An elegant spring-flowering garden plan
Purple, white and green combine for a calming and serene color scheme — but that’s not the only thing that makes this elegant spring garden bed so easy-going: The plants here won’t require much work from you at all. If you’re looking for a garden plan for simple spring beauty, this is the design for you.
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Big, round alliums make a wonderful accent in spring, but the masses of white flowers of the slender deutzia ‘Nikko’ are the real show-stoppers. It’s more compact than the species, growing only 1 to 2 feet tall, and makes a great addition to the front of a shrub border. Growing wider than it is tall, this well-behaved, shade-tolerant shrub can be an effective ground cover or a sprawler that tumbles over the retaining wall next to a sidewalk. It doesn’t have any thorns to grab passersby and is a slow grower that won’t take over the area. Scroll down for information about multiseason interest, some helpful growing tips and to find specific plant information at the bottom!
Multiseason interest, too
Cascades of white flowers, shown above, burst onto the scene each spring, but ‘Nikko’ doesn’t stop there. It follows up with beautiful burgundy foliage in the fall. The allium can be a one-season wonder; snip spent blooms and let the foliage die back to the ground — the shrubs will do a good job of hiding it. Or, leave the spent blossoms for interest that last through winter. Their round shape will stay even after the color fades.
After the late-spring flowering show, the sedum’s yellow summer flowers take the stage and are followed by orange seed capsules. The variegated green and creamy-white foliage looks good all the time. Dwarf hinoki cypress is an evergreen focal point year-round, providing a view even in the middle of winter.
- Any sunny spot with well-drained soil will be perfect for this combo. After plants are established, most can handle a brief dry spell and keep right on going.
- The slender deutzia ‘Nikko’ will tolerate part shade but will probably have more blooms in full sun.
- ‘Nikko’ doesn’t generally require pruning to look its best, but if you need to reduce its size, do so right after it blooms if you can. This will ensure that you don’t sacrifice the blooms the next spring.
- Clip back spent sedum blooms (and allium, if you don’t clip them after blooming) in early spring before the season starts again. Divide the sedum in spring, too.
- The dwarf hinoki cypress is slow growing and might first be a mound before becoming pyramidal. If needed, prune to shape in fall.
- After many years, you may have a hard time seeing where you planted the original slender deutzia shrub, as stems tend to root where they touch the ground. Enjoy how it’s filling in the area or dig up the new plantlets, snip the stems to detach them from the original parent and spread them around your garden or share with friends!
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A) Dwarf hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’)
Type Tree Foliage Twisted sprays of evergreen foliage, pyramidal habit Light Full sun to part shade Size 4 to 5 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8
B) Globe allium (Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’)
Type Bulb Blooms Large purple globes in late spring Light Full sun Size 20 to 30 in. tall, 10 to 12 in. wide Hardiness Cold-hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8
C) Slender deutzia (Deutzia gracilis ’Nikko’)
Type Shrub Blooms Double white flowers in midspring Light Full sun to part shade Size 1 to 2 ft. tall, 2 to 5 ft. wide Hardiness Cold-hardy USDA zones 5 to 8
D) Stonecrop sedum (Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’)
Type Perennial Blooms Yellow early summer flowers, green leaves with pink-tinged white edges Light Full sun Size 6 to 8 in. tall, 10 to 14 in. wide Hardiness Cold-hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9