Today we’re back with Carla in Malvern, Pennsylvania, enjoying the first signs of spring in her garden.
I love the details of the newest growth on a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9), with leaves of pale green flushed red at their edges, and the twigs supporting them blushing a rosy red as well.
What would spring be for a gardener without new plants to put in the ground? When Carla sent in this photo, she said, “I also planted a whole bunch of things today, and it felt good to play in the dirt.”
The new pine straw mulch is down in this garden. Mulch is wonderful for conserving moisture, keeping the soil cool, and slowly adding organic matter to the soil, and you can use almost anything as mulch. Pine straw—the fallen needles from pine trees—gives a more natural look than more typical wood chip mulches.
This snake’s head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris, Zones 3–8) has nodding blooms with a very unusual pattern on the petals. Unlike many spring bulbs that prefer full sun and a dry summer dormancy, this bulb is well suited to light shade and soil that stays moist throughout the year.
A white variant of the snake’s head fritillary mixes with the usual dark form. They’re both beautiful, and look wonderful together.
Here’s an unusual bit of spring color—a tractor spotted through the trees starting work in the field.
Trumpet daffodils (Narcissus hybrids, Zones 3–8) are the most classic and traditional of the myriad of daffodil forms.
Daffodils in bloom mix it up with the brown fertile fronds of a cinnamon fern. Cinnamon ferns produce the usual green fronds as well as these brown fronds, which release the spores to produce the next generation of ferns. They last through winter and look wonderful mixed with these early spring flowers.
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