I though it might be a good idea to share what some plants look like at this time of year as they emerge from winter dormancy.
I may have, in the past, occasionally, unwittingly dug up, pulled out, or weeded away a treasure because it was unfamiliar in the sprouting stage. These days, with a few more years of green-thumbing under my belt, I either mark where I put new plants, or place things in empty spots of existing beds. I find that with most perennials, they are quite forgiving about being moved to better locations if the first doesn’t work out (the light, water, soil, draining is wrong for the plant)
Walking through the garden yesterday, I took pictures of as many plants emerging from dormancy as I could find. With each picture I identify the plant and provide a little bit of info that I hope will be helpful in saving precious young growth. This (and the early fall) is the time of year when plants can be split for moving to new locations or for sharing.
Remember, not all plants are up yet – for example, hostas take longer to emerge.
Almost all of these plants die back completely for the winter. The first group are bulbs. (You can read more or leave a comment by clicking on any of the pictures.)
Daffodils – these should be flowering soon. The foliage may be a bit winter burnt, but that won’t hurt the flower. Remember to let them grow until they die back (you should cut off spent blooms)
The spring crocus leaves look a bit like oversize greaa except when you look closely you can see the stripe down the centre. These also should be allowed to die off rather than be mowed with the grass (at least until mid June)
These are the leaves for fall crocus. They become quite bushy and then die back completely in July – the flowers show up in October.
This is garlic sprouting – it came with the garden.
This is the start of a slightly frost burn allium. It is one of the giant purple globes. There seems to be more than one plant, so I am hoping for multiple flowers.
The second group of plants share what I call “furry leaves” – some are truly fuzzy while others appear so because of lots of wrinkles as they emerge.
The primrose (not to be confused with the evening primrose has spring flowers that are colourful and long lasting.
These are campion leaves. I have both pink and white in the garden, and the plants are biennial self seeders. This means they grow like this the first year, and flower the second. Once established they are prolific so you may have to manage them a bit. They are easy to remove and to relocate.
Here is a garden pop-up. It’s a mullen and is a wild plant. I like the tall yellow spires, so I always leave a few behind during weeding.
Also kind of fuzzy, but only because the new foliage is crinkled, this is a hollyhock. Holly hocks flower in their second year.
These are lambs ears – they create a lovely wooly patch of different texture and colour, and flower pink spires in the second half of the summer.
The next grouping is simply the assortment of what’s left. These are all lovely plants that flower at different times. If you need samples, get in touch and we’ll see what we can arrange. Many if not all of these can be picked up at extremely low cost at the spring fund-raising sales of local horticultural societies.
One of my favourite garden flowers is the oriental poppy. The flowers come in late June, providing brilliant splashes of colour to the garden.
Sedum provides a different foliage and late summer-fall flowers that the bees and late butterflies absolutely love it.
The fritalleria seem very happy this year and may even flower for me. This is their fourth spring in that location, and some judicious pruning of the cedar bushes mean the is much more sun on the garden bed.
An old faithful rhubarb – we’ll be feasting off the bounty of this quite soon as it is a fast grower. Don’t let your rhubarb flower and you can continue to eat it. Just cut the flower bulbs back to the root.
Here we have some of the resident old fashioned white and pink bleeding hearts.
Strange looking with a pot around it, but this is sweetgrass, and I am hoping that the pot keeps the crabgrass out.
This odd looking piece is actually an end branch of the honeysuckle vine which flowers from summer to fall when it’s happy. The leaves begin to emerge very early, but slowly. I trim back the vines to just above the nearest live bud.
This is a well established peony throwing up shoots.
Also a peony, I took a piece of an existing root, and planted it here in the fall. I am happy to see it has wintered over, and will begin building its roots this summer.
Hardy geranium – has a lovely little rose coloured flower.
Here are the shoots of hardy French Tarragon – lovely in omelettes. I had a plant that needed relocation, so I split it in three, and shoots are showing in all of the new locations.
Evening primroses add a bright burst of yellow in mid summer, the bees love them and they are self seeding.
This is one of the “I’m not quite sure what this is” plants. When I run across these, I let them grow until I can tell whether or not they belong.
Ah, for a change of pace, this is the new garden faerie house – you can have one too with a clay pot, a glue gun, some small stones, and bits from the garden (like branches, moss & lichens)
The beginnings of the iris – these are bearded iris.
Here you have an example of day lilies. You may have noticed that I am not one of the super-organized gardeners who has everything labeled. I tend to be happy with remembering the colour and type of plant.
Valerian, yes the same as the tea, is self-seeded through the garden from an original plant given to my by Alan (a friend of Mum’s). I love the tall graceful white flower heads and the ferny foliage.