Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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Plants of the Week - Early Bloomers


We’ve featured a few of the early bloomers over the last couple weeks, so here are a few more that really do say spring is right around the corner!

When these little guys peak up through the frosty ground…even thru the snow.Galanthus species, or commonly known as ‘Snowdrops’ (and rarely but also called Milkflower)!And not only are they an early beautiful sight, they’re easy to grow outdoors as well as forcing indoors!Woodland settings are ideal for Snowdrops and usually naturalized in large masses or tucked into small pockets within the garden or under shrubs.And they can be potted in the fall (bulbs available for fall planting) and grown in pots for wonderful late winter / early spring color indoors, and then planted later in their outdoor setting.Plant in the fall…semi shady location is best.And guess what?You will love them, but the critters don’t!

Helleborus orientalis is the botanical name of the very popular, early blooming shade perennial more commonly known as the Lenten Rose. Lenten Roses are very hardy and grow in zones 4-9. They get their name because many selections bloom during the Easter celebration of Lent (depending on how late Easter is!). We’re already seeing a few flowering, and can last right into April.And there are many different flower colors available on the gardening market today!When they are not in bloom they remain as a lush deer resistant evergreen ground cover throughout the year. They prefer shade to partial shade and are excellent for naturalizing and grow in most soil types. 

I love this one, because it’s such a great small tree / large shrub, that most folks don’t know and is often confused with another plant flowering after this one flowers…which is one of the first to flower in the early spring.And, it’s a dogwood that’s not like your ordinary dogwood!Its’ Cornus mas, or commonly known as Cornelian Cherry Dogwood.Usually grown multi-stemmed like a large shrub, you will find them single trunked as well.Unlike the white dogwoods you may be familiar with, this one flowers yellow in early spring, and is often mistaken as a large forsythia bush.Those flowers produce a nice sized red berry which mature late summer and are very showy and very much edible by you (preserves and syrups) and the wildlife.And what’s nice about this dogwood…it grows in partial shade to full sun!Hardy to Zone 4 / 15-25 ‘ high and wide / scaly exfoliating bark / very few if any insect or disease issues / purplish red fall color but not all that showy.


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