One of the best parts of springtime is the excitement of garden preparation. Customers enjoy gardens that look beautiful at the start of spring, but what happens when the seasons change and that beautiful garden begins to disappear? Here are a few suggestions of beautiful plants that look great in spring but also continue to bloom and flourish as the seasons progress as well as some that flower through summer and fall.
Bearded irises (Iris germanica)
These are eye-catching with their delicate crepe-paper petals and intricate blooms, and along with being beautiful they are also easy to grow. Irises can bloom in a variety of colors, such as white, blue, purple, orange, yellow and pink. Irises do the majority of their flowering in late spring and into summer.
Rhododendrons (Rhododendron ferrugineum)
These can be planted in spring or fall. Acidic, moist and well drained soil is needed for rhododendrons; overwatered soil is one of the chief killers for this plant. They are not usually prone to insects or diseases. They provide fragrant blossoms in an array of colors such as white, light pastels, orange, gold, purple and red. Some blossoms change color over time or are marked with contrasting colors. They have large, paddle-shaped leaves and large, bell- or funnel-shaped flowers borne in terminal trusses.
Cranesbill geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Cranesbill geraniums come in pinks, blues, vivid purples and whites. Overall, care for geraniums is fairly simple. Watering should be done deeply and on a weekly basis, and fertilizing is usually necessary. Regular deadheading will also help encourage additional blooming. They have cup shaped or frilly flowers which bloom profusely and spread. Geraniums typically bloom in late spring and last until fall.
Knock Out roses (Rosa ‘Radrazz’ PP#11836 CPBR#0993)
While very beautiful, Knock Out roses are very easy to grow and don’t require much care. They are known for their disease resistance, drought tolerance and low maintenance, and their bloom cycle is about every five to six weeks. Known as ‘self-cleaning’ roses, they rarely require deadheading. Without bush forming pruning efforts, Knock Out roses can reach three to four inches wide and 3 to 4 feet tall.
Daffodils (Narcissus poeticus)
Bursting onto the scene, daffodils typically bloom in spring and come in bright oranges, whites and yellows with a trumpet-shape central corona and six petals. Bulbs should be planted in fall; large bulbs should be planted about 6 or 8 inches deep, medium bulbs 3 to 6 inches and small bulbs 2 to 3 inches.
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)
With its delicate bell-shaped, fragrant flowers and medium-bright green lance-shaped leaves, the lily of the valley can grow to be 4 to 8 inches high and 3 to 5 inches wide. This easy-going plant doesn’t require much to thrive and is very adaptable to different exposures. Planting of the lily of the valley should take place by late fall, and blooms may start appearing in May. These are deer resistant, aggressive but non-invasive.
Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)
These offer yellow or orange flowers, depending on varieties, and bring a great pop of color to beds and borders. They typically bloom in summer and fall. They can grow over 3 feet tall with leaves of 6 inches, stalks over 8 inches long and a flower diameter of 2 to 3 inches. The planting period of black-eyed Susans runs from March to May, and blooming typically begins between June and October.
Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Boasting beautiful heads that are hard to ignore, hydrangeas come in an array of colors such as blue, pink, purple and white. Colors can change depending on the soil PH, and they bloom in summer and fall. Hydrangeas are easy to cultivate and thrive in rich, somewhat moist, porous soils, and can grow from 3-20 feet high and 3-18 feet wide.