Perennials forum: Early blooming perennials- What are your favorites?

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Apr 10, 2014 5:19 PM CST
Herbaceous perennials are what I have in mind for this thread. While bulb plants are perennials, and typically get most of the attention at this time of year, I love combining herbaceous perennials with them to give the garden a lush look as early as possible.

Some favorites of mine are:
Mertensia virginica, Virginia Bluebells
Phlox- various spring blooming species
Ajuga
Lathyrus vernus
Dicentra spectabilis, Bleeding Heart
Hellebores
Aquilegia various species and cultivars
Epimedium



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Hellebores



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Lathyrus vernus


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Epimedium, my first to bloom!

Please share your favorite spring perennials! And pictures too, both individual plant shots and how you've combined them!


"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Apr 11, 2014 12:31 PM CST

Moderator

This Delosperma Jewel of Desert 'Garnet' blooms earlier than other Delosperma. This is from today. I like that it looks so good with my Sempervivun 'Larissa.' I don't think it's herbaceous, but I just had to share it.
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Name: Dianne
Sacramento, CA, zone 9a
Bulbs Cut Flowers Peonies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California Vegetable Grower
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soilsandup
Apr 11, 2014 1:34 PM CST
Herbaceous perennials is my middle name Rolling on the floor laughing

They are my favorite kind of plants - plant them once, and forget about it (except for some occasional splitting). I also like the fact that since they die back every winter, they tend to not get too big and over-yielding.

My hellebores are all finished blooming, but the green leaves continue to provide foliage interest.

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Silene diocia has been blooming for about 3 weeks
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Euphorbia - I have posted this before, but it is a great perennial and is worth a second look (remember to dead head)
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Name: Dianne
Sacramento, CA, zone 9a
Bulbs Cut Flowers Peonies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California Vegetable Grower
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soilsandup
Apr 11, 2014 1:45 PM CST
Here is a long shot of one of the front area gardens that has a few types of herbaceous perennials - photo taken in mid-March



A variety of heucheras to provide leafy color though technically it is not yet blooming, bulbine in the lower left front, hellebore to the right, euphorbia on the upper right

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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Apr 11, 2014 3:59 PM CST
So very beautiful!
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
Apr 11, 2014 6:18 PM CST

Moderator

Dianne very pretty garden.
Name: Dianne
Sacramento, CA, zone 9a
Bulbs Cut Flowers Peonies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California Vegetable Grower
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soilsandup
Apr 11, 2014 7:01 PM CST
Thanks, Arlene and Bob.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Apr 11, 2014 7:07 PM CST
Beautiful.

Karen
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
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virginiarose
Apr 11, 2014 7:34 PM CST
Gorgeous! Lovey dubby
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Dianne
Sacramento, CA, zone 9a
Bulbs Cut Flowers Peonies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California Vegetable Grower
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soilsandup
Apr 12, 2014 1:29 AM CST
Thanks, Susan and Karen.

When I redid the front yard, I raised some of the sprinkler heads but did not revamp the existing sprinkler system. Because of that, I had to plant low-lying plants in the front so that the water can reach the plants in the back.

Some perennials I used was this low growing geranium and Cerastium tomentosum (snow in summer) - both blooming over long periods of time

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a longer shot with Centaurea gymnocarpa "Velvet Centaurea" in the rear and yellow Bulbine frutescens to the left

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Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Apr 12, 2014 7:09 AM CST
Wow Dianne!! Thanks for the education. I have been looking for a low growing geranium. I ordered a couple of 'Rozanne' I do love the long blooming ones. LOL. Snow in Summer is wonderful and would like to add that f my new Moon Garden. That is the most beautiful Dusty Miller I have ever seen!! Does it really bloom purple? Must be stunning with the geraniums, nice color echo too.
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Hummingbirder Heucheras Winter Sowing Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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clintbrown
Apr 12, 2014 3:14 PM CST

Moderator

I have these woodland Phlox that bloom early. They smell good too and look great with Heuchera.
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Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Apr 12, 2014 3:24 PM CST
I like the blue, Clint.
And I like things that smell good!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Apr 12, 2014 4:20 PM CST
I agree Thumbs up
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Apr 12, 2014 4:33 PM CST
1/3
My earliest blooming perennials this year were a couple of the precious saxis in the rock gardens
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These are tiny plants, combined with rocks and other tiny plants--so nothing very lush going on there Hilarious!
About this same time, the early crocuses were coming on, the hellebores were thinking about it, and the various violas were getting in on the act--whether they are truly 'perennial' or just promiscuous self sowing annuals and biennials is a question...
The wild ones stay consistent, but the 'johnny-jumps-ups' and my specific cultivars like 'Etain' all look different year to year--anyway, they start in March for me with the crocuses and just keep going.
Here is wild-Etain
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and some volunteer johnnys
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This is V. jooi, not yet gone feral with the rest of them
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...and the back yard rock pile in March with some other early blooming perennials, V. jooi beneath the monster face rock
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and a draba (the yellow guy) behind the aubrieta (the purpleish guy)
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...to be continued
[Last edited by dirtdorphins - Apr 12, 2014 4:38 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #588356 (15)
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Apr 12, 2014 4:33 PM CST
2/3
For some reason, I have a hard time with phlox subulata here on the Wasatch front. It grew like crazy for me in MN and I really enjoyed it as an early blooming perennial. Here, though, it struggles and dies off. The whole front of my general-perennial rock garden used to be filled with it--if I could find a pic from a few years ago, Grumbling , I could show you--
Now, however, it mostly looks bad and I am replacing it with ...something...as it dies. (sedum? yeah, that's what the pictures say but that's not really the plan)
Here are some pics from this morning of what's left of it
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I find that the rock cress, aubrieta, blooms earlier and longer, for me, plus it also thrives and feeds the bees
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My favorite is generally whatever is blooming right now, and that bergenia is pretty awesome.
It's got nice red leaves in the winter, too. Here it is in the April fool's snow and this morning--fragrant too Smiling
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The woodland, creeping phlox stolonifera is doing well and just starting to bloom now
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In just a few days this area will be carpeted with blue and purple (can't forget the lamium scourge), and hopefully those daffs will open
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...meanwhile, my columbines have bugs, but no buds yet. The bleeding heats are just starting and the iberis is just barely unfurling its first petals
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to be continued...
[Last edited by dirtdorphins - Apr 12, 2014 5:09 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #588357 (16)
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Apr 12, 2014 4:34 PM CST
3/3
My cerastium and geraniums won't start until about May. I have a few dianthus with buds and more stuff in the rock garden--probably should just start a new thread in that forum ... but cripes, I'm already here
Primula 'Pink Ice' and pulmonaria
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some kind of Ameria, Daphne xhendersonii 'Ernst Hauser', and their area
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phlox kelseyi


this crazy chrysanthemum hosmariense, that made lots of buds late last fall, then winter hit and it just started opening those buds now
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prairie smoke, Geum triflorum
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and a bunch of others raring to go, but I didn't take their bud pictures cuz this darn tulip opened this morning, too, and distracted me Whistling
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Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Apr 12, 2014 4:42 PM CST
That darn tulip.
Hilarious!

I like your phlox kelseyi.
Got any idea what the cultivar is?
I like the strong purple of it.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Apr 12, 2014 4:45 PM CST
4/3
oops, I forgot this pulsatilla
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Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Apr 12, 2014 4:47 PM CST
I purchased that phlox as 'Lemhi purple'

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