Spring Color Harmonies

Yellow is the key color of spring in our gardens, with lavender running a close second. And what lovely effects can be achieved by combining them to bring out, by contrast, their varying tones!

Spring ColorPin

Forsythias And Daffodils In Cold Winter

Nothing is more heart-lifting after a long cold winter than the forsythias and daffodils as they sing out their color song. 

Nothing is more refreshing than their bright persistence during the few bleak days that winter invariably demands of fickle April.

Try massing pansies in all their purple, yellow, and lavender shades at the feet of the daffodils, and you will make a picture to remember. 

As the long leaves of the daffodils wither, they may be hidden among the pansies. Moreover, the funny little faces will carry on well into the summer heat if you pick off the dead flowers daily. 

Then, their duty done, they can be pulled out and replaced by annuals brought near their flowering stage, ready for transplanting, in some corner of the garden or purchased at a nursery. 

Alyssum’s Glorious Bursts Of Color

Hard on the heels of that first glorious outburst of color comes the well-known hardy Alyssum saxatile compactum, sometimes called Basket of Gold. 

Not nearly so familiar, but even more deserving, is her lemon-colored sister, Alyssum saxatile citrinum. 

A carpet of these anywhere in the sun — and they are great spreaders—if planted in well-drained soil interspersed with clumps of lavender. 

Breathtaking Phlox Divaricata

Phlox divaricata is another breathtaking spectacle, particularly if you can contrive a lilac in full bloom as the background.

Phlox divaricata, the wild Sweet William or Blue Phlox as it is sometimes called, is native from Quebec to Florida and Texas and has taken in a most kindly way to cultivation. 

The foot-high sprays of graceful flowers, blooming for some 4 or 5 weeks through late April and May, rise above the ground-hugging shiny leaved foliage.

Divisions are easily made, or the stock may be increased by stem cuttings, taken as soon as the new growth is well started after the flowers fade. 

A lover of rich soil and partial shade, it makes there a per feet foil for pale yellow primroses, while in the sun, associated with the alyssum. 

Attractive Doronicums

Doronicum (Leopards-Bane) is the tallest of the early perennials and most attractive facing down deep purple, lavender, and yellow tulips.

Doronicum, not too well known, is a treasure that deserves wider use in our herbaceous borders. 

The shiny, bright green heart-shaped leaves appear very early in the season, and by late April, the 2” to 4”-inch yellow daisies open on 2-foot-high wiry stems. 

Clipping the flower heads as they fade may be kept in bloom for over a month, but in our garden, this is a task that never waits since we find them almost indispensable for spring bouquets. 

The plants disappear during their dormant period in July and August, but by September, new growth begins, and it is then that division may best be made, usually every third year.

Yellow Columbines

And columbines! No late spring picture would be complete without their airy grace.

Another picture is a group of yellow columbines near the tall lavender iris, with masses of pale purple Nepeta mussinii. 

Yet another, the “blue” columbines, which are lavender or orchid-shaded, beside the lovely fragrant Hemerocallis flava, the common early yellow daylily, growing only about 30″ inches high and flowering in June.

44659 by Marjorie Schnizer