The best of spring

When I scroll through photos from the previous year, I can’t wait for winter to end. Below, you’ll see a few spring photos that test my patience waiting for winter to end.

Hellebores are off to an early start in this mild winter, but there are many more still to come.
‘Merrill’ and ‘Royal Star’ magnolias are first to flower in March, with ‘Jane’ and the pale yellow flowered ‘Elizabeth’ following a few weeks later. Occasionally, flowers of the earliest magnolias are damaged by March freezes, but most years injury is minimal.
Paperbush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) are cold hardy to zero, and flowers will appear from early February through early March, depending on the mildness of winter temperatures. With a relatively warm winter so far, I’m looking forward to blooms in February.
Ogon spirea is not a favorite shrub, but it’s flowers herald spring’s arrival. The narrow yellow leaves are superb, but tall, rangy growth pushes this early bloomer to the side and back of garden beds.
Dorothy Wycoff Pieris japonica is a sturdy evergreen that is covered by hanging lily of the valley type blooms in March.
I am always excited to see the trilliums flowering. In recent years I’ve planted dozens in a range of colors.
The hanging, bell-like blooms of Silverbell (Halesia carolina) are one of my favorites.
There is no better time in the garden than when the Japanese maples are coming into leaf. New leaves of the Butterfly maple are cream and pink, with a bit of green, but these mature to green with cream colored margins.
The Red Horse Chestnut was planted (with reservations) as a substitute for a Seven Son tree that was damaged in a storm. How could it not be a favorite?
The deciduous Exbury azaleas are highly fragrant and more brightly colored than the typical evergreen azaleas. The large shrubs are perfectly sited growing from the understory.
Hostas growing at the edge of this pond are mostly seedlings.
The flowers of Magicien deutzia are my favorite, though the shrub is unremarkable after flowering.
A variety of native sweetshrubs (Calycanthus) thrive in damp and dry soil in part shade.
Oakleaf hydrangea flowering at the edge of the koi pond.
A variety of Japanese irises are planted in shallow water at the edge of the koi pond.
The native Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica).
The flowers of Stewartia bring spring to a close.

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