Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hello Yellow

The flush of spring foliage is so strong this week. Trees and shrubs are leafing out, lawns are greening up and leaves are bursting out of the ground as perennials wake up. It takes a bold color to outshine all that green and I think yellow is up to the challenge.

Chrysogonum virginianum
The nickel-sized blooms of green ‘n’ gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) opened up recently, at first only a few shy blooms. Once the plant has a large number of flowers, the brightness is hard to miss. I love this handsome groundcover and the leaves stay green year-round in my garden.

Coreopsis auriculata
Shortly after green ‘n’ gold starts, mouse-eared coreopsis (Coreopsis auriculata) chimes in with its taller and larger yellow-orange flowers. There is no missing those blooms, whether it is one bloom or half a dozen of them. This species is also a bit of a groundcover and it does well for me right next to the sidewalk.

Packera aurea
If I walk around to the side yard, another screaming yellow display awaits me: golden ragwort (Packera aurea, formerly known as Senecio aureus). I started it with a few plugs from a friend and now it is ducking under the fence and spreading left and right. I still like it and happily dig up my extras to share. The 12-inch tall blooms are so cheerful.

Zizia aurea
Across the walk is a clump of golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea), a plant that I specifically bought as a host plant for black swallowtail butterflies. I consider the bright umbels of tiny yellow flowers to be a delightful bonus. I hope the butterflies will find it this year.

What welcome start to spring yellow is. It also pairs beautifully with everything.

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