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Bulb City

April 8, 2010

So many great plants welcome you to the park right now.

About 1,600 tulip bulbs of various colors have been overplanted with violas to extend the color season. We treat our tulips as annuals, buying top-size bulbs for maximum impact, but knowing that they are only there for one season.

A native plant that truly lets us know that warm weather is here is Columbine. The leaves appear early and a few weeks later, lovely nodding flowers bloom. They self-sow readily, so prepare to have a bunch of them if you add them to your garden. Though they are subject to leaf miners, the affected leaves can be cut off and new growth appears from the base. This creates a ground-cover effect in shady areas.

Another native that I’ve recently met is Fothergilla. It has two great seasons of interest: creamy white bottlebrush flowers in spring and lots of fall leaf color.

We have lots of trees in bloom, as well. Bradford pears are almost finished blooming here in our area, and the cherry trees still look great.

In the past few days, even the redbuds are blooming. This is native to Virginia as well, so you will occasionally see it in wooded areas. While it is called redbud, it is actually purple in color. It sure is an exciting time of year to get outside.

Shelia
Landscaper at Busch Gardens

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