Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Plants for Very Early Spring

The first signs of spring come early. Don't be looking for daffodils and tulips breaking through the ground. Look for the promising signs of an explosion of spring to come. The surprisingly early bloomers like Galanthus nivalis (as well as other species), Hamamelis mollis, Hamamelis x intermedia, Helleborus orientalis, Iris danfordiae, and Scilla siberica peek out into the world when very few are willing to venture anywhere near. These early bloomers begin their show in late January or early February and can bloom into March or longer. They tolerate harsh drops in temperature, and are the very inspiration that this gardener needs to bridge the gap between catalog orders and that sweet scented explosion of buds and flowers in spring.

If I had to pick one...
Helleborus × hybridus Royal Heritage™If I had to pick a favorite early bloomer, I would leap at the chance for more Hellebores. Mostly shade loving, evergreen plants, with delightful slightly showy flowers that will last til mid spring. Hellebores are also deer resistant. Warning, parts of this plant are poinsonous if ingested.
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