Easter Flowers

Monday, April 9th, 2012 by Jenny Watts
    • Plant sunflowers now from seed. Choose either the multi-stemmed kinds for cut flowers or the giants for edible seeds.
    • Evergreen candytuft is a hardy perennial with bright white flowers set against dark green foliage. They bloom now and make a fine border plant.
    • Spring feeding of trees and shrubs can begin now. Mulch with manure or apply fish emulsion or commercial fertilizers.
    • Prepare for planting season! Turn in cover crops and do a soil test if your garden had trouble last year.
    • Plant sweet peas for bouquets of delightful blooms.

Look What’s Blooming for Easter!

The cold, wet weather has certainly slowed down gardening activities, but many of the early bloomers in the garden are doing their best to remind us that spring is not far away.

Daffodils are real troopers in this weather. Day after day, they hold their flowers up high against the weather beckoning the sunshine. A drift I saw at the base of a clump of white birch trees was especially cheerful. Grape hyacinths make a carpet of blue in my garden where they are impervious to the weather.

Forsythia branches covered with bright golden flowers standout in the garden, and so do the leaves of variegated Euonymus, which look particularly bright yellow at this time of year. Purple wallflower, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, now adds its bright mauve flowers to the springtime palette. And the slender, green stems of Kerria japonica are about to burst forth with their double yellow “Japanese rose” flowers. Is it any wonder that purple and yellow are “Easter colors”?

The Tulip Trees or saucer magnolias are coming into their glory. Their pink or purplish red blooms are 4-inches across or more, and they cover the branches of this beautiful small tree.  For the month that is in bloom it is extraordinary. 

Viburnum ‘Spring Bouquet’ is living up to its name, and is so beautiful right now, that you want to stop and see what that glorious plant is. This hardy, evergreen shrub should have a place in every garden. One of its close relatives, Viburnum burkwoodii, has fragrant white flowers that appear in early spring from dense clusters of 4″ pink buds. The upright, multi-stemmed shrub has an open habit that is very lovely in the shade garden.

Some varieties of Rosemary are now in full bloom. Their bright blue flowers are very attractive set against the dark green, aromatic leaves. Given good drainage, they are one of our toughest and most versatile plants.

Camellias are an old-fashioned shrub that has stood the test of time. Some older specimens, which were probably planted when the houses were built, are as tall as the eaves. Their perfectly formed red, pink or white flowers cover the plants in April and are an invitation to come enjoy their singular beauty.

Dainty azaleas are just beginning to bloom. These profuse flowering shrubs can be used as a low hedge, in borders or in massed planting for an impressive color display. The flowers come in pink, red, white, purple and lavender and cover the evergreen leaves while they are in bloom. It’s best to plant hardy varieties in our climate.

Eastre, the Teutonic Goddess of Fertility, is rich with promise and potential life. At this time of new beginnings, we look forward with hope to a bountiful growing season ahead.