Spring in the Garden

Chartreuse, emerald, jade, and lime are visible in the gardens now; the perennials are emerging. It always amazes me how sparse the landscape looks this time of year. Come June the borders will be overflowing with color.

The different shades of green in the front borders remind me of Ireland.

The different shades of green in the front borders remind me of Ireland.

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My favorite garden is my shade garden growing under our Oak tree.

The reason I love the shade garden is because I love the beauty of foliage. The varied sizes, shapes and colors of leaves are refreshing; some fern like, others broad and bold, fronds, blades, and needles all add interesting texture to the landscape. The saying goes: “opposites attract”. Placing plants with different foliage next to each other adds beauty to the garden.

Two favorite shade plants are: Japanese Forest Grass, a small grass that has yellow and green leaves, and Corydalis lutea; it has fern like foliage with tiny yellow flowers.

The Corydalis reseeded itself in the grass; the different foliage makes a lovely contrast.

The Corydalis reseeded itself in the Japanese Forest grass next to the heart shaped leaves of the Forget-me not plant. All three plants make a lovely contrast.

The before and after pictures of some beloved plants:

The before: This plant is Alchemilla Mollis. The common name is Catmint 'Walkers Low'. The cupped leaves hold droplets of rain that shimmer like diamonds.

The before: This plant is Alchemilla Mollis. The common name is Lady’s Mantle. The cupped leaves hold droplets of rain that shimmer like diamonds.

The after: Lady's Mantle in June; covered with sprays of dainty yellow flowers.

The after: Lady’s Mantle in June; covered with sprays of dainty yellow flowers.

The before: This plant is called Nepeta 'Walker's Low'. The common name is Catmint.

The before: This plant is called Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’. The common name is Catmint.

The after: 'Walkers Low' Catmint covered with spikes of purplish blue flowers in June.

The after: ‘Walkers Low’ Catmint covered with spikes of purplish blue flowers in June.

And lastly:

The before: Buds of the Chinese Tree Peony.

The before: Buds of the Chinese Tree Peony.

The after: The Chinese Tree Peony blooms in May.

The after: The Chinese Tree Peony blooms in May.

A Tree Peony is not really a tree; it is a med-sized shrub. The beautiful large flowers are magenta and 8' across.

A Tree Peony is not really a tree; it is a mid-sized shrub. The beautiful large flowers are magenta and 8′ across.

Happy Spring! If you want more about perennials, click here.
xxoo

  24 comments for “Spring in the Garden

  1. kim
    April 25, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Your photographs are spectacular! I think that limey green makes all other colors pop. 🙂

    Like

    • April 25, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Thank you Kim.
      I love lime green in the garden. It looks great with many other plants. I remember your patio pots had a lot of limey green in them. 🙂
      xxoo

      Like

  2. Elaine
    April 25, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Hi Toby, your gardens are gorgeous. My gardens are staring to grow, but this weather isn’t Spring weather. Burrrr. Hope all is well.

    Elaine

    Like

    • April 25, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Hi Elaine,
      The weather was nice and now a cold front came in. Oh well. 🙂
      Soon May will be here and bring warmer temperatures.
      xxoo

      Like

  3. Marie
    April 25, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I love your now and later photos. I think I will try some catnip this year. I love the purple flowers. I wonder if it’s too early for me to put down mulch. I think I should give the perennials time to pop out. What do you think?

    Like

    • April 25, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Thank-you Marie. 🙂
      Sometimes I don’t get the mulch down till later to see if any garden gifts pop up.
      I still have to fertilize the plants and put compost around the base before I mulch.
      xxoo

      Like

  4. Shirley
    April 25, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Dearest Ellen,

    I always enjoy your garden tours. You have so many wonderful plants–such a lovely variety and you describe them so beautifully. I learn about a new one with each of your postings and it always makes me want more. Can’t wait to see them in bloom. As I have said to you many times before: You are my forever inspiration.

    Happy Spring,
    Hugs,
    Shirley

    Like

    • April 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Dear Shirley,
      A forever inspiration…how sweet! Thank-you. And I am excited to see your new garden in bloom! 🙂
      xxoo

      Like

  5. April 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Beautiful garden and photos, Ellen. How long has it taken for all of it to fill in? I have planted a shade bed and am really enjoying the various shades of green. I would be tempted to practice my putting on that slice of green lawn!:) Cheers!

    Like

    • April 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you Mimi. We have been in this house 20 years. After taking out all the overgrown shrubs in the front of the house, we put in the first garden; worked our way to the back over the years. 🙂

      Like

  6. April 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for the before and after pictures. Now I understand why you said your garden looks so bare right now. What a spectacular difference from the early spring to June!!

    Like

    • April 25, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      It is such a transformation. I’m glad I have my photos to remind me of its beauty. 🙂

      Like

      • April 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

        … and the excitement of anticipation! I think that’s why spring is such a wonderful season 🙂

        Like

      • April 26, 2015 at 10:04 am

        I agree Joanne. 🙂

        Like

  7. cunningham80@comcast.net
    April 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Your photos make me long for late spring and early summer.  Love, Eileen

    Like

    • April 26, 2015 at 10:15 am

      This year spring is slow; the forsythia is now in bloom. Hopefully spring will last a while.
      xxoo

      Like

  8. Bunty
    April 25, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Love your pictures! Getting so anxious for the warmth to get here and stay. Your ladies mantle is so big and high in June mine doesn’t seem to grow up and spread. Do you have a secret? Look forward to all your blogs. Love & hugs

    Like

    • April 26, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Thank-you Bunty. I also have Lady’s Mantle in my shade garden that is smaller. The plant in the front border gets more sun, that might be the reason. 🙂
      xxo

      Like

  9. Beth
    April 26, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Your gardens and pictures are so beautiful Toby!! I love the before and after pictures. xoxoxo

    Like

  10. Amy
    April 28, 2015 at 2:39 am

    LOVE this post, Ellen! I particularly admire your lady’s mantle. Gorgeous! Mine doesn’t bloom nearly as riotously as yours.

    All your photos are glorious, a genuine garden getaway. Thank you for all the beauty you share here. xoxox

    Like

    • April 28, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Thank-you Amy! I wasn’t sure if my lady’s mantle would get too much sun when I planted it near my lamppost, but it’s been blooming happily. I do appreciate the beauty of he gardens; capturing the moment so it lasts. 🙂

      Like

  11. May 2, 2015 at 11:26 am

    The greens are so exquisite this time of year, and so welcome after the monotones of winter. You captured them well.

    Like

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