Identifying Perennials in Spring

Pictures of perennials as an identification guide to what’s growing in my yard this spring.

Once the perennials start pushing through the ground in spring, I sometimes can’t recall what is growing where.  I spent nearly 30 years living in Florida where plants don’t have to hibernate over winter.  Now I’ve had to adjust to not seeing my yard and gardens for months at a time.

Even though I leave the tags near the plant when they are planted, the tags don’t always last.  Some of the larger perennials, like the hydrangeas and peonies are easy to identify.  I also know where the rhododendrons are as they don’t die back.  They are just chewed to nubs by the deer.  This year I discovered that deer eat lilacs too.  We’ve had a hard winter.  I can’t be too mad at them for needing to eat.  I just wish they’d eat plants in another yard and leave mine alone!

I’ve taken some recent photos of the perennials growing this Spring as a reminder of what’s growing where.  It’s a plant identification guide for myself.  Maybe they will help you name some in your yard as well.

I took these photos May 3, 2015.  I live in southwestern New Hampshire.

ID bleeding heart ID Columbine plant in spring ID Coneflower ID Coral Bells ID coral bells2 ID Corepsis ID Monk's Hood ID tall phlox ID wild bleeding heart

Raised Garden Bed – Getting Ready to Plant

raised garden bed
Simple Raised Bed of Cinder-Blocks

At last our snow is gone. It could snow again, but it won’t last if it does. We can seriously begin thinking about our gardens now in New Hampshire.

Last year I dragged these cement blocks up from the side of the house and created a raised bed. I ordered dirt from Agway and wheel-barrowed it over to fill the area. I had tomatoes and a zucchini plant in it and they did great.

I will have to begin thinking about what I want to grow and where I’ll plant it. Except for cold weather crops, like lettuce, parsley and peas, I won’t be able to plant until the end of May.

I added Bone Meal to the dirt in this raised bed, but I still need to order a new batch of good dirt too. Finances are a bit tight, and I won’t be buying hanging planters and such to beautify my yard, but certain things I must have to grow some (hopefully) good crops. I garden to eat healthy and save money. And I also enjoy it.

I got outside the other day, when the weather was nice, and took some photos of what is coming up in the yard. I’ll share once I get them off the camera and into an organized group for my blogs.

A Death in The Hydrangea Family

I’ve been waiting, with little hope, that my pee gee hydrangea (grandiflora) would begin to show some green. Of all the new hydrangea additions to my yard last Spring, it’s the only one that seems to have died.
I managed to get a few photos of it’s pretty white flowers last summer, and I had hoped it would grow nicely in the new season, but it’s not to be. By now I would be seeing some signs of growth. My son stepped on it and I think that is what did it in, but maybe not. It may have already died over winter.

white flowers pee gee
Little Pee Gee

The others – the Pinky Winky, Limelights and Endless summer are full of leaves so I know they have survived over winter. I found a Pee Gee tree when I was out at the nursery the other day and those become so pretty. I am jealous of people who have big yards with room to grow flowering trees. Recently the whole area where I live is alive with color. From fluffy white and pink specimens to the gorgeous Japanese magnolias (my favorites), I envy yards with those typed of ornamentals. I hope to get a photo of the flowering dogwood tree I saw last year just down the street. It was a beauty.
Anyway, my attention is turned to the remaining hydrangeas in my yard. I look forward to the blue flowers especially.

The First Flowers of Spring: Helloborus “Emma” Picture

early spring flowers
Spring Promise “Emma”

I have never grown a helleborus in my yard until this year. I bought two of this type of perennial last fall and put them out front.   I was looking for plants that like shade and these were in the shade lovers section at the nursery.

It’s late April as I write this and both the Lenton Rose and Spring Promise (pictured) have numerous flowers. The blooms tend to droop and face downward but the leaves stayed on all winter long! I did have to trim a few of the dead leaves to clean it up, but they do seem to be very hardy.

This one called “Emma” has such pretty flowers and the other one I planted has more greenish blooms. I’m glad I have added these to my landscape. It’s nice to go outside so early in the season up here in New England and see flowers! Not even my tulips have bloomed yet.