Spring 2017 Color in My Garden

Closeup of Exbury Azalea "Gibraltar"

Spring 2017 Color in My Garden. I can’t believe it’s already May! We were very lucky to have a fairly “light” winter this past season. No real snow accumulation over a few inches and so far no late Spring freeze. And for the first time in a while, we are actually experiencing Spring here in the Washington, DC area. Some years we go straight from Winter to Summer with high heat and humidity so Spring is “skipped.” The pollen count from trees is pretty high but I can live with that.

This lovely and cool Spring has brought all sorts of gorgeous color so far. My azaleas are blooming vividly and are just full of flowers this year. I was concerned that the deer would have browsed far too many branches this winter. We have two bow hunters who have been hunting deer on our property so perhaps that has been a deterrent.

Colorful Azaleas including Autumn Princess and Conversation Piece

My gardenia azalea has a bevy of blooms this year. Its flowers are very similar to the gardenia flower, hence its name.

My gardenia azalea in full bloom
This bright magenta azalea has variegated foilage which adds interest when the flowers have faded
Vibrant orange Exbury Azalea called Gibraltar is in full bloom
Closeup of Exbury Azalea “Gibraltar”

My coral bells‘ leaves are also vividly colored this year. I love the different hues of chartreuse, magenta, and peach on their leaves and how well they work with the colors of the azaleas. Coral bells come in almost any color.

My coral bells work well with azaleas, day lilies, and mache

Also the wild dogwoods were spectacular in bloom this year. We have a few new “baby” wild dogwoods and one of them bloomed this year! I get excited when I see new baby wild dogwoods on the property. Overall, we’ve lost well over two thirds of the wild dogwoods that were originally on our property when we moved here almost 20 years ago. We lost them mostly to anthracnose disease and at least three to improper pruning by neighbors which resulted in the deaths of the trees. I’ll never understand some people’s needs to “limb up” trees that don’t need it and should not be limbed up. What I mean is the removal of limbs on a tree trunk so that a person can comfortably walk underneath the tree. That should never happen with a lot of trees and especially not with conifers but I see it all too often. And I think it looks pretty silly.

Wild white dogwoods in bloom

My daffodils were gorgeous this Spring. Last Spring, someone helped themselves to the blooms of the daffodils along the front entrance to our property. I dug up quite a number of them last Fall and moved them to other places on our property where they are flourishing. And I cut a number of daffodils for indoor vases just prior to a nasty Spring storm. And good thing I did that because other gardeners lost their daffodils to large hailstones.

My many varieties of daffodils were prolific this Spring
Creamy daffodils with double petals brought smiles to my garden

Sadly, a vole, or family of voles, has taken out about a dozen hostas around my backyard. I did notice some damage last year and was able to eradicate three of the voles. However, that didn’t seem to resolve the issue. Yesterday, I was looking for vole movement in the area (you can tell because the plants will move oddly from below) and a garter snake was looking for voles as well. See the photos below of last year’s hosta bed and this year’s missing hostas. At least the mayapples have spread a bit more this year. I think they are quirky looking with their weirdly shaped leaves.

Last year’s hosta bed with my favorite blue hostas
Only one hosta remains in this bed this Spring due to vole damage
Garter snake also looking for voles in my hosta bed

One of my triumphs is this pink rhododendron. It was looking very sickly for many years due to rhododendron borer damage. I was able to treat and save it! It’s now huge and gorgeous and I’m glad I didn’t dig it out and discard it when it was sick.

My lovely pink rhododendron is blooming huge pink blossoms
Close up of a pink rhododendron flower

My Japanese Andromeda (pieris japonica) had lovely pink flower strands and smelled so sweet. It’s one of the early bloomers in Spring. Also early bloomers are my bleeding heart plants.

Pretty pink flower strands on my Japanese andromeda
Bleeding hearts seem to grow up overnight and are early Spring bloomers

My peonies have fat buds and a few flowers have opened. Peonies are my favorite May bloomers. The wild dogwoods have finished blooming as have the deciduous lavender azaleas and the evergreen white azaleas. The daffodils are also done. I’m looking forward to more azalea blooms on my older Conversation Piece azaleas very soon.

What’s happening in YOUR garden this Spring? Leave a comment and let us know!

Order some Conversation Piece Azaleas or Buttered Rum Coral Bells from Amazon.com for YOUR garden!

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