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The giant snowdrop has larger flowers and broader leaves than the more common G. nivalis, but grows to the same 4 inches tall and wide. Its white, nodding blooms appear in late winter, signalling spring around the corner.
Snowdrops are some of the earliest bulbs, and flowers in general, to bloom in spring. Galanthus nivalis is the most common species, and its cultivars are the most commonly grown snowdrops on the market. They are reliably hardy and perennial. They grow to 4 inches tall and wide and flower in mid- to late winter, long before most other plants. They are the first sign of spring around the corner. Flowers are nodding and white.
English ivy is a self-clinging climber or trailing perennial with almost flat, palmately 5-lobed leaves. Cultivars are available with varying leaf form, color, and variegation, as well as use and climbing habit.
This vigorous vine quickly reaches 20 feet tall and thrives on neglect. The greenish yellow, conelike flowers smell like beer. It can scramble along the ground or grow up screens and trellises.
'Aureus' is a fast-growing, twining perennial with roughly hairy shoots and deeply lobed, maple-like leaves in a luminous, clear shade of yellow. Clusters of subtle, fragrant, greenish yellow flowers add texture in summer and mature to pendent, papery, cone-shaped fruits.
Tall bearded iris tolerates dappled shade, but full sun promotes maximum flowering of deep red blooms. Spring or fall is the time to deadhead and cut the foliage back. This perennial makes a wonderful backdrop to spring bulbs. ‘Rip City’ is just one of hundreds of cultivars of tall bearded iris.
This beardless, crestless iris produces blooms in midspring that are the color of terra cotta. Quick growing, with long, swordlike foliage, this plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and works well in beds and borders.
Often used by florists and for weddings, 'Casa Blanca' lily has large, pure white, scented flowers.
The first true double-flowering Oriental lily, this plant has delicate pinkish white blooms that open in July and August. They are as stunning in the mixed border as they are in the vase. Each bloom has 18 beautiful petals, making it unique among Oriental lilies.
One of the oldest garden flowers, the madonna lily has bright green hosta-like basal rosettes appearing in winter and shallow-rooted bulbs that give it a distinctive appearance. In late spring, it thrusts up leafy torches topped with pristine scented blossoms in a raceme of 5 to 10 trumpet-shaped flowers.
This vigorous, woody evergreen or semi-evergreen trailing vine has dark green leaves to 3 inches long. Tubular, two-lipped, fragrant white flowers are sometimes flushed with purple, aging to yellow. Blooms appear from spring to late summer. Flowers mature to blue-black fruit.
This variegated deciduous vine has two shades of green at the center of the leaf and creamy white margins. Leaves brighten to hot pink in the fall. Pink buds and pastel pink and cream flowers are sweetly scented.
This woody, twining climber has two-lipped, tubular scarlet-orange flowers, yellow inside, in terminal whorls in summer and autumn. Bright red fruit appears in autumn.
This remarkably-versatile vine will climb your highest trellis or create a carpet of red splendor on your garden floor. Wherever planted, Major Wheeler’s showy blooms are a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies. -American Meadows
Alliums All Season Long
Deer resistant and dynamic, these bulbs provide color from the first showers of spring to the last leaves of fall
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10 Shrubs for Summer Color
These vibrant bloomers give even the showiest annuals and perennials a run for their money
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Enchanting Japanese Maples
Two experts pick their favorites based on color, shape
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Q&A Moving houseplants outdoors for the summer
by Tim Pollak
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