Everyday Gardeners

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Sandra Gerdes, manager of the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Garden, got some great pictures of this year’s first blooms.

Chionodoxa and Narcissus ‘Little Gem’

Chionodoxa and Narcissus ‘Little Gem’

Chionodoxa and Narcissus ‘Little Gem’ are small flowering bulbs that grow only 5 inches tall, but they bloom so bright that a mass planting gives a real color splash in the early spring. They make a super combo — one of the earliest to bloom in the Test Garden – because they grow to about the same height and bloom at same time.

Hellebore ‘Golden Sunshine’

Hellebore ‘Golden Sunshine’

Hellebore ‘Golden Sunshine’ is one of several new hellebore varieties that Sandra planted last year.  This one really glows in the spring sunshine.

Helebore 'Pink Frost'

Helebore 'Pink Frost'

Hellebore ‘Pink Frost’ is another new one in the Test Garden. This one displays dusty rose flowers and stems.

Hellebore 'Ivory Prince'

Hellebore 'Ivory Prince'

Hellebore ‘Ivory Prince’, with it’s toothed foliage, has been in the Test Garden for a few years now and just keeps getting better. Sandra says hellebore flowers last two months or more in our garden.

Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’ with Scilla siberica

Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’ with Scilla siberica

Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’ with Scilla sibirica make an intense blue duet in the garden. This petite pair grow only 4-5 inches tall.

Viola ‘Penny Marlies’

Viola ‘Penny Marlies’

Sandra says, “Oooh-la-la! My favorite viola this year.”

Viola ‘Penny Mickey’

Viola ‘Penny Mickey’

This cheery little wonder — Viola ‘Penny Mickey’ — never fails to bring a smile to the gardener’s face.

Violas ‘Penny Orange’, ‘Penny Peach Jump Up’, and ‘Penny Orange Jump Up’

Violas ‘Penny Orange’, ‘Penny Peach Jump Up’, and ‘Penny Orange Jump Up’

Violas ‘Penny Orange’, ‘Penny Peach Jump Up’, and ‘Penny Orange Jump Up’ combine to make a bright, juicy-colored combination. Sandra says violas make a great carpet under larger bulbs like narcissus and tulips in the early spring garden.

Tulip ‘Stressa’

Tulip ‘Stressa’

‘Stressa’ is a Kaufmanniana type tulip with early flowers in red and gold.

Hyacinth ‘L’Innocence’

Hyacinth ‘L’Innocence’

These bright white flowers of Hyacinth ‘L’Innocence’ push up through rose canes and lamb’s ear in the Test Garden. And they smell wonderful.

Narcissus ‘Replete’

Narcissus ‘Replete’

Narcissus ‘Replete’ — a double daffodil — holds up blossoms that are fluffy and full of petals.

Narcissus ‘Cassata’

Narcissus ‘Cassata’

Narcissus ‘Cassata’ — a split corona type daffodil — produces blossoms that have a cup the color of lemon chiffon. The cups split open and lay flat against white petals.  They are usually the first of the Test Garden’s large daffodils to open.

2 Responses to “ First blooms in our Test Garden ”

  1. Loooove the violas!! The Penny Mickey is incredible. Do you think they could thrive in good ‘ol Northeast clay? Very wet in the winter as well. Thanks!

  2. The double daffodils with the peach throats are just lovely. Also, I am wondering how well lenten roses (hellebore) do here in the gumbo soil region of coastal TX… I specially like the muted burgundy ones.




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