Spring is the season that is always most eagerly anticipated during the long cold and dark winter months. As spring finally arrives we can now enjoy the bulbs that were planted in the fall as they start to emerge. I came across an article by Anne Balogh which I found on the Garden Design Magazine website which describes ten of these bulbs and perennials to enjoy this spring.
The spectacle put on by flowering bulbs and perennials each spring is one of Mother Nature?s best performances. She keeps them hidden under a blanket of snow-covered soil until the lengthening days and warming sun signal that it?s time for their grand entrance. Right on cue, they rise out of their beds to banish our winter blues and remind us that spring has arrived. By planting a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs and perennials, you can enjoy this glorious display from late February through mid-June. Here are some of the top performers for season-long color.
Bloom time: Late January to May
Height: 12-18 inches
All-star qualities: This long-blooming spring beauty, also called the Lenten rose, features exotic single or double flowers in a vast array of colors, often with dramatic contrasting stamens and interiors.? The flowers may appear even before the snow melts and will last two months or longer. In mild climates, the glossy dark-green leaves remain evergreen and can be used as a groundcover.
Best locations: Hellebores grow best in sites protected from extreme conditions, such as cold winter winds and full sunlight. They are ideal for brightening up shady locations under trees or shrubs and look stunning incorporated into woodland gardens.
Growing tips: Hellebores are easy to propagate by dividing or by allowing clumps to spread through self-seeding. To encourage the growth of new foliage, which can be enjoyed after the bloom season, cut back the stems after the flowers fade.
Bloom time: February to March
Height: 6-12 inches
All-star qualities: This defiant cold-hardy plant isn?t the least bit intimated by Old Man Winter, and will often push its ethereal white flowers up through a blanket of snow. Under ideal growing conditions, snowdrops will naturalize freely to form sweeping drifts of color.
Best locations: Snowdrops prefer cooler climates and light shade, making them the perfect choice for woodland gardens where they can be planted under deciduous trees that will leaf out later in the spring. Their relatively short stature also makes them good additions to rock gardens and borders.
Growing tips: For the best massing effects, plant snowdrops in clusters of at least 25 bulbs, spacing them about 3 inches apart. They prefer moist, humus-rich soil in areas protected from full sun.
See more at Garden Design Magazine