Guides: Banks and Slopes
Naturalizing bulbs is a terrific way to brighten up lawns, prairies or meadows in spring. They also make gardening easy. Once planted, there is nothing left to do: these bulbs can stay right where they are and produce flowers year after year. What could be better?
Many tulips are not strongly perennial and their floral display tends to decline from season to season. They bloom well the first year, but then peter out after a couple of years. But if you select the right tulip varieties, plant them in the right spot and provide the proper care, you can be rewarded with a magnificent spring display year after year.
Coveted for their spectacular blooms which come in a wide range of shapes and colors, Azaleas and Rhododendrons are members of the genus Rhododendron, one of the largest genera in the plant world which includes over 900 species and over 20,000 named hybrids. All are fascinating.
Native to Mexico and Central America, Echeverias are regarded by many as one of the most beautiful succulents. Evergreen, they form attractive rosettes of fleshy leaves and often resemble plum-petaled roses, waterlilies or ruffled lettuce. There are dozens of species, and hundreds of cultivars offering a wide array of colors, sizes or leaf shapes.
Ceanothus, commonly known as California Lilac, offers almost everything a gardener could wish for in a shrub: free flowering, lovely foliage, ease of cultivation, drought, and salt tolerance. Fast-growing, these desirable shrubs draw attention with their stunning flowers. When a California Lilac bursts into bloom, it is a breathtaking sight to behold.
Native to North America, Camassias (Camas) are bulbous perennials with long racemes of up to 100 star-shaped flowers, adorned with six slender loose petals, a green center and bright yellow stamens. The flowers vary in color from pale lilac or white to deep purple or blue-violet. Borne on stout, willowy stems, they open sequentially from bottom to top for a long-lasting display.
Narcissus (Daffodils) are among the easiest bulbs to grow and are regarded as some of the most valuable spring bulbs for the South. Long-lived, they naturalize and multiply year after year. Versatile, they offer a fascinating array of flower forms, sizes, and colors.
If you look for more than a beautiful drift of creamy or golden flowers and wish to add another terrific dimension to your spring garden, plant fragrant Narcissus cultivars. While many daffodil bulbs are fragrant, most do not have a perfume powerful enough to enjoy unless you stick your nose directly into the bulb.
The following daffodils are recipients of both the Award of Garden Merit and the Wister Award, two highly coveted and prestigious awards. These super-daffodils have proven to be vigorous, sturdy, and reliably perennial. They include many different flower shapes and bloom seasons. If you plant a few of each variety, you will get weeks and weeks of spring color every year! Some are delightfully fragrant. Grow them close to where you sit in the garden, or along paths to savor their sweet fragrance as you pass by.
When the crocuses pop up, winter is on the way out! Very few early-flowering bulbous, tuberous and cormous plants are as extensively planted as the Crocus. Indispensable for each and every garden, they join snowdrops, winter aconites and glory-of-the-snow as the very first heralds of spring.
Extremely showy and exotic-looking, Crocosmia produce decorative clumps of erect sword-shaped leaves and brilliant wands of fiery scarlet, red, orange, and yellow tubular flowers which bloom for 5-8 weeks from mid-summer through mid-fall. Magnets for hummingbirds and butterflies, the vibrant blossoms give way to seedpods that persist into fall and attract hungry birds.
Native to the southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and northern South America, Agaves are evergreen succulents with handsome rosettes of usually thick, rigid, fleshy leaves with marginal teeth and often a sharp terminal spine. They exist in a wide range of sizes, colors and offer an amazing array of leaf shapes.
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