A few early spring plants we love to put together!

Early spring brings out a few plants that really make us get excited that winter is done and good weather approaches. Three plants that scream this time of year – and that work well together are Forsythia, Redbud and Hellebores.  Picture a corner of your garden with a graceful Redbud as the canvas in the background with the brilliant yellow of Forsythia flowers highlighted by the amazing greens and mauves of Hellebore nestled in the lower canopy!

Redbud has always been one of our favourite plants for Ontario – both with its heart shaped leaves and the beautiful two-toned pink flowers. Redbud (Cercis canadesis) is a small tree  – typically will get to 15-20’ tall and is a tree that we often see in a vase shape – great for a small yard. Redbud is usually the first tree to bloom in spring and times well with Forsythia.

Forsythia is a real garden showboat and get covered in bright yellow flowers. Forsythia is one of the easier shrubs to grow in any garden – the trick is to remember to do any pruning after this shrub has bloomed – as you do not want to cut off too many flowers with an early spring haircut.  We like how the bark looks with its unique grey-brown mottling, most varieties have bright green leaves. The common forms of this shrub that can get big – easily to 2m or more – so if you are in a small space garden look for some of the nice dwarf varieties of Forsythia.

Hellebore is horse of a different colour.  A perennial with great looking foliage and very fun flowers – we have seen in the past 10 years or so some wonderful new breeding that has made this once hard to grow plant a must have for most gardeners. More properly called Helleborus, the flowers colours range from the traditional greens and mauve toned to whites, pinks and purples. To our eye it is the amazing ‘greens’ of hellebore that make it so much fun. One of the first perennials to bloom in early spring – one thing we love about hellebores is that their leaves are fun too – so even after the flowers are done they shine as a colour and texture plant.

Redbud in the background – with Hellebores tucked under and in front of Forsythia – all in bloom – spring is here!