Spring has sprung, and signs are definitely plentiful across Pennsylvania. But have they come to your backyard yet? We have already given suggestions on attracting butterflies and birds to your spring yard— by landscaping with specific plants. But what about plants that attract your gaze? Plants that can add color to your outdoor space? Let’s take a look at our favorite spring plants that are sure to be pleasing to the birds, bees, and you.
No garden is complete without a few of spring’s first bloomers, the hellebores. Hellebores are so easy and so pretty, they have a place in nearly every landscape. Their exquisite bowl- or saucer-shape flowers in white, pinks, yellows, or maroon remain on the plant for several months, even after the petals have fallen. Hellebores are quite easy to grow, and since they are perennials, will continue to bloom for a number of years.
‘Stars and Stripes’ Pentas
Similar to primroses, these annuals flower like crazy, bringing butterflies and hummingbirds into your garden. The scarlet flowers with pink centers are irresistible to them. Variegated foliage contrasts nicely with other plantings. Even out of bloom, it is a beautiful plant, but luckily, it’s almost never without flowers.
Yes, we just said that. Grasses provide a nice textural change from the other plants in most gardens. They come in many sizes from a few inches tall to over 6-ft. tall. Besides their interesting textures, grasses come in colors that range from common green to blue, to shades of maroon, and variegated types with stripes of white or light yellow. The seed stalks on some grasses can be more interesting than the leaves.
The vivid and large clusters of pink, purple, white, yellow and red spring blooms of the rhododendron have made it a favorite of gardeners for generations. You can find a rhododendron to fit any spot in your landscape. Rhododendrons grow in all sizes and shapes, from low-growing ground covers to medium-sized shrubs to tree-size plants. Slow-growing dwarf or compact varieties are a smart choice for under windows. The American Rhododendron Society website has information about more than 2,000 different rhododendrons and azaleas in searchable lists. Search by flower color, height at 10 years, bloom time, fragrance and more to find just the right variety.
These large colorful flowers and are very popular in cut arrangements. Lilies bloom for only a couple of weeks each summer and taller varieties sometimes need staking. With these drawbacks in the garden I still like the Oriental varieties because of their great fragrance. Different varieties grow 2-ft. to 4-ft. and they come in various combinations of white, yellow, pink, purple and red without facing flowers. Asiatic hybrids have more colors and upright flowers but they do not have the fragrance of the Oriental hybrids. Lilies generally have narrow stems and can be grown with other perennials or annuals at their base. Lilies do best with some sun.
It’s hard to resist the time-honored beauty and allure of peonies, which offer up about the prettiest pink blossoms you’ll ever see, with little muss or fuss. And they smell lovely. They’re disease-resistant, so they don’t need pesticides, and once established, they don’t need a lot of water. You do need to be patient. Peonies can take a few years to settle in once they’re planted, but they’ll live for hundreds of years. They’ll be your pretty pink legacy. It’s best to plant these from bare roots. Be sure the roots are fleshy and firm.
Reblooming daylilies such as Stella de Oro, Happy Return, and Grape Knee-High produce multiple flowers along tall spathes that resemble true lilies. Each flower only blooms for one day, but most varieties continue to produce new buds, so they continue to rebloom throughout summer. Daylilies are perhaps the perfect perennial—tough, easy to grow, loads of blooms, resistant to deer and rabbits, tolerant of a wide range of soils and conditions, and even drought once established.
We hope these suggestions have given plenty of beautiful ideas. Our recommendations have spectacular blooms that stop you in your garden path tracks. Or they offer up such intoxicating fragrance, you make excuses to go outside, just to inhale, and swoon. Contact the landscape professionals at PA Landscape Group, Inc. to help you select the ideal shrubs and landscaping enhancing plants for your yard.