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Garden Photo of the Day

First Signs of Spring

Essential early blooming plants

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis, zones 3 - 7) is THE iconic early spring bloomer. Every garden needs masses of them.

Ekrika Shank of Amagansett, New York, sent these images of some of her favorite early spring bloomers. For most gardeners in North America, these little treasures are either blooming already or will be soon! The perfect way to end winter and celebrate the arrival of spring!

Jelena witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’, Zones 5 – 8) is a large shrub that covers itself with fragrant, golden spider blooms late winter and early spring.
Hellebores thrive in shade, are deer proof, and this hybrid, ‘Pink Frost’ (Helleborus x ballardiae ‘Pink Frost’, Zones 5 – 8) is one of the best and blooms heavily in late winter.

The common stinking hellebore (Helleborus foetidus, Zones 5 – 8) isn’t very appealing, but this plant doesn’t smell bad unless you crush the leaves, and the elegant green flowers edged in red are a sophisticated take on the sometimes garish colors of spring.

Blooming a little later than the other plants shown here, grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum, Zones 4 – 8) and spring star flower (Ipheion uniflorum, Zones 5 – 9) make an incredible, low-maintenance display once the days get a little warmer.


Have a garden you’d like to share? Email 5-10 high-resolution photos (there is no need to reduce photo sizing before sending—simply point, shoot and send the photos our way) and a brief story about your garden to GPOD@taunton.com. Please include where you’re located!

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View Comments


  1. flowerladydi 02/19/2018

    Just charming Ekrika!,,,, Great pics! I Love the Witch hazel,, and Hellebores are such a favorite,,, and you reminded me to go out and look for mine! I do not have the green, but do love yours!,, such a great color! It is encouraging to see these beauties!,, let's us know that spring is not ' that ' far away!

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/19/2018

    Love snowdrops but I'm too far south for them. We have summer snowflakes in bloom now. Love to see them. What color are your star flowers? Mine are a little darker.

  3. Garden1953 02/19/2018

    Thanks so much for sharing your photos of such pretty spring flowers. Always exciting to see in the garden.

  4. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 02/19/2018

    What fascinating intricate flowers your 'Jelena' witch hazel has...and such an unexpected color for spring. The picture of your snowdrops certainly gave proof that they are well named since there was actual snow in the background. And, the dainty white star flower contrasting so nicely against the strong blue of the grape hyacinth is a delightful combination.

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/19/2018

    Encouraging! Great portraits of stalwart and garden-worthy plants.

  6. Sheila_Schultz 02/19/2018

    There's something about the early spring blooms that brings excitement to all the gardeners who suffer through long dreary winters. It's almost time to go out and play in the dirt again! Thanks Ekrika!

  7. Cheryl A 02/19/2018

    Ekrika, your photos of these spring bloomers is sure to spark another round of plant lust! I love your Jelena, with the warm colors! Does the stinking hellebore have the same evergreen foliage as the niger? Pink Frost is sure an outstanding example, and yours looks wonderful! We are still awaiting the opening of the first buds of hellebores this spring - they are present in profusion but not opening yet. Thanks for sharing yours.

  8. greengenes 02/19/2018

    Well what a sweet surprise this morning, Ekricka. This sure brightens up this cold and dark morning here in the pacific northwest. Your pictures are beautiful and encourages me to get some snowdrops! I havent any! The helebores are such a delight too! Thanks for sharing

  9. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 02/19/2018

    Good morning, Ehrika and thanks for sharing your spring flowers with us. The common hellebore has such a beautiful green to it that I might have to look for that this spring. I’ve always loved snowdrops and you gave a nice patch of them.

  10. user-7021282 02/19/2018

    lovely photos - and a great reminder for me to go out and look for my snowdrops - I always forget!

  11. Schatzi 02/19/2018

    Beautiful! Love snowdrops and hellebores, but mine are now under 6" of snow. Blooms and all. But they are tough - they can take it. Winter isn't thru here in the PNW, much as we would like it to be.

  12. Pat in Maple Valley 02/19/2018

    was just out looking for the snowdrops I planted earlier this winter. Some tiny green tips just starting to show. Wonder which wildlife may pose the biggest threat...Thanks!

  13. PerenniallyCrazy 02/19/2018

    So happy to see that Spring has arrived in your NY garden Ekrika. I see signs in mine but it'll be a little bit longer of a wait since the weather's turned cold once again. I guess Wiarton Willie was right in his prediction. I hope you send more photos as Spring progresses.

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