By Lisa Rapalus/Buyer
Every year right about now, I’m reminded of why it’s so important to have evergreen and early blooming plants in the landscape. Not only to provide winter interest, but also to fill the early spring gap before those herbaceous perennials and deciduous trees and shrubs start popping. While perusing my garden earlier in the week I noticed a few standouts that really have that “wow” factor and, in my humble opinion, should find a home in everyone’s yard that has the space.
Golden Duchess Hemlock
This dwarf weeping Hemlock has a graceful structure, beautiful texture and wonderful golden coloring that really brightens up the landscape. It’s slow growing and has an average landscape size of 5’ tall by 3’ wide. Partial sun.
Euphorbia are wonderful winter interest and early spring blooming perennials. Not only are they covered with bright interesting blooms early season, but they’re also evergreen and deer and rabbit resistant. Snip off spent bloom stalks to the ground after flowering to promote new fresh foliage growth and to prevent self seeding. Partial to full sun.
This ornamental artichoke relative is a real stand out in the landscape. It provides a strong structural element and a silvery color that is hard to beat. The one pictured here has looked like this all winter except for a brief set back after the snow and ice. In summer it is topped with huge purple thistle like blooms that can easily reach 6’. Full sun.
Black Mondo Grass
Whether planted in a container as shown or massed in the landscape, black mondo grass is a must have. I’ve had mine planted in this lime green pot on my front porch all winter, and it has looked this good all winter. It’s unusual color and strong texture adds a very cool element to the landscape. Partial to full sun.
Forsythia ‘Show Off® Starlet’
This dwarf form of an old time favorite is wonderful for those folks that want to tuck a tidy early blooming shrub amongst their perennials or plant near the house. It’s flowers are showier than other forsythia and it tops out at about 3’ tall. Prune immediately after flowering to ensure blooms the following year. Makes a great cut flower if stems are cut prior to bloom and forced indoors. Partial to full sun.