April 7, 2010
Field trip: A springtime wonderland
Posted by admin
Spring has this magical quality that takes you by surprise. It starts slowly, but one day you look around and it seems like the whole world is in bloom. Yesterday, I happened across the Jefferson Market Garden in Greenwich Village and it was having a truly shining moment. They had some especially fantastic bulb planting design strategies, so note them down now so you'll be well prepared to do the same when bulb planting comes again. Take a little tour with me:
1 Straight out of a fairytale, isn't it?
2 This tree is saucer magnolia, Magnolia x soulangeana. The flowers are lightly scented and its huge pink flowers are one of the earliest to open in spring.
3 All the glories of spring! Is there anything more romantic than petals fallen on a lawn?
4 Kerria japonica - this shrub can look rangy when left to its own devices, but I think it is worth growing and pruning properly. These pretty yellow flowers stick around for a long time, the little toothed leaves are nice, and the plant has attractive bright green stems
5 The gardeners at the Jefferson Market Garden obviously considered their bulb choices carefully. Combining two different plants with the same color but very different floral form and size makes this display visually intriguing.
6 Aren't these three colors of grape hyacinth (muscari) more interesting than just one? A very simple, easy to do garden trick that has huge impact.
7 That's spirea in the background but the very vertical plant in the front is Fritillaria imperialis. Though it smells very skunky, it is a really cool bulb with a dramatic floral display. The flowers are still a few weeks away, though.
8 Pretty blue flowers of Brunnera 'Jack Frost' and the emerging pink spikes of Solomon's seal (Polygonatum).
9 One of our finest native plants, Virginia bluebells - Mertensia virginica. The buds start pink and turn blue as they open.
10 The emerging fronds of fern say spring like nothing else does! The yellow buttercups surrounding them are Ranunculus ficaria - a pretty plant but very invasive in some areas, so don't add this one to your springtime fairytale!
11 Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is one of the most amazing, unique flowers around. It's so easy to grow that we sometimes forget how special it is. Note the camellias in the background - these are being grown against a greenhouse for the extra winter protection they need.
13 Even the tiny, normally insignificant flowers of holly contribute to the floral effect in this garden.
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