Saturday, December 15, 2012
More Natives in Formal Garden Designs: Spring Bloomers
These four natives have interesting leaf shapes to capture our interest after their spring flowers have gone. The geum also has a long lasting flower and seed pod to also add interest. All of these make great front of a border or nice bedding plants when used in a landscape plan. Take a tip from these plants; planting them in mass is a good way to show case their charms.
Unlike the many of the plants discussed in my last post which benefit from pinching to enhance flowering and structure; these do not send up additional flowering stalks when pinched. These all have root systems which are more corm-like rather than fibrous root systems. They are best multiplied using root division, after flowering and bloom earlier and develop more top growth when their roots become crowded. None of these are particularly dependent for their growth on a narrow pH range, so are able to grow in a variety of soils. I have seen hepatica growing in large swathes in spring woodland areas, on the edge of open ground and where the woodlands begin. They like damper soils. I have likewise heard of areas where geum have self-sown and growing them from seed requires a double stratification of the seed. While the foliage of many early-flowering native dies off as temperatures rise and spring rains fade from the season, these all continue to have a presence through their unique foliage throughout the growing season.