Features in this issue
Past Issues:

Digging into Spring Colours

spring-bloomsSpring has returned with all its life and colour in the form of flowering plants and shrubs. If you have bulbs planted in the fall, they will be one of the first flowers peaking out from the ground.

If you haven’t planned that far ahead you can still enjoy a lovely spring bloom by sowing seeds of cool-season flowers or purchasing and transplanting flowers, shrubs, and sprouting bulbs that have been forced to ‘shoot’ early.

Sowing for Spring

A wide variety of seed flowers are available in a dazzling assortment of colors and sizes. Favorite spring bloomers include:   Sweet Peas, Poppies, Nocotiana, Black Velvet Nasturtiums, Verbena Bonariensis, Linaria, Echium ‘Blue Bedder’, Cosmos, Persian Carpet Zinnias, and Calendula. 

Wildflowers are perfect for casual gardeners as they will grow in poor or dry soil, difficult climate conditions, and don’t require fertilizer. Consider:  Fawn Lillies, Cornflowers, Chinese Hellebore, Oriental Poppy, Siebold Primrose, Pasque Flower, Atamasco Lily, Anemone, European Toothwort, Leopard’s Bane, and Trillium – the flower of Ontario.

Herbs, such as Parsley, Cilantro, Chervil, Dill, and Chives can enrich your garden and your meals. Vegetables may include lettuce, parsley, peas, leeks, and spinach.

Planting for Summer Colours

For summer blooms, many bulbs and seeds are planted in spring. Some perennials may take a year or more to bloom.

Bare-root trees, shrubs, and perennial bulbs are ideal for planting in early spring after the risk of frost has past. Bulbs, and the plants they produce, vary greatly in size and shape.

Spring blooming perennials include: Tulips, Crocuses, Snowdrops, Chionodoxa, Scilla (Blue Squill), Daffodils, Hyacinths, Boechera (Rockcress) and Muscari (Grape Hyacinth).

Shrubs such as: Forsythia, Star Magnolia, Heather, Red Currant, and English Lavender, will help any spring garden come alive.

Keep in mind…rock cress

  • If you want to attract attention to an area, plant flowers in a group consisting of a single colour.
  • For a natural feel plant using varied shapes and sizes.
  • To ensure all plants get their fair share of sun, place smaller plants to the south.
  • Add a sense of whimsy to your garden by planting flowers in attractive, unusual, and unexpected containers such as vintage buckets, tea pots, baskets, coolers, etc.
  • Make personalized plant markers so you can identify what you have planted.

One advantage to growing flowers is that you can bring them indoors — as potted plants or cut flowers. A simple flower arrangement can brighten any space.

by Kevin Davies