We expect the color blast in our spring garden to come from flowers – daffodils, tulips, bleeding heart and primroses are just a few I am enjoying in my own garden right now. But have you noticed all the colorful foliage – and its not just that fresh shade of green we have been coveting all winter.
The leaves of many perennials, shrubs and trees display warm shades of copper, rose and burgundy as they unfurl even if they mature to green or yellow.
Double Play Gold spirea (Spirea japonica)
Perhaps the best known shrubs for warming the early spring garden this way are the birchleaf spirea. I have several groups of the one shown here and they create a striking splash of color, especially when seen against a backdrop of evergreens. The foliage will eventually transition to a warm gold but it will continue to produce copper colored new growth all summer (mainly because the deer keep deadheading the shrubs….)
if you only want to treat yourself to one shrub this spring make it a spirea. Better still get three. Or five.
I was fortunate to find several peonies in our garden when we moved here but as is usually the case I have no idea what varieties they are. Regardless, I have some with deep pink flowers with gorgeous burgundy toned leaves and others with softer pink blooms and a bronze-green leaf. It is the latter peony that is pictured here and I was fascinated to notice the two-tone color as the leaves were slowly unfolding. So pretty.
Red barrenwort (Epimedium x rubrum)
This may be one of the most common barrenwort but every year I look forward to the intense spring color on the heart shaped leaves.
The flowers emerge in March and as dainty as they are, after just a few weeks they are spent. That’s when the new colorful foliage quickly fills in to create mounds of these luscious leaves. Stunning.
Coral bells (Heuchera)
I think the hybrid shown above is Caramel but many of the warm colored coral bells have similar spring colors e.g. Peach Flambe, Creme Brulee and Marmalade. The layers of spring color are totally delicious!
Jade Frost sea holly (Eryngium planum ‘Jade Frost’)
This drought tolerant perennial has a more delicate blush than the others I have shared, the pretty pink margins only being really noticeable in cooler weather – both spring and fall.
Summer will bring spires of blue and white teasel-like flowers but as is always the case it is the foliage that spans the seasons.
What are your favorite spring plants that bring a warm glow to the garden?
Enjoy this post?
Then join in the foliage party – sign up to get these leafy snippets delivered right to your garden. (Follow the link in the sidebar)