April colors of the garden, or The brightest plants of mid-spring
Despite the fact that the calendar spring begins in March, you can really feel the awakening of nature only with the appearance of flowering plants in the garden. Nothing indicates the arrival of spring is so eloquent as the glades of flowering primroses. Their appearance is always a small holiday, because winter has receded, and a new garden season awaits us. But, in addition to flowers, the garden still has something to see and something to admire in April. The most striking ornamental plants in mid-spring will be discussed in this article.
Consistently green and seasonally colored conifers
This month, all responsibility for the structure of the site and the green shades in the garden still rests on the tender “paws” of conifers. Contrary to the well-known riddle, not all conifers, including spruces, are “the same color in winter and summer”. With the onset of cold weather, needles often change color from minor changes to complete unrecognizability.
In some species and varieties, such metamorphoses can be attributed to minuses, while in others, on the contrary, they can be considered a positive moment. So, in most varieties thuja eastern the needles acquire a gloomy brown-green hue, and only some varieties retain the emerald color in summer (for example, "Emerald") But for many junipers, a seasonal change in color, depending on the species and variety, happens both for the worse and for the better.
In the first half of April, conifers have not yet changed their outfit for summer, and under-snow has already grown undersized junipers, which are able to decorate the garden in early spring with a unique “winter” color. First of all, it is popular. juniper horizontal "Lime glove". This low-spreading bush in the warm season has a yellow-green color, but from late autumn to mid-spring its needles acquire an absolutely incredible rainbow color, combining shades of yellow, green, bronze, orange and pinkish.
For details on what juniper can be, read the article Junipers in the garden - types and uses.
Noteworthy and varieties juniper rockywhich becomes silver-gray and less bluish than in summer.
The gentle and modest beauty of the bark and the shape of the branches
A little more time will pass, and the trees and shrubs will be covered with young foliage and flowers. But in early April, the structure and remarkable coloration of the bark of young branches still remains in the spotlight. The champion in variety and brightness of color is willow in all its species diversity.
Willow branches may be olive in color (Ural crimped), bright yellow (weeping willow), bright orange (willow Matsudana), red (whole-leaved willow "Hakuro-Nishiki") and magenta (purple willow, rosemary other).
At willow Ural crimped and Matsudana willows additional twist is given by beautiful twisting branches. And at willow willows and some other species in April, the bush is decorated with "fluffy chickens" - flowers.
Read more about growing willow on the site in the article Willow: species and varieties.
The bright color of the shoots is also famous for derain. Most species and varieties of this unpretentious popular shrub have a bright purple bark. But no less remarkable and very unusual grade of deren "Flaviramea", which is distinguished by a bright green bark.
To make shrubs with decorative bark look bright in the offseason, it is important to carry out annual pruning to stimulate the growth of new shoots, since it is the young growth that differs in color.
Hazel "Kontorta" cannot boast of branches of bright colors, but its twisted shape looks very graphic and picturesque, like a living sculpture. In addition, in early April, all kinds of hazel produce elegant earrings and soon begin to dust.
Read more about growing hazel on the site in the material Hazelnut - hazelnut.
Perhaps the plants blooming in early spring are inferior in beauty to the favorites of the flower beds of the summer months. But, nevertheless, nothing can be compared with primroses in terms of its effect on nature lovers: just yesterday there was snow under a tree, and today, it cannot be - the first flower! The long-awaited, touching and courageous.
For obvious reasons, the very first flowers among primroses are popularly called "snowdrops", and very different plants can bear this name, but most often blue sprouts or white galanthus are hidden under this name.
Because of the confusion in the names, the erroneous opinion is sometimes found that the spelling is listed in the Red Book, but this is not entirely true: we are talking about galanthus, which are also called snowdrops, like proles. However, this does not mean that blue spills can mercilessly tear for bouquets, because it is much more practical to plant your own meadow in the garden and enjoy the spring "blue lake".
Garden forms Siberian spells also come in pure white. And often in decorative floriculture another kind of spelling is used - bell-shaped silla. These snowdrops have pink, white, blue and purple flowers, and their shape is more sophisticated than that of a modest Siberian woodland, and they resemble charming garden bells.
In the garden, the spill is extremely unpretentious, places under trees and shrubs are suitable for it, as long as there is no foliage on them, the trunk circles are well lit by the sun, but in the thick shadow from the fence the spill will grow poorly.
For more information about growing bluebells in the garden, see the article Scraps - primroses.
In the wild, white snowdrop grows mainly in the Crimea, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and 10 years ago some types of galanthus could be found even in the forests of the Moscow Region.
But their attractive touching appearance and unusually early flowering served the flowers poorly, attracting the attention of lovers of spring bouquets. And now white snowdrops are not so easy to meet, and many species of galanthus have even been listed in the Red Book.
Due to the massive thoughtless collection of these delicate flowers, we can no longer admire them in the forest, and we have to purchase planting material grown in Holland.
In decorative gardening, more than 10 types of galanthus are used, but all of them are united by an external resemblance - drooping flower heads of three dazzling white outer petals that hide a small "crown" of smaller greenish-white petals.
The huge demand for galanthus in Europe has given breeders an occasion to create many interesting varieties. And now on sale there are even terry snowdrops, which are distinguished by an unusual multi-petal crown of a yellowish or greenish color in the center of the flower. But the color of the outer petals of all species and varieties of galanthus is always only pure white, the originators could not get other colors.
Like most small-onion primroses, galanthus do not need annual digging and dividing, but grow very well almost without leaving, growing and forming elegant glades. The place for planting galanthus should be sunny, without spring stagnation of water.
Among the many species and varieties of crocus, the so-called botanical crocuses are the first to bloom. By the timing of flowering, they sometimes even slightly ahead of the forest and galanthus, or blossom with them. And about a week later they are caught up with large-flowered hybrid Dutch crocuses.
On average, the flowering of crocuses lasts about three weeks, but when the weather is almost hot in the spring, the weather is hot and dry, the flowering period can be significantly reduced.
During flowering, crocuses steadily tolerate a significant decrease in temperature (to minus 10 degrees) and when returning snowfalls are completely hidden under a snowdrift. However, as soon as the snow begins to melt, they continue to delight with a multitude of colored stars, blooming right in the snow.
The palette of crocuses is very wide - from pure white to dark purple. Most often in the color of crocuses there are various shades of siren-violet (lilac, blue, lavender, lilac). Yellow also varies from ivory to dazzling yellow-orange (golden crocus).
Often, the color of crocuses combines two or even three colors ("Tricolor"), and in yellow-colored varieties on the outer side of the petals you can find longitudinal dark stripes. Bright orange expressive stamens add extra charm.
Crocus flowers have a delicate aroma and attract many bees. Crocuses resemble miniature tulips in the shape of a flower, but, unlike them, these flowers do not need annual digging and complex care. Crocuses will grow on almost any soil, except for very acidic ones. The landing site may be partial shade, but for full flowering they will need at least 4 hours of sunshine.
The closest relative is hyacinth, so sometimes this primrose is even called "dwarf hyacinth." But if you look closely, you can see that its flowers are more like a scaffold. From it they differ in a lighter color (pale blue, almost white petal with a blue stripe in the center) and more dense inflorescences.
Like a sprout, Pushkinia has low bushes with linear leaves no more than 15-20 centimeters high. And the size of the flower itself is also comparable to the sprout and has a length of about 1 centimeter. The similarity with these onion flowers is also reflected in the name of the two types of Pushkinia - hyacinth and Pushkinia forest-like.
The flowering of Pushkinia begins 1.5 weeks later than in Scylla and botanical hyacinths, and the soft blue bushes reach their full bloom by mid-late April. The total flowering time is 2-3 weeks.
Pushkin is recommended to divide and transplant to a new place at least once every 5-6 years. This is due to the fact that the mother's bulb forms a large number of children, as a result of which the overgrown curtain becomes crowded over time, and Pushkinia begins to bloom worse.
It is necessary to dig onions as soon as the leaves turn yellow and dry after flowering, and if you stop digging, the children will easily detach from the bulb and it will be difficult to pull them out of the ground. After that, the bulbs are stored until the fall in a dry room and planted in a new place in September. Pushkinia can also often self-seeding and appear in the most unexpected place.
By its appearance, this spring primrose resembles a miniature snapdragon, since the Corydalis has characteristic two-lipped flowers, collected in dense racemose inflorescences. Due to the similar shape of the flower, not every insect can pollinate Corydalis, and the main pollinators of this plant are bumblebees. If you want to admire these shaggy charming workaholics in early spring, then be sure to plant a crested bird in the garden.
Corydalis flowering time begins towards the end of April. Fortunately, Corydalis can be easily found in the forests of the middle zone. The most common plants with purple petals (hollow corydalis), but sometimes you can also find glades of lemon-yellow specimens (Marshall Crested) Corydalis is also notable for its pretty carved foliage, similar to lace.
Often, having brought corydalis from the forest to the garden, one can notice that later new plants appear in new and new places, gradually populating the site. The fact is that the seeds of Corydalis are very attractive to ants, and the resettlement of a plant in the garden is their doing. Nevertheless, you should not be afraid of such a seizure, because the Corydalis belongs to the ephemeroids, and immediately after flowering, its openwork foliage acquires a bright yellow color, and soon disappears completely until next spring. Only small rounded nodules remain in the ground.
In culture, there are other types and varieties of Corydalis with more original petal colors. Among them, the most noteworthy haller's crestedwhose varieties George baker and Zwanenburg have flowers of coral red color. Bright blue colors distinguish Corydalis Blue dream and Blue pearl.
Different species and varieties of Corydalis can easily become dusty, giving offspring with the most unexpected colors. Corydalis requires a semi-shady soil and good moisture without stagnation of water.
But not only the early bulbous ones bloom in the early spring. Primroses can also be rhizome spring-flowering plants. Unlike bulbous plants, such plants often do not belong to ephemeroids, and do not disappear after they have bloomed, but decorate the garden with their foliage all season.
For example, a “snowdrop” from the ranunculaceae family blooms somewhat earlier than crocuses - liverwort. Small - up to two centimeters - wide-open flowers of the liverwort of violet color are decorated with numerous fluffy stamens crowned with large anthers.
After flowering, the liverwort is a curtain of very dense, as if leathery, dark green three-lobed leaves. In this case, the foliage remains under the snow all winter and begins to die off only in the following spring, being replaced by young leaves.
The most common varieties in culture noble liver, which differ in color and number of petals (terry, semi-double and densely fly). Pure white flowers are found in liverwort varieties Albaliverwort Carmin has reddish-purple flowers, grade Ellison spence distinguished by blue flowers with dark purple stamens.
Among the terry varieties, liverworts are noteworthy. Plena rosea with pale pink, bushy flowers and Plena coeruleahaving terry blue-violet flowers.
Best of all, the liverwort looks in semi-shady places, as its flowers can fade in the bright sun. For the liverwort, it is better to choose places where it will be lit by sunlight only in the morning. The soil must be fertile and water-intensive. Overgrown clumps are easy to propagate by dividing the bush, in good conditions the liverwort can also give self-seeding.
In April, one of the most original garden plants blooms - hellebore, or winter hibernation. This plant has very large flowers, up to 7 centimeters in diameter, in the center of which are numerous long stamens.
Many varieties of hellebore have a unique color - dark spots (White Spotted Hybrid), "Spraying" (Double Ellen Picoti) or even almost black petals of a dark plum color (Blue Lady, "Purpleparkens", Double Ellen Purple) Such original colors look especially fantastic after the winter, and bring a light outfit of mysticism to the garden.
But there are simpler colors among hellebores, for example, lemon yellow (Double Ellen Green), ruby red (Atrorubens) and pure white ("Niger").
Hellebore is a very hardy cold-resistant evergreen. The green, deep-dissected, leathery wintry leaves remain unchanged throughout the year. It can be grown even in shaded, dry places where practically nothing grows. However, it is better to grow hellebore in fertile soil, water it in the dry period and periodically mulch.In good conditions, soon a single bush will turn into a curtain, which every spring will delight with its original inflorescences.
Depending on the type and variety, flowering hellebore can last from two weeks to 1.5-2 months. In one place without a transplant, it can grow up to 10 years. When growing hellebore in the garden where children walk, it is important to take into account that this plant is poisonous.
Lumbago, also called "dream grass", looks like a bell with a fluffy yellow pompon in the middle. Once upon a time, these large pubescent bells adorned meadows even in the suburbs. But these beautiful flowers paid for their beauty with almost complete destruction. And today, the lumbago is a garden plant that is not often found even in gardens.
Bell-shaped lumbago flowers can have different colors - white, red, yellow, blue, blue, purple and almost black. During flowering, the plant, including the petals, is abundantly covered with short white hairs.
The lumbago bloom begins in April and may continue in May. After the flowering of this plant, lush carved foliage will adorn the flower beds. Compact lumbago bushes reach a height of no more than 25 centimeters; their openwork foliage will work well with plants that have a single leaf blade (for example, a frangipani).
Lumbago grows in nature on dry sunny slopes, therefore, in the garden, a sunny place with well-drained soil is chosen for it, since sleep grass does not tolerate dampness. The best place for lumbago - alpine slides, rockeries and retaining walls.
Lumbago is very difficult to transplant, and the plant multiplies, mainly by sowing seeds for seedlings in individual cups. When growing a backache, it is important to use freshly harvested seeds, as planting material quickly loses its germination capacity. Seedlings bloom in the 2nd – 3rd year.
Anemone anemone (anemone)
Dubrovnaya anemone marks a transition from April to May, blooming at the very end of the month. Touching snow-white flowers with numerous bright yellow stamens are often found in forests of the middle zone.
Oak anemone turned out to be very responsive to plant breeding. And as a result of the efforts of the originators, we got a huge number of hybrid varieties of anemones with flowers of the most diverse colors. Today on sale you can find anemones with red, pink, blue, purple, yellow and even green flowers.
Read more about spring anemones in the garden in the article Anemone - Daughter of the Winds.
Very interesting variety of anemone forest Flore Plenowhich strikes with thick double-bloomed flowers of a pure white color. However, it’s the natural species that bloom the most - oak anemone, and buttercup anemone with bright yellow flowers, very similar to buttercups.
Spring-flowering species of anemone are ephemeroids, and at the end of June the aerial part of the plant dies. In culture, anemone is a very unpretentious plant. The anemone is highly winter-hardy, grows well in sunny places, but tolerates with light partial shade.
Species plants form many root offspring that can inhibit neighboring plants (cultural forms of anemone are not aggressive). Anemone is easily renewed by self-seeding and propagated by dividing the bush.