At Wellfield Botanic Gardens, spring has started to take over, with early spring bloomers peeking out in beds and ground cover throughout the Gardens. While daffodils and tulips tend to get most of the attention, we’ve got a number of other plants to seek out when you’re looking for signs of spring.
The first sign of spring I noticed was in the Spring Garden, with the flowers on the witch hazel blooming in varieties of orange, red and yellow. Witch hazel’s (Hamamelis virginiana) hardiness zone is between 3 and 9, and these shrubs can reach up to 20 feet tall at mature height. This plant prefers acidic and well drained soil. These unique flowers started to bloom in January but they can still be seen today in the gardens!
One of the first flowers to bloom in the gardens was varieties from the species Crocus. These flowers are hardy from zones 3-8 and can be found in shades of purple, yellow, orange, pink and white. They tend to only reach a max height of 6 inches, and prefer full sun to partial shade. These can be found most notably in the Waterfall Garden as well as almost every other garden here at Wellfield.
Dwarf iris (Iris reticulata) are also in full bloom here at the gardens; they bloom in zones 5-9, and can be found in blues and purples, reaching a height of 6 inches. These flowers prefer to be in full sun to partial shade and do best in slightly acidic soil. This variety of iris can be found in the Water Celebration Garden among other areas here at the gardens.
Another flower in bloom here at the gardens is Galanthus spp., aka snowdrops. These droopy white flowers are hardy between zones 3 and 8 and can reach up to 7 inches in height. Snowdrops grow in groupings and can be found throughout the gardens here at Wellfield.
With a similar drooping fashion, Siberian squill are also blooming. This perennial has multiple flowers per stem and can reach up to 6 inches in height. Siberian squill (Scilla siberica), prefers full sun to some shade and enjoys moderately acidic soil in zones 2-8. This variety can be found notably in the Lotus Creek Garden.
Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) are a spring time favorite here at Wellfield Botanic Gardens. These perennials are the most abundant of the spring flowers here at the gardens, and do well in zones 4-8. This flower is most commonly seen as yellow, however they can be found in varieties of pink, white and multi-color combinations. Daffodils grow in clumps and prefer full sun to partial shade and neutral pH. These flowers can vary in size from 6 inches to some varieties reaching up to 2 feet.
Hellebore (Helleborus spp.) is a variety of perennial that have a downward facing flower and colors varying from white, yellow and green to pinks and purples. These flowers do well in zones 4-9 and in neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Hellebore can vary from less than a foot in height to 18 inches. This flower can be found all throughout the gardens here at Wellfield, including the English Cottage Garden and the Lotus Creek Garden.
From Witch hazels to Hellebore, many flowers are starting to bloom this spring season. These aforementioned flowers are only a small representation of what blooms here at Wellfield throughout the year. Come into the gardens and see all of these flowers, and more, in bloom!