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Style El Dorado County Foothills

5 Things to Plant

01/29/2010 11:41AM ● By Wendy Sipple

Gardens have been around for a long time – well, since Adam and Eve, to be exact!

Francis Bacon, a contemporary of William Shakespeare said, “Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.” If you’ve ever spent a beautiful spring afternoon getting dirt under your fingernails with a blanket of sunshine warming your back, you’ll agree.

Chris Aycock, a California Certified Nursery Professional from El Dorado Nursery and Garden shares five things to plant this spring:

1. Cornus, or Dogwood Tree, have very large, pure white flower bracts and are much more vigorous and disease resistant than their old-fashioned cousins. Look for the Aurora or Venus.

2. Forsythia Magical Gold has bright golden yellow flowers that announce spring! This is a more compact plant with very large blooms that are perfect for cut arrangements.

3. Paeonia (peonies) are an old-fashioned perennial that does well with minimal water and comes in almost all colors.

4. Abelia Kaleidoscope provides year-round colorful foliage! It comes in bright yellow, green, and copper in the summer, adding bright pink with cooler weather. Early summer brings bonus white flowers.

5. Heuchera hybrids are not just Coral Bells. Lime Rickey has fluorescent lime yellow foliage with white flowers. Midnight Rose has large burgundy leaves with pink splotches and pink flowers. The Southern Comfort variety is “cinnamon-peach” colored with creamy white flowers.

Julie McCarthy, co-owner of Green Valley Nursery and Landscape, recommends planting edible fruits and citrus, drought tolerant plants, and ornamental grasses. She encourages saving energy by planting a shade tree such as Chinese elm, Acer October Glory, or a Scarlet oak.

Janice Davies, nursery consultant at Sierra Nursery in Roseville, suggests planting spring bulbs, such as gladiolas, dahlias or calla lilies for summer flowering. For shady areas, impatiens, begonias, tuberose (used for leis in Hawaii) and canna (looks like a tropical-leafed plant with spikes of red, orange, pink, or yellow-colored flowers). Great foods to grow in this area are tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, melon, corn, beans and tomatillos.

Rich Swanson, general manager of Bushnell Gardens, says that spring is a good time to establish edible gardens, herbs and fruit, like citrus and/or stone fruits such as peaches and plums. Spring bloomers like plum, apricot, pear, Eastern red bud and crabapple trees can replace flowering trees that have been damaged over the winter. Cone flowers are quite popular. For containers or hanging baskets, begonias are great!

High Hand Nursery manager, Lyn Bristol’s favorite spring bloomer is Arctotis (South African daisy). It comes in colors like “peachy mango,” “pumpkin pie” and “strawberry fields.” It is a gray-leafed, low-growing plant that blooms all year. It likes both sun and the cold. Pieris is a 3-5 foot tall shrub that has little pink or white bell flowers. It is hardy in cold or heat as long as it is in the shade. The Chinese fringe flower has a plum-colored leaf with hot pink flowers.

So whether you’re planting this spring or enjoying the surroundings, get in the garden this year!

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