We’re back for another day visiting Terry Smyth’s spring garden on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, where her abundant spring blooms bring her great joy.
Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida, Zones 5–9) is an iconic spring flower native to the understory of the forests of eastern North America. The typical species has white bracts surrounding the cluster of tiny, true flowers in the center of the bloom. Of course, there are wonderful selections with pink bracts as well.
Ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus) is becoming more and more popular as an annual for early spring color. If you live in Zone 7 or warmer, you can plant the bulblike roots in the fall for masses of easy, roselike flowers the following spring. In colder zones, look for potted plants at the nurseries early in the spring to plant out and enjoy. Once the heat of summer arrives, they’ll fade away and go dormant, so enjoy these plants in their spring peak!
Another small, spring-flowering tree native to eastern North America is the redbud (Cercis canadensis, Zones 4–8). New hybrids have focused on forms with beautifully colored leaves, but the brilliant flower blooming on bare, leafless stems is the classic feature of this species.
A view through Terry’s garden, showing the lush plantings and explosions of color that greet the spring season here.
A striking dark-leaved trillium (perhaps Trillium cuneatum or a related species, Zones 5–8). There are many trillium species native to North America, some boasting beautiful flowers and others, like this one, with even more-striking colored and patterned leaves.
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