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Mary’s Spring Garden – FineGardening


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Mary Spencer shares her garden with us today.

I’ve lived in Westminster, Maryland for 22 years and have been gardening all the time. My garden was a lifeline for me this year. I have a lot of shade.

Nothing says spring like pansies and violas (Viola × wittrockiana, annual in the cool season). With an enormous color palette, complex flower patterns and a happy cold tolerance, they are a joy in every garden!

bright yellow-green plant surrounded by darker green leavesThe focus is on a huge aralia “Sun King” (Aralia cordata “Sun King”, zone 3-9) with bright yellow-green foliage. The darker green of the hostas around it highlights the light color of the leaves.

Blooming trees and bushes next to a houseA beautiful spring scene with a blooming dogwood over azaleas. The dogwood appears to be one of the hybrid varieties, perhaps Cornus ‘Aurora’ (zones 5-9), that have excellent disease and pest resistance along with an exaggerated bloom like the one you see here.

Container filled with green plants and a white flowerI love the subtle color combination in this pot. Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas, zones 10-11 or annual), coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides, zone 11 or annual), and a Heuchera (Heuchera hybrid, zones 5-9) all bring leaves in subtle copper tones and brown, a great backdrop for that White New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri, zones 10-11 or as annuals).

Pansies in many colors on the edge of a flower bed filled with hostas and fernsIn this bed, a border of brightly colored pansies shines against a background of brightly colored leaves.

Shrub with white flowers in the foreground with other shrubs behindIf we look through the flowering branches of a double filament viburnum (Viburnum plicatum, zones 4-8), we can see a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, zones 5-9) and more from the forest garden behind. I love such views in a garden where the scenes behind are partially obscured, which gives the whole view a feeling of surprise and anticipation.

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Robert Dunfee