Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall color: Fruiting Shrubs - Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)

Changing foliage is not the only option for color in your fall garden – callicarpa, winterberry, cotoneaster, pyracanthus and holly all show off with colorful berries in autumn.





Winterberry
Ilex verticillata
Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9
Mature Height: 6-9 Feet
Mature Width: 6-9 Feet
Bright red fruit on female plants; autumn color is pale yellow. Prefers full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil is best, but tolerates wet sites; tolerates alkaline soil.
Cultivars:

* 'Afterglow'- 10 feet tall, orange to orange red fruit, good cold hardiness, (female).
* 'Jim Dandy'- 10 feet tall, (male).
* 'Red Sprite'- 3-5 feet tall, large, bright red fruit (female).
* 'Southern Gentleman' - Hardy to zone 3, (male).
* 'Spriber' ('Berry Nice')- 6-8 feet tall, outstanding display of bright red fruit (female).
* 'Winter Gold'- 7 feet tall, yellow fruit (female).
* 'Winter Red'- 9 feet tall, bright red fruits are abundant and persistent.

Mature Form: Oval to rounded; will sucker
Native To: United States (and Illinois)
Soil condition: Moist, Well-Drained Moist, Wet
Tolerance: Alkaline Soil, Soil Compaction, Wet Sites, Wind

Additional Notes: All species of Ilex have male and female flowers on separate plants. Fruit will be produced only if a male plant is available to pollinate the females. Leaves of this species will fall off in autumn.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Color: Fruiting Shrubs - Callicarpa Japonica (Japanese Beaty Berry)

Changing foliage is not the only option for color in your fall garden – callicarpa, winterberry, cotoneaster, pyracanthus and holly all show off with colorful berries in autumn.





Japanese Beautyberry
Callicarpa japonica
Hardiness Zone: 5 - 8
Mature Height: 4-6 Feet
Mature Width: 4-6 Feet
Small, pink flowers bloom mid-late summer; clusters of small, bright violet-purple berries in autumn; yellow or purplish autumn color. Prefers full sun to light shade; moist, well-drained soil; best in acid soil, but tolerates neutral soil pH.
Mature Form: Rounded with arching branches.
Native To: Japan
Soil condition: Well-Drained Moist
Tolerance: Wind

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Flowering Hedge: 20% off Flowering Quince ( Chaenomeles)





Chaenomeles
Zone: 5
Light: Full Sun
Bloom time: April (and sometimes they rebloom in September!)
Flower Color: white, pink, orange, red or peach
Fragrant: No
Mature Size: 6 tall and 10 feet wide

Chaenomeles (Flowering Quince) is an easy to grow, round-topped, deciduous shrub growing 6 feet tall and 10 feet across, with - let's be honest- beastly thorns. BUT this thorny beast becomes laden with showy spring blossoms.

When planting this very sturdy and low maintenance shrub you have two options: for those of you who (like most of us) would prefer to avoid battle scars while gardening, plant your Quince in full sun somewhere where you can admire its profusion of blooms from a distance in a flowering hedge.

But for the brave gardeners (with heavy leather gloves) this shrub can be pruned every year to keep it a manageable size. Flowering Quince can also be espaliered (trained to grow against a wall) and is a popular bonsai choice. Pruning the quince has the added benefit of encourages better blooming.

Flowering quince will produce a hard, pear-like fruit. These tart fruit can be used in jelly making.



Fruit from 'Toyo Nishiki'.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Flowering Hedge: 20% off Viburnum





Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake'(Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Summer Snowflake')
Zone: 5
Light: Partial Shade to Full Sun
Bloom time: From April to Frost!
Flower Color: white
Fragrant: No
Mature Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and wide

Summer Snowflake Viburnum produces an abundance of pretty, white flower clusters from April to frost! One of only a few shrubs that blooms all season. Very useful in the landscape as a free standing specimen shrub or in a flowering hedge. Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake' will grow in full sun provided there is adequate moisture during summer dry spells. Some afternoon shade is appreciated. Attractive bright red berries in late Summer are followed by wine-red Fall foliage.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flowering Hedge: 20% off Weigela





Weigela 'Wine and Roses'
Zone: 4
Light: Full Sun for best color
Bloom time: June (And again through the summer)
Flower Color: Hot pink
Fragrant: No
Mature Size: 4-5 feet tall and wide (Wine and Roses)

Leaf color intensifies to near black in late summer and does not fade to green like some older selections The tubular flowers are adored by Hummingbirds! It can be enjoyed as either an accent plant or used for a dramatic mass planting. It is fast growing and trouble free, making it an easy way to add season long color to the garden. The richly colored foliage makes its branches an excellent addition to cut flower bouquets.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flowering hedge: 20% off Fothergilla





Fothergilla (All Varieties)
Zone: 5
Light: Full Sun
Bloom time: May
Flower Color: White
Fragrant: Slightly
Mature Size: 6' tall by 5' Tall ('Mt. Airy') 1' tall by 3' wide (Dwarf Fothergilla)

'Mt. Airy' (also listed as 'Mount Airy') - This form of Fothergilla is widely considered to be the finest selection available. All attributes appear superior, including larger flowers, clean blue-green foliage, strong fall color (yellow to red) and vigorous upright growth habit to 6' tall. It is widely available and probably should be selected over other forms if possible.



Fothergilla is one of Victoria’s favorite fall foliage shrubs – its leaves turn a striking multi-colored metallic.


Dwarf Fothergilla only grows one foot tall, which makes it a very practical size for most gardens. In spring it has creamy white bottlebrush-like flowers that combine particularly well with spring-blooming bulbs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flowering hedge: Lilacs, Weigelas, Quince, Forsythia, Rose of Sharon, Viburnum, Itea, and Fothergilla

A hedge doesn't have to be regimented and solid like you see in formal gardens and around traditional homes. Some plants can be used to create informal hedges that require little trimming. Just a look over once a year to remove shoots that are growing out of line.

If you prefer an informal hedge that is big and sprawling, try shrubs like lilac, forsythia, bridalwreath spirea, mock orange, or roses. If you have the space, informal hedges can make a spectacular and effective “fence'” especially if flowering shrubs are used. Because they grow in a natural unmanicured way, an informal hedge requires more room than a sheared type hedge, so be sure to take their “mature” size into account when planting.

A mix-and-match approach to a hedge will add functional beauty to your landscape by giving you a great way to have interesting colors, textures, flowers and fruits all year long. A mixed hedge of Itea, Fothergilla, and Holly, for example will look good all year and magnificent in the fall when the flame-colored foliage of the Itea contrasts with the metallic fall color of Fothergilla and the deep green and brilliant berries of the Holly.

Or for a flowering hedge a mix of quince, viburnum, lilacs, weigelas, and roses will offer you and ever changing and fragrant wall of flowers.

With flowering shrub hedges, prune shrubs early in the season after they bloom. Early spring is usually the best time to “shape” shrubs that flower in the last part of the summer. Evergreen hedges should be pruned in spring and again early summer – evergreens should be shaped in late spring. An informal hedge should need only a once or twice a year trimming. Pruning will encourage greater flowering.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blooming Now: Eupatorium





Eupatorium dubium 'Little Joe' is Victoria's favorite variety. 'Little Joe' is a dwarf cultivar of a species of our native Joe Pye weed. It can reach 3 or 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide, and it has the familiar large domes of lavender-pink flowers that attract lots of butterflies in late summer and early fall. Its smaller size makes it a better fit in moist borders, beds, meadows, or roadside plantings.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two Months Left in the Gardening Season



I know most of you don't believe it, but there are still two full months left in the gardening season. There are still pleasant sunny days to be spent outdoors enjoying your yard and garden. If we throw our hands up and say it's over, winter will be upon us that much faster!

"SPENDING EVEN JUST A few minutes of quality time in nature each day can have a profound effect on both your psyche and your health. No one knows that better than Charles Cook, a Pomona, N.Y.-based nature guide and author of Awakening to Nature (McGraw Hill, 2001). Cook has lead more than 1,000 hiking and camping trips since 1980 to help people enjoy nature and show them that being outdoors can make them feel good. Here, Natural Health asks him why being in nature is so vital to your well-being.

Natural Health: Why is being in nature so good for us?

Charles Cook: Nature provides many of the things we need, like fresh air and sunlight, but there's also an energy in living things that we connect with [when we're outdoors]. You can definitely get an endorphin high from being outside. Just moving around in nature makes our bodies feel good.Tune into Nature

1. When you first step out of your door, pause for a minute and close your eyes, recommends Charles Cook, a nature guide in Pomona, N.Y.

2. While your eyes are closed, allow your hearing and sense of smell to heighten, Listen for birds singing nearby. Breathe deeply and notice any scents.

3. Open your eyes and remain still for a few more moments. Continue to notice the sounds and scents, and look closely at your surroundings before moving on."

For the full article by Amanda Lyndon click here.


So get out in your garden and dig in the dirt - plant bulbs, mums, ornamental cabbage and kale, perennials, trees, and shrubs! Fall is a great time to plant: cooler nights mean less watering. Victoria Gardens can help extend the gardening season with late, fall-blooming plants.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bright Red Fall Folliage: Itea virginica

For bright red fall foliage, Victoria recommends Itea shrubs –and to avoid the invasive euonymus (burning bush). Itea, as you can see, produces ravishing red fall color.



"Little Henry' Itea virginica.



'Henry's Garnet' Itea virginica.

Why should you avoid planting 'burning bush'?: "The invasive euonymus (burning bush) was introduced into the USA from northeastern Asia about 1860 and the bright red fall foliage makes this shrub a popular ornamental; burning-bush planted near woodlands, mature second-growth forests, and pastures can be a problem. It has escaped from cultivation in the Northeast and Midwest, notably in Connecticut, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

The earliest evidence of naturalized populations of winged euonymus in eastern Pennsylvania dates from the 1960s. Today it is found with increasing frequency in moist forests throughout the eastern United States.

Winged euonymus is a threat to mature forests and successional fields and woodlands because it out-competes native species. It is adaptable to various environmental conditions although it generally does not do well in very dry areas. It grows well in a variety of soil types and pH levels, has no serious pest problems in North America, and most importantly of all, is tolerant of full shade. It has invaded moist forested sites creating dense thickets that can shade out native herbs and shrubs.

Seed production is prodigious; many germinate where they fall close to the mother plant creating dense beds of seedlings. Others are spread by birds that are attracted to the seeds by their nutritious, fleshy, red covering (aril). Seeds dispersed this way germinate easily and spread the infestation rapidly. Wide usage of this a popular landscape ornamental increases the probability that more will escape from cultivation.

Winged euonymus should not be planted anywhere near native forest stands because of its invasiveness and prolific seed production.

The following native shrubs are suggested as alternatives:

winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata),
red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia),

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica)
,
arrow-wood (Viburnum recognitum or V. dentatum),
blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium),
gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa),
kinnikinik (Cornus amomum),
ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius),
witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana),
bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)."


-SOURCE: The following information on this species is taken from the Delaware River Invasive Plant Partnership, Invasive Plant Fact Sheets.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall Color Must Haves!

Perennials: Montauk Daisies (Labeled sometimes as Nipponanthemum nipponicum,Chrysanthemum nipponicum or Leucanthemum nipponicum) these luscious late blooming perennials grow to be a big stand of cheerful daisies over thick almost succulent-looking foliage. Asters, whether a small mounded variety like Wood’s purple or a tall wild variety, there is room in every
perennial bed for these native fall flowers. Sedums, low growing varieties as well as the ‘live forever’ varieties, which offer more height and late season color.

Even in the shade there is late color to be found. Monkshood (Aconitum) for tall spikes of deep purple blooms. Toad Lilies (Trycyrtis) are lovely fall-flowering perennials with orchid-like blooms. (Why more people don’t know about this stunning shade plant, I don’t know!) But flowers are not the only things that can add interest through the fall. Japanese painted ferns (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum) and Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) offer foliage with color and texture for the shade all season long.

Shrubs: The fall-fruiting shrubs Callicarpa, Elderberry, Pyracanthus, Winterberry, Holly, and Cotoneaster of course. But also Itea, which gets outrageous bright red fall color (a good
alternative to the invasive Burning Bush) and can tolerate wet conditions pond side or stream side. Fothergilla, a Victoria Gardens’ favorite for its multicolored, almost metallic fall foliage. Perhaps an unexpected autumn star is the blueberry bush (Vaccinium spp. ). Besides producing delicious fruit, this very cold-hardy shrub also produces fabulous fall color.

Trees: If there were a beauty pageant for fall foliage, the
Sourwood tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) would definitely be Miss Universe. Vibrant and vivacious, the sourwood leaves often transition from green to an orange red to brick red to flaming scarlet and display the most vivid fall colors of any tree species. And this color display occurs while the drooping white panicles persist into autumn. (”Sourwood” is a terribly drab name for such a remarkable tree, but refers to the taste of the leaves.)

Other fall stand outs are the Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum), which displays yellow to apricot fall foliage and Purple Dwarf Beech, which has deep purple foliage all season long. Washington Hawthorns (Crataegus phaenopyrum) turn a super saturated yellow, while Dogwoods get black and red fall berries. Seven Sons Tree (Heptacodium miconioides) is covered in white fragrant blooms from late summer to early fall.

Last, but certainly not least the Franklin Tree or “the lost camellia” (Franklinia alatamaha) is an American Native that is hard to propagate and is therefore sought after and sometimes hard to find. Franklinia produces large, white, fragrant flowers with a flurry of bright, egg-yellow stamens starting in late summer and continues to flower until frost (yes, until frost!) as the foliage turns colors from green to fire engine red to deep purple.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blooming Now: Clematis paniculata



One blogger writes of this "Crushing Beauty":

"Sweet autumn clematis in my garden, one of my favorite of all plants. Exuberant at a time of year when I am mourning the end of the basil and need exuberance. Though I cut both plants off knee-high this spring, they are nonetheless taking down my nice Smith & Hawken iron arch."

Clematis paniculata

Height: 20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing: 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

Bloom Color: White/Near White

Flower Fragrance: Very Fragrant

Bloom Diameter: Small - less than 2 inches (5 cm)

Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall/Mid Fall

Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Danger: All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Pruning: prune hard in early spring

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pink, white, green and 20% off, oh my! Japanese Maple: Acer palmatum 'Harriet Waldman'





Acer palmatum 'Harriet Waldman' as you can see is a glorious variegated variety with pink new growth. A rare and hard to find variety, we are lucky enough to have a grower who propagates this beautiful tree. I mean look at the color of the branch!

Mature size: 15'to 15' tall and wide
Light: Full sun to partial shade (light exposure will affect variegation).
Cold hardy: Zone 5
Leaf color: Pink, white and green - oh my!

The ones we have in stock stand about 4' now. $52 plus 20% off!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Full Moon Maple: 20% off: Japanese Maple: Acer japonicum dissectum 'Green Cascade'





Acer japonicum dissectum 'Green Cascade', also called Full Moon Maple, is a lovely tree that stays small and can be easily shaped to your taste. This cultivar maintains a growth habit like the palmatum dissectums, although it tends to be an aggressive weeper with a good strong structure. It loves to be pruned, so go ahead, give it a hair cut and experiment with a large-scale bonsai! Its natural shape tends to be mounding with a mature height to 5'. It’s foliage is a rich green color that turns a beautiful combination of red,orange and yellow.


Mature size: 5' tall and wide
Light: Full sun to part shade
Cold hardy: Zone 5
Leaf color: Fern-like leaves - bright green with red, orange and yellow in the fall.

The ones we have in stock stand about 4' now. $52 plus 20% off!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The many shades of 'Shirazz' : 20% off: Japanese Maple: Acer palmatum 'Shirazz'







Our grower says about Acer palmatum 'Shirazz', "The striking feature of this cultivar is the ever changing colors from spring through summer to fall. Each tree seems to have its own particular variegation depending upon the amount and type of sunlight. Summer heat creates a dark maroon color for the new growth with existing leaves turning to various shades of green. Trees that are grown in more shade will display new growth with lavender highlights. Recommended sun exposure is in the morning with some shade protection in the hot afternoon sun."

The tree will display a weeping habit as it matures.

Mature size: 15'to 15' tall and wide
Light: Prefers morning sun.
Cold hardy: Zone 5
Leaf color: New foliage maroon, then various shades of variegation.

The ones we have in stock stand about 6 1/2' now. $150 plus 20% off!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Famous for its foliage and 20% off: Japanese Maple: Acer palmatum 'Trompenburg'






Acer palmatum 'Trompenburg' is a fast grower similar to the 'Bloodgood' variety, but with better color.

One grower, Maple Ridge Nurseries says, "The 3 things for which Trompenburg is most famous all have to do with the foliage. The first is the spring color which is a dark purple sometimes almost appearing brown or chocolate and holds a nice color well into even a hot summer. The second is the very sharp serrations to the lobes of the leaf. The third is the way the lobes curl at the ends, but this does not always appear until the tree somewhat matures. Trompenburg will tolerate full sun to partial shade. Fall color is a brilliant scarlet red."

Mature size: 15'to 20' tall and wide
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Cold hardy: Zone 5
Leaf color: Dark purple/chocolate in the spring, burgundy in summer and red in the fall.

We have two sizes in stock. The smaller trees stand 4' tall now - $55 plus 20% off, and the larger trees stand 6' tall (really nice specimens) - $220 plus 20% off!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tour and Tea in the Garden September 19th



Join Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s Master Gardeners at the Jacob A. Hasbrouck Building on the SUNY Ulster Campus in Stone Ridge on Sunday September 19th for a guided tour. After the tour we host Tea in the Garden at Victoria Gardens in Rosendale. To register or for more information visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County website.

Master Gardeners will explain the principles of drought resistant garden design and planting techniques which help to create this incredible gardening spectacle.

Tea and a guided tour of Victoria Gardens in Rosendale will immediately follow the Xeriscape tour. The cost of the tour, talk and tea is $15 per person. All participants will receive a comprehensive list of water-wise plants to help them start their very own Xeriscape Garden. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by Wednesday, September 15th.

The Xeriscape Garden is an interactive teaching tool in the selection of heat tolerant, water-wise plants, integrated pest management and alternative landscaping techniques.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Outrageous fall color and 20% off: Japanese Maple: Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'



Acer japonicum 'aconitifolium' has low branching and smooth gray bark. Shows spectacular fall color of red and orange (as pictured below). Acording to finegardening.com, "The cultivar name 'Aconitifolium' refers to the fact that its ferny foliage resembles that of monkshood (Aconitum). This beautiful tree makes a great specimen plant and is very hardy."

Mature size: 10'to 12' tall and wide
Light: Prefers partial shade (the leave can burn in full sun).
Cold hardy: Zone 5
Leaf color: Bright green in the summer, yellow, orange and red in the fall.

The ones we have in stock stand about 3' now wand are starting to show off their outrageous fall color. $65 plus 20% off!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cascading, dwarf, and 20% off: Japanese Maple: Acer palm.dissectum 'Virdis'




'Viridis' Japanese Maple is a dwarf, mounded, small tree with a cascading and weeping habit. Also called a Green Threadleaf maple, the leaves are bright green and finely dissected (ribbon-like), turning yellow, orange and red in Fall. Well-drained soil is a must - planting in a raised bed with good drainage (and even slightly sandy soil) is recommended. This tree is particularly stunning when it cascades over the edge of a garden pond.

Mature size: 6'to 10' tall and wide
Light: Full sun to part shade
Cold hardy: Zone 5
Leaf color: Bright green in the summer, yellow, orange and red in the fall.

The ones we have in stock stand about 3' now with beautiful form. $88 plus 20% off!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Elegant, slow-growing, and 20% off: Red Japanese maple: Acer palmatum atropurpureum



Ignore the red mulch in this picture - instead admire the delicate form of the Red Japanese maple: Acer palmatum atropurpureum.

"This elegant, slow-growing Japanese maple has deeply lobed and serrated reddish purple leaves on twisted, cascading branches. Although the foliage color may fade to purplish green in the heat of summer, in fall it returns to a magnificent red. In a flower garden, as a specimen, or amidst a stand of other Japanese maple cultivars, this relatively easy-care tree can be an important part of a garden's architecture." Says home and garden guru Martha Stewart.

Mature size: 20' tall by 20' wide
Light: Full sun to part shade
Cold hardy: Zone 5
Leaf color: Deep purple/burgundy in the spring and fall, color subdued in summer.

The ones we have in stock stand about 5' now, which is a decently sized tree - big enough to look like something, small enough to handle and plant yourself. These are a steal for $45 plus 20% off!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tall, Medium, and Short Perennials That Bloom in the Fall

Tall Perennials For Fall Blooms



Eupatorium fistulosum (joe-pye weed)-pictured above- zones: 3-8
pinkish purple flower clusters sit atop tall stems.

Cimicifuga simplex (common name: bugbane) zones: 4-8
Tall upright spikes full of star shaped white flowers.

Anemone Japonica (windflower) zones: 5-8
A fall blooming anemone (often confused with the spring blooming and summer blooming type)with single cupped flowers that stand above the foliage. Flowers are in pink or white.

Aster (Aster) zones 5-8
Clusters of daisy like flowers typically with yellow centers. Plants flower in white, purple or pink.

Rudbeckia(black eyed susan) zones: 3-9
Daisy like yellow flowers with a brownish center. One of the easiest perennials to grow.

Medium Fall Blooming Perennial Plants



Chelone (turtlehead)-pictured above- zones: 5-9
A unique name and a fun plant to grow. The pink flowers are shaped like a turtles' head supposedly, I have this one in my garden, the flowers brighten up the fall garden.

Sedum (live forever) zones: 3-10
Autumn Joy is the most popular variety. It is a very hardy plant with clusters of light pink flowers that deepen to a burgundy color as the weather cools down.

Tricyrtis (toad lily) zones: 5-9
Another unique plant that is fun to grow. The flowers are small but they are so interesting to look at. They have spots and speckles on them. Easy to grow.

Kniphofia (hot poker plant) zones: 5-9
Grass like leaves with stalks bearing cone shaped spikes of brightly colored flowers.


Short Fall Blooming Perennial Plants





Liriope (lilyturf)-pictured above- zones: 5-10
Evergreen grass great to use for edging beds. A puple flower stalk emerges in fall. The leaves can be dark green and glossy or lighter green with a white stripe. The picture on the right shows variegated liriope in the foreground. The pink flowers are from garden phlox that sits close to the fence.


Sedum (dragons blood sedum) zones 4-9
A low growing ground cover sedum that gets little reddish purple flowers in the fall. the foliage turns from a green succulent look to a burgundy
coloring as fall emerges. It is slow growing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Spring-Blooming Bulbs Have Arrived!

We have many Deer Resistant Spring and Early Summer Flowering Bulbs! Here are a few:



GRAPE HYACINTH (Muscari)

Sweet fragrance and a brilliant blue color have made Grape Hyacinth long standing favorites. This is the perfect little bulb for massing under trees that haven't yet leafed out. And it doesn't take many bulbs to rapidly spread into a mass planting. For more information read this article from Fine Gardening.

* Height: 4 - 7"
* Bloom Time: Mid-Spring
* Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
* Zones: 3 - 9



SCILLA, SQUILL or STAR OF HOLLAND (Scilla siberica)

These little charmers work best when allowed to naturalize in the lawn. They surprise you every year with a carpet of dazzling blue. If you find yourself looking out the window, searching for signs of spring, scilla won't disappoint.

* Height: 4 - 6"
* Bloom Time: Early Spring
* Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
* Zones 1 - 9



SNOWDROPS (Galanthus nivalis)

They look like snowdrops and they bloom while the snow is still dropping. If Galanthus has a drawback, it's that it can't take any heat. But just like crocus, Galanthus lets us know that ground is warming. Plant them near a door or walkway for the best view.

* Height: 4 - 6"
* Bloom Time: Very Early Spring
* Exposure: Sun
* Zones: 3 - 9



WINTER ACONITE (Eranthis cilicica)

With its upturned petals and down turned foliage, Eranthis can form a thick clump fast. The yellow flowers generally bloom at the same time as Scilla and dwarf iris and make a nice complement.

* Height: 2 - 4"
* Bloom Time: Early Spring
* Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
* Zones: 4 - 7

ALLIUM

Ornamental onions are among the most deer resistant flowering bulbs. The most commonly know alliums have pom pom like blossoms on top of single, straight stalks. There is, however, a fair amount of variation in the species. Allium schubertii looks like a fireworks sparkler. Others, like Allium unifolium and Allium bulgaricum are bell shaped. You can find alliums in almost every color and height and their bloom times vary throughout the season. Allium are also rodent resistant.

* Height: Varies (4" - 4')
* Bloom Time: Late Spring - Early Summer
* Exposure: Full Sun
* Zones: 4 - 9

CROCUS

The bright colors of crocus are a welcome sign that the soil is starting to warm. Crocus will even bloom in the snow. This versatile little spreader can be used as a ground cover or as an accent. Plant a few by your mail box to make the walk down to collect your mail worth it.

* Height: 4"
* Bloom Time: Early Spring
* Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
* Zones 3 - 9

DWARF IRIS ( Iris reticulata )

You get the familiar iris flower on a low growing, spreading plant that blooms early in the season. What's not to like. You can find Iris reticulata in blues, purples and white. They all blend extremely well with other spring bloomers.

* Height: 4 - 6"
* Bloom Time: Early Spring
* Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
* Zones: 5 - 9

Fritillaria

Fritillaria add a touch of drama to your spring garden. From the dramatic, loud colors of 'Crown Imperial', to the speckles of 'Guinea Hens' (Fritillaria meleagris ), the deep purple of Fritillaria persica, the bi-colors and the creamy white 'Ivory Bells", Fritillaria will be noticed. They look exotic, but they are fuss-free, easy growers. Fritillaria are also rodent resistant.

* Height: Varies (10 - 24")
* Bloom Time: Mid-Spring
* Exposure: Full Sun to Shade
* Zones: 4 - 9

GLORY OF THE SNOW (Chinodoxa forbesii )

Similar to Scilla siberica, Glory of the Snow works best as a ground cover or naturalized in the lawn. Each bulbs provides multiple blue, star-shaped blossoms with white centers, that start to bloom as the snow is melting.

* Height: 4 - 8 "
* Bloom Time: Early Spring
* Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
* Zones: 3 - 9