cold-hardy perennials


Spring Fever – A Gardener’s Chronic “Illness”


Spring Fever: Hit by spring’s fever pitch? Turn off the technology switch! Many gardeners suffer from a chronic disease called Spring Fever that occurs when the direct rays of the sun cross the equator into the Northern Hemisphere. The symptoms of Spring’s Fever Pitch, while not considered a malfunction of the human body, may be a malfunction of the brain of avid gardeners. If you have been known to return from a plant foray with perennials wedged into every square inch of your vehicle, including the lap of a passenger, you might as well admit you are suffering from Spring’s Fever Pitch. The increased sunlight must cause an energy surge...

Helleborus – Lenton Rose

helleborus blossoms

Image above courtesy Walters Gardens Springtime in the Mountains? One day it snows, then rains and suddenly the sun is shining and outside temperatures are a balmy fifty-degrees. Then the process repeats itself! What is a gardener to do? What are the flowers to do? Well, there is one early blooming spring perennial that old man winter has no power over and it is the answer to a gardener’s need for spring color to break out of the cold drab winter shell! The name of this wondrous perennial is Helleborus or Lenton Rose. Helleborus has year around attractive foliage that persists through the deepest snow and then blooms in early...

Cold-Hardy Perennials: Preventing Frost Damage

hens and chicks cold hardy perennial

Preventing Frost Damage in Springtime Spring in the western Rocky Mountains has nothing to do with a calendar but is dictated by the weather. Just when gardeners and plants are suckered by warmer weather, Jack Frost pays us a late-season visit and frost damage wreaks havoc on tender new perennials’ growth. Plants are at their most venerable period as they break spring dormancy. The freezing temperatures usually result in temporary leaf damage. Most perennials will outgrow the white, bleached leaf tips, but if they don’t, the damaged portions should be pruned off. This isn’t lethal to the plant but it is lethal to the upcoming season’s flowers because the flower buds...

Crocus – The Ice Breakers of Spring

crocus blooming in snow

Crocus – Specie Bulbs The light has changed! The harsh daylight of winter has become softer, more fluid, bathing our gardens in a warmer glow that signals our first spring perennials to wake up. I call these small, easy to naturalize crocus bulbs, The Ice Breakers of Spring. The ice breakers or specie bulbs are the tough, inexpensive little delights that frequently bloom right through the snow and bring pleasure way out of proportion to their size. These bulbs are the first colors of spring and handle late winter storms much better than the gardener does. Ice Breakers must be planted the prior fall and overwinter to be ready to...