Garden Photo of the Day

Carla’s Spring Garden, Part 2

More signs of the new season

New fern fronds unrolling

Today we’re back with Carla in Malvern, Pennsylvania, enjoying the first signs of spring in her garden.

new growth on a Japanese mapleI 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.

New fern fronds unrollingNew fern fronds unroll to greet the new season. I believe this is cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea, Zones 4–8).

new plants in a wheelbarrow to be plantedWhat 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.”

spring garden with pine straw mulchThe 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.

Snakes head fritillaryThis 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.

white snake’s head fritillaryA white variant of the snake’s head fritillary mixes with the usual dark form. They’re both beautiful, and look wonderful together.

tractor seen between bare spring treesHere’s an unusual bit of spring color—a tractor spotted through the trees starting work in the field.

yellow trumpet daffodilsTrumpet daffodils (Narcissus hybrids, Zones 3–8) are the most classic and traditional of the myriad of daffodil forms.

cinnamon fern mixed with daffodilsDaffodils 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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View Comments


  1. PattyLouise 04/21/2021

    Great examples of new beginnings! Love the wheelbarrow stocked & ready to go! Love the yellow & green spring color (tractor)!

  2. User avater
    cynthia2020 04/21/2021

    Yes, Patty - I, too liked the way Carla worked the view of the tractor into her set of photos!

  3. btucker9675 04/21/2021

    This brings back memories of walking my gardens in northern NJ looking for the first spears of peonies to poke through the soil. When I saw them, I knew that it was truly Spring! Thanks for sharing your Spring with us!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 04/21/2021

    I know that excitement you are feeling over in my part of western Pennsylvania...the most exciting time of year is the return of spring!
    You captured so much of it in these pretty garden nice to see the ferns emerging!
    I saved those inspiring photos of your (Fritillaria meleagris, Zones 3–8)...gotta get myself some of those!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/21/2021

    Everything is so pretty.

  6. shegardens 04/21/2021

    I’m a little jealous of that wheelbarrow of plants you were setting out. The tulips here in Iowa had snow on them this morning.

  7. shegardens 04/21/2021

    I enjoyed the photos of new growth in your garden. Perennials are emerging in my yard, but the tulips here in Iowa had snow on them this morning. The wheelbarrow of plants made me a little jealous!

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