Spring was a little early this year and it seems like every time I walked through the garden I would find something else blooming.
My sea of creeping phlox and creeping jenny is probably my favorite early spring combination.
Soloman’s Seal (Polygonatum) is an early bloomer for the shade garden. A perennial in zones 3-9, it can grow up to two feet tall. Tiny, delicate white flowers suspend from the stem and sometimes berries will form but I’ve not seen it yet with this variety.
The dark foliage of Heuchera or Coral Bells is a nice contrast against the phlox. In late spring/ early summer, it will shoot up white-ish flowers on long stalks. Heuchera likes part shade and is a perennial in zones 4-9.
Bluebells or Wood Hyacinths, are also shade-loving, spring-blooming perennials. Planted in the fall for spring blooms, these bulbs will naturalize or spread throughout the garden when provided with good drainage and neglect (one of my favorite characteristics!)
Epimedium or Bishop’s hat is a native groundcover in my shade garden. The tiny, yellow flowers will bloom for a short period of time and spread up to three feet. I’ve had this growing next to my hydrangeas for several years and it’s only about two feet wide. About the time it dies back, the hydrangeas are starting their spectacular show.
Native columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) has spread quickly through the shade garden. I started these flowers from seed a few years ago and I’m happy they are happy. The red flowers attract the first hummingbirds of the season. Seed collection is easy and, even though they will self-seed, I like to help by spreading them around the garden. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, “You just can’t have too many columbine flowers.”
Arkansas Blue Star (Amsonia hubrichtii) is one of my all-time favorite shrubs. It is just now starting to bloom. I’ve talked about it here, here, here, and here. It’s pretty in the spring, summer and fall. I kinda love it.
This is the second year for my Buckeye tree (Aesculus Pavia) that I started from a buckeye seed. It’s a small tree so it needs some room. I will probably have to relocate it since it’s doing so well. The most popular Ozark folklore says carrying a buckeye in your pocket is good luck. Another popular saying is, “You’ll never find a dead man with a buckeye in his pocket”. Others claim it helps keep rheumatism, hemorrhoids, migraines and other ailments away. That’s one powerful seed.
By now you know I like to add other objects throughout the garden. My spider and garden fairy came out of hibernation to watch over the phlox.
And even Daisy, in her grumpiest of moods, likes to keep tabs on all of us.
What are you seeing in your garden?