What a difference a week makes. Eight days ago I posted about looking for spring. After this weekend of milder temperatures in the low to mid 50s (not taking into account that stubborn March wind), the signs are there.
Standing out in color from everything else in the yard, the tough, spring-flowering Kerria japonica is greening up on the back hillside garden. Its strong southerly exposure brings it along nicely this time of year when the leaves are still off neighboring trees. I can already see its pop of orange double-flowered pom pom blossoms gracing arching stems in a couple months.
One of my earliest favorites, though, is the glossy, heart-shaped evergreen leaves of the European ginger. As soon as the snow melts, its lush leathery leaves greet you seemingly unaffected by the harsh winter weather.
And the old-fashioned primrose is sending up shoots of chartreuse, scalloped leaves. Its mahogany-red flowers with gold centers lend rich tones to the side yard shade bed in May.
This diminutive Heuchera 'Santa Rosa' is a new addition as of last fall. What a surprise to see it greeting spring so early. I'm pleased it made it through in such fine shape. Its pink blossoms will be a treat this summer.
Old standby perennial favorites in my garden, though, are the Lamb's Ears, Hens and Chicks and sedums. I've had these for more years than I can remember. Favorites too of my girls when they were young in the garden (Mr. Rabbit in the Lamb's Ears above is a remnant from that time). A long, long time they've graced the yard. And with their faithful hardiness they'll be early spring regulars for many more years I'm sure.