Today we’re headed down to the warmth of Zone 8 and looking back at the beauties of this past spring with Caroline Williams. She has been playing with flower gardening for over 40 years. While roses, peonies, amaryllis, salvias, and snapdragons are some of her favorites, she loves all flowers. She gets excited about starting a flower from a cutting and watching it succeed. Her hope for the future is to have her yard resemble a botanical garden. To be in the flower garden is like walking in the presence of God. You get to feel peace, sit back, relax, and enjoy the blessings.
Containers of flowers mix with the colorful backdrop of blooming azaleas (Rhododendron hybrid, Zones 7–10).
Gorgeous spring peonies (Paeonia hybrid, Zones 3–8). Peonies need a period of cold temperatures during the winter in order to grow and flower well, so Zone 8 is about the warmest place most of them can be successfully grown, and most will do best in Zones 7 and colder.
A lovely iris, which looks to be one of the Louisiana group of hybrid irises (Zones 4–9). This group of irises is derived from hybrids between species native to the American Southeast, and they are great choices for hot, humid climates where bearded irises may struggle.
Cheery pots of colorful annuals bring long-lasting color and beauty to the garden.
While many gardeners think of amaryllis (Hippeastrum species and hybrids) as tender houseplants, some of them are surprisingly winter hardy perennials. This is the old-fashioned hybrid Amaryllis ‘Johnsonii’, which is hardy in Zones 7–10 and may survive in even colder gardens if given a sheltered spot. Its flowers are smaller than those of the big hybrids usually grown inside, but it more than makes up for that with vigor and hardiness.
It’s hard to beat the wonderful vines of a large-flowered clematis (Clematis hybrid, Zones 4–11) for sheer impact of flower display.
Caroline says she dreams of her garden looking like a botanic garden. I’d say she is well on the way! What a dreamy spot to sit and enjoy the beauty she has created.
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