Raise your hand if seasonal affective disorder has set in for you. Yep, us too. Because the skies are gray and the landscape is mostly brown in many areas of the country, we decided that today’s episode would be geared toward offering a glimmer of hope. We’re talking about plants that put on a show in the last gasps of winter and first few weeks of spring. Just when you think that the garden is never going to look good again, these unsung heroes show up to give us all a little cheer. We have trees, spring ephemerals, and even a few lesser-known North American natives that not only make us happy but that help support the earliest pollinators. Those living in more southern locales will delight in our expert chiming in from Texas to talk about what gardeners in warmer climes have to look forward to in just a few short days.
Expert guest: Jared Barnes, Ph.D., is an associate professor of horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Red trillium (Trillium erectum, Zones 4–7)
Wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia, Zones 3–8)
Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum, Zones 5–8)
Pink flowering dogwood (Cornus florida f. rubra, Zones 5–9)
‘Berry Swirl’ hellebore (Helleborus × hybridus ‘Berry Swirl’, Zones 4–8)
Trout lily (Erythronium americanum, Zones 3–8)
False spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia, Zones 2–8)
Shadblow serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis, Zones 4–8)
Yellow wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’, Zones 7–9)
Paperbush (Edgeworthia chrysantha, Zones 7–10)
Virginia springbeauty (Claytonia virginica, Zones 3–8)
‘Bonita’ Japanese apricot (Prunus mume ‘Bonita’, Zones 6–9)
‘Tojibai’ Japanese apricot (Prunus mume ‘Tojibai’, Zones 6–9)