When I was growing up, both of my grandmothers always kept gardens full of flowers. Their entire yards became canvases for what would soon be filled with the colorful hues of the budding and blooming plants. They’re members of garden clubs and attend plant swaps, so something new is always being planted. Horticulture has been something I’ve been around for a while. Both of my parents keep gardens as well, even though they keep them separate because they can’t agree on what to put in them. It’s not a surprise that I chose a field in something I grew up around.
I had a climbing tree when I was little. It was a Dogwood; beautiful white blooms with branches that stretched far in any direction. I would spend hours and hours in this tree simply because I loved being outside. I was so content; spring made me so content. The spring is such a happy time – spring means my birthday, baseball, flowers, and that I can start wearing shorts again (not that I wasn’t wearing shorts in December this past season #southprobs). This week I want to talk about a few of my favorite plants that are blooming right now in my family’s gardens.
#1. Tulips – Tulipa spp.
The Tulip is one of my favorites – growing and to design with. They’re such a universally known flower with such a great historical background. Tulips were one of the first plant bulbs sold on the market at extremely high prices that took an horrible crash, causing one of the first economic bubbles. This trend is now known as ‘Tulipmania’ and was very important in the Dutch Golden Age of the 1600s. Tulips were a flower of luxury, no other flower in Europe existed at the time with such bright color. Now they can be seen all over the world. Holland has an annual festival, along with Oregon, Washington state, and hundreds of others. Niagara Falls also has beautiful Tulip gardens this time of year. They come in many different varieties, petal forms, colors, and sizes.
#2. Grape Hyacinth – Muscari armeniacum
The Grape Hyacinths are very unique spring blooms. Unlike a regular Hyacinth with a bursting flower, the flower of the grape variety has a more bell or ‘grape’ shape. They tend to only get about 1/2 – 1 foot off the ground and are most times grown in groups, so they add a blanket of color to where ever they are planted. Grape Hyacinths come in shades of blue and also white.
#3. Daffodils – Narcissus spp.
I think this bloom is probably one of the most recognizable spring flowers whether you are familiar with growing patterns or not. You know spring is on its way when you see the Daffodil poking its little head through the ground. This is one flower that you do not have to plant yourself, and it will just come back every single year. There are lots of sizing differences, double vs. single petaled, and color varieties (within reason) with these flowers.
#4. Forsythia – Forsythia x intermedia
At home, we call this the Yellow Bell. These plants can be very large shrubs or pretty small depending on growth and pruning. The thing to notice about them is the beautiful yellow blooms that can be seen in the spring. During the summer months, this plant is usually green; brown with no leaves in the winter. The spring is its time to shine!
I hope after reading this you take a moment to look around your own yard and notice what’s blooming – it’s not too late!