The snow is finally melting, and all of us Northern gardeners are giddy with joy, and we're all posting about the very same set of plants: Snowdrops, crocuses, witch hazel and helleborus.
This post is about an entirely different set of plants.
Back in December I took a stroll through the gardens at Michigan State, and wrote about plants for winter color -- so I thought I would revisit those plants now, and see what I'm thinking.
Some things are decidedly out: The ornamental kale now looks like this:
And smells like rotten cabbage. Yuck. Yuck. Ugh. These might be good plants for a milder climate, but this is NOT what I want to see when the snow first melts.
Another looser are the deciduous hollies -- they looked stunning in December, but every berry is now long gone. They are nice for fall/early winter, but don't go the distance to early spring -- and the same is true of every other berry in the gardens. They simply don't last long enough to qualify for real winter interest.
Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'
This is amazing color anytime -- but for March in Michigan, it is unbelievable. Looks just as bright as it did in the fall.
Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'
The it a LOT of color for something that was under 6 inches of snow just a couple days ago! And wouldn't it be stunning with deep purple crocuses coming up through it?
I'm also still loving: This ornamental grass (whatever it is... I should know, but I'm terrible with my grasses. ID anyone?)
And Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (even though it IS over used, I'm impressed with how it stands up to the amount of snow we get here)
So I'm starting to put together a winter/early spring garden in my head: A backdrop of evergreen conifers, a swath of ornamental grass, and red-twig dogwood, lots of Yucca 'Color Guard' fronted with 'Autumn Joy' and 'Angelina' peppered with splashes of purple crocus and dwarf iris. Wouldn't that be marvelous? What would you add?