At last spring is here in its full glory. The garden is literally growing before my eyes. Our recent rain will no doubt spur new growth not only of the plants but the lawn. I love spring: everything is so vibrant. The temperatures haven’t started climbing and the plants look their best even if they aren’t blooming.
Never fear though, there is color besides green. Today I have Iris, Geum, Allium, Columbine, Baptista, German catchfly, Solomon’s seal, Blue Phlox, Snow in Summer, and Alyssum ‘Basket of Gold in full bloom. Several of the rose bushes are loaded with buds just ready to burst open. The perennial poppy buds are huge and promise lots of seeds later in the season.
My garden is planted so there is color from early, early spring – Hellebore ‘Lenten Rose’, Shooting Star, hyacinth, and tulips (though the voles seem to have devoured many of the tulip bulbs) through the summer into fall. Something is always in bloom.
Two of my favorite spring perennials are Geums and Alliums. Geums, commonly called Avens, are part of the rose family. They’re wonderful plants – minimal maintenance, very floriferous, and with deadheading they’ll bloom well into the summer. I haven’t detected any insect problems and the pollinators love them, especially now when the Geums are taking center stage with their multitude of flowers. Several varieties that I grow are ‘Lady Stratheden’, ‘Mrs. J. Bradshaw’, ‘Alabama Slammer’, and Totally Tangerine. Geums have been very popular in England and are just now catching on here in the U.S.
If you would like a plant variety that adds plenty of color and interest to your perennial garden, try Geums.
Allium ‘Mt. Everest’
My other favorite spring flower is Allium or ornamental onions. Alliums are grown from bulbs thus requiring no maintenance once they’ve been planted. They’re deer and rodent resistant, and the bumblebees absolutely love them. You’ll see the bumblebees clinging to the flowers and nothing will dislodge them. There are spring varieties of Alliums as well as summer varieties.
Allium ‘Purple Sensation’
Right now I have A. hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ and A. ‘Mt. Everest’ in full bloom. A. cristophii’s flowers are just now beginning to open. This variety produces enormous flower heads – at least a couple of feet in diameter, and once the flowers have finished blooming, the flower heads may be dried for use in decorating. An Allium that will definitely get your friends’ attention is A. ‘Hair’. It really does resemble a bad hair day. Later in the summer A. ‘Azure blue’ will pop open with its dazzling deep blue flowers. Allium colors include purple, white, yellow, pink and blue.
Both of these perennials add much interest to the garden. Try them, you won’t be disappointed.