Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 1: Early Spring Bloomers

April 25, 2017

Get some great ideas for plants that flower after the forsythia but before the rest of the garden   

Daffodils and tulips? We are way beyond that. Our arguers wrestle on whether or not hellebores are worth it and bring up a bed’s worth of options sure to start your season off right. From edgeworthia to an incredible dwarf redbud, we kick around a lot of plant choices. Which ones will you agree on?

Expert: Sharon Nyenhuis, landscape designer from Sequim, Washington.


Redbuds (Cercis spp. and cvs.) push blooms right out from their bark, making them beautiful oddities that both our hosts agree are worthy additions to the spring landscape.


Editor-in-chief Steve Aitken may or may not have been an accomplice in the abduction of this purple witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis ‘Purpurea’).


One treasured springtime shrub from this episode’s expert, designer Sharon Nyenhuis, is ‘Arnold Promise’ witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’).


One of senior editor Danielle Sherry’s springtime favorites, edgeworthia (Edgeworthia chrysantha), is only marginally hardy in her Zone 6 garden.

Featured plants

  • Hellebore (Helleborus spp. and cvs.)
  • Edgeworthia (Edgeworthia chrysantha)
  • Helleborus argutifolius
  • Stinking hellebore (Helleborus foetidus)
  • ‘Blue Panda’ corydalis (Corydalis flexuosa ‘Blue Panda’)
  • Winter aconite (Eranthus hyemalis)
  • White forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum)
  • ‘Don Egolf’ redbud (Cercis chinensis ‘Don Egolf’)
  • Primroses (Primula spp. and cvs.)
  • Asian twinleaf (Jeffersonia dubia)
  • Trilliums (Trillium spp. and cvs.)
  • Crocus (Crocus spp. and cvs.)
  • Daffodils (Narcissus spp. and cvs.)
  • ‘Jelena’ witch hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia ‘Jelena’)
  • ‘Arnold Promise’ witch hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’)
  • ‘HGC Pink Frost’ hellebore (Helleborus × balliardiae ‘HGC Pink Frost’)
  • Spring Promise® Sally hellebore (Helleborus orientalis ‘SP Sally’)
  • Cyclamen coum
  • PJM rhododendron
  • ‘S. Arnott’ snowdrop (Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’)
  • Drumstick primrose (Primula denticulata)
  • Cyclamineus daffodils (Narcissus cyclamineus and cvs.)
  • ‘Tete a tete’ daffodil (Narcissus ‘Tete a tete’)
  • ‘Thalia’ daffodil (Narcissus ‘Thalia’)
  • Erythronium dens-canis
  • Erythronium ‘Pagoda’
  • Trillium ovatum
  • Trillium cuneatum
  • Trillium luteum
  • Anemone nemorosa
  • Anemone nemorosa ‘Robinsoniana’
  • Tulips (Tulipa spp. and cvs.)

View Comments


  1. jessireiss 07/08/2017

    I feel the same way with Steve about forsythia - enjoy it in other people's yards. I appreciate them from afar. It takes up way too much space. It happens every year - in the spring I am desperate to see something green come up and flower. But then early summer I couldn't care less about bulbs! I Cycle repeats. My hellebore foliage (similar to Winter Moonbeam) is pretty tropical looking -variegated and toothed edge. However, they are overhyped. Every photo of the blooms are from straight on; very misleading . Bad advertising. I'm keeping my eye out for the Don Egolf.

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