I don’t much care for spirea flowers).

Spirea 'Goldflame'. This vibrant foliage is only maintained on new growth so it looks best in the spring.

Spirea ‘Goldflame’. This vibrant foliage is only maintained on new growth so it looks best in the spring.

I’m not sure which species of Linum this Blue Flax is, but it does love cold weather. The foliage only died back partly when we were getting -15 F days. I even chopped it back by about half this spring. Though it should be a short-lived perennial, it is reported to reseed readily. I saw a few seedlings last summer, but nothing yet.

This plant is the short-lived perennial Blue Flax. Each flower only lasts a day (or less), but it blooms almost continuously through the summer.

This plant is the short-lived perennial Blue Flax. Each flower only lasts a day (or less), but it blooms almost continuously through the summer.

Finally, there are some perennials flowering already. My variegated Brunnera has started to flower and this Pulmonaria is flowering also. Both prefer shadier spots, which I don’t have in much quantity. They were put in as fairly small plants last year, so the display is not very impressive yet. However, the early blooms are a nice surprise!

I'm not sure what variety of Pulmonaria this is, but I would suggest any. The flowers change from blue to pink and are an electric hue.

I’m not sure what variety of Pulmonaria this is, but I would suggest any. The flowers change from blue to pink and are an electric hue.