After those drab winter months, what a joy to finally see the first flowers appear! They’re bringing bursts of color to flower beds, hedges and taller trees. Focus on the first flowers to appear in spring, signaling that finally, the weather has taken a turn for the better.
Forsythia is a truly beautiful hedge shrub that copes with pruning very well. It is special in that it blooms even before it has leaves. That’s how early this blooming is! As early as February, it’s entirely covered in golden yellow star-shaped flowers. After that, tender green leaves unfurl. With its upright bearing, it naturally fits right in to any mixed hedge.
Hyacinth is a strong-scented bulb flower. At the onset of spring, it hoists upright clusters of bell-shaped flowers up. Orange, yellow, red, pink, violet, blue, white… you’ll find them in every imaginable color. They’re perfect to decorate the forefront of garden beds, and even to dot the lawn with spots of color here and there. Of course, up on a windowsill in a garden box, they’ll let their fabulous sweet scent waft through the house when you open the window!
The Judas tree is a smallish tree that only reaches 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 m). Its elegant silhouette and colorful blooming mark it as a stunning ornamental tree, ideal for small gardens or set up right near the house. From March to April, it’s covered in pink, white or purple flowers that float in the air like a cloud of butterflies. The rounded leaves take on a bright green hue in spring, then turn to fiery orange in fall.
Narcissus is a family of perennial bulb flowers. Either yellow or white, the flowers are universally recognizable thanks to their trumpet-like shape, emerging from a six-petal corolla. The daffodil, actually, is but one of the many narcissus species: Narcissus jonquillea. From February to May, depending on the species, they brighten up rock gardens, flower beds and pot arrangements. Easy to grow, narcissus flowers will always bloom better in rich, cool substrates.
Garland spirea ‘Arguta’
Incredibly abundant flower-bearing is what you can expect from this meadowsweet species. It forms a compact shrub with long, arching stems. In March-April, it is covered all over with bouquet-like clusters of simple white flowers, a small cluster of stamens in the center of each. About 6 feet tall (2m), it’s ideal for hedges, to line the back of a shrub bed, and to grow in large containers. Not only is meadowsweet fragrant, it’s also a highly melliferous shrub.
Often classified as a small tree or a shrub, Maule’s quince will excel both as a standalone and as a hedge shrub. This thorny tree with interweaving stems is perfect for defensive hedges. Height depends on the variety: from 2½ to 10 feet tall (0.80 to 3m). The blooming is what they’re often remembered for. Five rounded petals form a simple or double corolla, from which a tuft of yellow stamens emerges. Depending on the cultivar you find, your maule’s quince will bear beautiful flowers that can range from whit to red, with all the shades of pink in between.
This easy grower, aubrieta, thrives in well-draining, chalky substrates. It naturally forms thick, lush ground cover. Dense clumps will completely obfuscate any type of soil with a carpet of flowers. Leafage is evergreen, a greenish-gray color with serrated edges. From March to May, the leafage takes a low-key profile, letting thousands of yellow-hearted flowers surge up from below. As regards colors, the easiest one to come by are the purple varieties. However, you might be lucky and encounter white, pink and blue ones!
Hardy an perennial, Bergenia grows in every type of soil and climate. This ground cover plant unfurls fleshy rosettes, a pleasing pattern of shiny, rounded leaves. Though their natural color is green, the leaves sometimes take on a bronze hue in winter when they suffer from cold weather. Flower appear at the very beginning of spring at the tip of tall upright stems. They form white, red or pink clusters.