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Colorful Spring Garden Bed with ‘Hino-Crimson’ Azalea

By: Marisa Reyes
Start your growing season by showcasing the vibrant blooms of 'Hino-Crimson' azalea along with other shade garden favorites.

hino-crimison vignette pv: The blooms and foliage of the plants in this garden plan, especially the red 'Hino-Crimson' azalea, provide interest and structure from spring to frost.

Add a burst of spring color with ‘Hino-Crimson’ azalea

The vibrant blooms of ‘Hino-Crimson’ azalea are real attention getters. It’s a no-brainer as a specimen but fits in well with other border companions too.

Early spring brings loads of blooms from ‘Hino-Crimson’ azalea and the dainty white flowers of summer snowflake scattered below. A little later, the tight fiddleheads of interrupted fern push through the soil.

As temperatures keep rising and summer arrives, spring flowers are replaced by astilbe’s tall violet-red plumes. Even after the color has faded, the blooms provide interest and structure until frost.

Growing conditions for this spring garden border

This garden plan was made for the shade; all the plants listed below will do well in a part-shade environment. Grow the 'Hino-Crimson' azalea in dappled light with protection from the afternoon sun so the foliage won’t burn.

To get the best from your Chinese astilbe and interrupted fern give them regular moisture. A couple inches of mulch helps keep moisture even. They both also prefer neutral to slightly acid soil. In sandy soil add lots of organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, before planting so it’ll hold moisture well. Peat moss also lowers the pH, which is important if you’re growing in alkaline soil.

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Plant care tips

  • Azaleas have shallow roots so when you plant, set the crown at the same depth it was growing in the pot to avoid smothering the roots or causing the plant to rot. A 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch helps retain moisture and keep soil temperatures even.

  • In spring, the newly emerging silvery white “fiddleheads” of interrupted fern are striking in appearance. The broad, soft, almost chartreuse green fronds are “interrupted” in the middle with little leaflets that fall off in mid-summer.

  • Chinese astilbe has mounds of lacy foliage and fuzzy plumes that add texture to your garden. When blooms fade you can leave the brown scapes in place for added interest or cut the stems off below the foliage to tidy things up.

  • Summer snowflake bulbs won't be bothered by deer or rabbits. When it comes time to divide old clumps, dig them in the spring right after they flower and replant the bulbs immediately in moist soil and a bit of shade 3 inches deep and 6 to 8 per square foot. This is a bulb that reseeds, but very slowly.

Hino-Crimson garden plan lettered

Spring garden bed plant list

A) Azalea (Rhododendron ‘Hino-Crimson’)
Type Shrub Blooms Clusters of single, crimson-red flowers in early to midspring Light Part to full shade Soil Moist, well-drained Size 2 to 4 ft. tall, 3 to 4 ft. wide Cold hardiness USDA zones 5 to 8

B) Interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana)
Type Perennial Foliage Lush green divided fronds Light Full to part shade Size 2 to 3 ft. tall and wide Cold hardiness USDA zones 3 to 8

C) Chinese astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Purple Candles’)
Type Perennial Blooms Violet-red plumes in summer Light Part to full shade Size 24 to 48 in tall, 18 to 24 in. wide Cold hardiness USDA zones 4 to 9

D) Summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum)
Type Bulb Blooms White flowers in mid- to late spring Light Full sun to part shade Size 12 to 24 in. tall, 2 to 4 in. wide Cold hardiness USDA zones 4 to 8

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Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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garden design garden plan march april 2023 issue 170 perennials shrubs spring

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