Depending on where you live, spring is here in all its glory. Here in Oregon, it’s been typical — cool, gray days and rain with the occasional day of sunshine and warmth to tease us and make us want summer. But, despite the gray of the clouds, my yard is alive with the colors of spring, and I decided to take an inventory of what’s blooming. With camera in hand, I headed out in-between showers with the only goal of simply enjoying and drinking in the vivid colors and textures of beautiful spring blooms. You’re welcome to come along!
From every angle in the yard, this mature crab apple tree puts on its stunning display. I cannot say enough good about this tree. Currently, it gives the pollinators lots of nectar, and once the small little “apples” form, there is plenty of food for birds throughout the fall and winter.
Growing beneath the tree is Ajuga ground cover. The bees also seem to enjoy it as well. Known as Bugleweed, Ajuga can be grown from seeds, and it does well in partial shade. Many ground covers need more sun, but this low-growing, flowering ground cover seems happy with only the moderate amount of light that the tree allows in.
Perennial Alyssum is a new discovery and addition to the garden. Pollinators are visiting it, and seem to be very happy with me for adding this golden variety. This is a wonderful, early-blooming Alyssum that can be started with ground cover seeds.
The daffodils have given their show, and now its the tulips’ turn to be the center of attention. After losing several prized tulips to rot (my soil has drainage issues), I have decided to use containers for now. Another advantage of using a pot: move the tulips and give them more protection when a storm passes through.
No spring garden would be complete without a bleeding heart! Alongside the bleeding heart is a growing clump of wood violets. They make a sweet ground cover for shady areas as well. Mine have spread quite slowly, but I’m hoping they will eventually take up more and more of this north-facing bed.
I am very fond of wallflowers. They are nice for cutting and the bees adore them. Can you tell that I like to make the bees happy?
Candytuft is another favorite groundcover that I think looks exceptionally nice with spring bulbs. The color and texture just sets the other, more vivid, colors off. The candytuft always give me a second display of color in the early fall too, and for the rest the year, it offers attractive, evergreen foliage.
Lastly, every gardener needs a partner. My little partner had a hard time holding still for this photo, but he’s always as willing and excited to go “work outside” as I am.
I hope that wherever you are, and however the spring weather has blessed you, or not, that you can take the time and enjoy the leisurely stroll through the landscape.
“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” ~Ruth Stout
Question for the week: What is your favorite spring flower?
By Kimberly Bell