Saturday, April 14, 2012

What a Pretty Spring – 2012

Spring Plants Full of Color

Nice combinations – and planning for the next step in the renovation.
Muscari – Grape Hyacinth and Virginia Bluebells ((Mertensia virginica; also Virginia Cowslip, Lungwort Oysterleaf, Roanoke Bells) provide  blue to purple hues to the spring garden. As a spring ephemeral, the Virginia Blue Bells will dry and disappear until next spring.
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The Honeysuckle Vine never did go dormant this winter.  It has filled in and bloomed quite early.  Have not seen any Hummers yet – they visit regularly when they are in town.

 The Lungwort ( Pulmonaria)  really stretched out and I have moved pieces around the garden. I have several varieties including ‘Mrs. Moon. Pulmonaria 'Majeste'  is a solid silvery-gray leaves with a very narrow green margin. In late spring, light pink buds pop open to reveal darker bluish-pink flower bells.

Pulmonaria 'Raspberry Ice'  has long, frosted green leaves edged in pearl with raspberry pink flower clusters provide a stark contrast, and really seem to light this plant up. Even after the flowers fade, the unique foliage plays nicely with hosta all season.

'Sissinghurst White' is the earliest to bloom in my garden – in early March.  White flowering, the leaves are speckled with silver.

Epimedium, top, also known as Rowdy Lamb Herb, Barrenwort, Bishop's Hat,  and Bleeding Heart, (Dicentra), center,  along with the Primrose are anchored with the Creeping Jenny.  Sweet!
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Variegated Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum ) and white Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilisAlba) brighten up this area. The crisp leaves of the Solomon’s Seal give some height – 12” or so – to the summer garden, even after the dangling white ‘teardrops’  fade.

This is  Lamium, Archangel, and Primrose Primula vulgaris .
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These Forget-Me-Nots (Botanical Name: Myosotis. )  are 6 – 8” tall. - much fuller than previous years. I really like the blue flowers.

This Big Root, a hardy geranium, Geranium macrorrhizum: cranesbills  is just about to pop with magenta flowers. It stays evergreen all winter -  a real nice plant for part shade areas.
False Nettle, Lamium, Archangel, has a variegated leaf with a bright yellow bloom.  Lamium does well in the dry, shady bed. There is no sun under this Little Leaf Linden, so the Lamium is a great alternative to grass, which will not grow here.
The coral bells, ( Heuchera)  Chocolate Ruffles and Limelight are sending up buds.
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The hypertufa’s overwintered nicely with just a covering a leaves. Pictured are H. Chartreuse Wiggles, and H. PoPo (top).
Japanese Painted Ferns were potted up last fall so we could start the renovation of parts of the yard from shade to sun.  They may stay in the containers for a while yet since I am still working on the layout of the beds.
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These shrubs, Junipers, flank the front walk.  I’m thinking about moving them to the back.  They have been in these fiberglass containers for many years, and are almost too big.  Note: when you plant containers for year round use, use plant material that is at least hardy to one zone colder than your zone.  That way the roots don’t freeze to the killing point, and the plants will thrive.
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This daylily has caught my attention!  No, it’s not blooming – it has sent up a sport!  The foliage has turned into a variegated leaf – Wow!  I’ve spoken to Barb Kedler, a knowledgeable plant person at Knollwood Garden Center near me.  I have instructions how to divide out the root section with the white striped leaves from the solid green one.  I will replant the striped leaf roots and see if I can’t cultivate a fully variegated plant.  Looking forward to this experiment.  I’ll let you know how the process is going. 
Nature is calling – it’s too nice outside to be in here – so join me again next time.  Enjoy your day!
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