May 3, 2014
I really like the time of year between seasons. The late winter plants are still looking good, and the spring and summer plants are just getting going. Spring in the coastal counties can be a grand time in the landscape. This time of year the warming temperatures have coaxed some of the best pansy flowering we'll see all season. At the same time the petunias that were planted in October are beginning to wake up. The fall planting allows the petunias to develop a big root system that will translate into a very robust spring flowering display. This combination of pansies and petunia is repeated all through this landscape and I like the addition of yellow shrimp plant to the season mash up. The bridal wreath spirea in this bed produces masses of small, white flower clusters on arching branches. And the large funnel-shaped flowers of pink Indica azalea, which are just beginning to dazzle guests in this landscape, are welcome spring color. Another cool season plant at its best right now is Redbor kale. This Mississippi Medallion winner has really crinkly leaves that show off an incredible dark purple/maroon color that draws the eye. It's combined with the medium green foliage of Indian hawthorn. This is one tough spring flowering shrub that perhaps is the perfect evergreen shrub for our home landscapes. Indian hawthorn is planted throughout the landscape and adds a steadying influence to the changing flower colors. So be sure to enjoy the tweener-time in your landscape, that special time when both winter and spring plants both look good. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.