Early Bloomers: Harbingers of Spring

Erin Conant

Even if spring isn’t your favorite season, one can’t help but feel giddy at the sight of the season’s first flush of color. There are some early bloomers that let us know that spring is right around the corner.

If you’re a veteran gardener or you’ve kept a garden journal of sorts, you may know exactly what to expect.

  • Trees — Rich purples, pinks, reds and crisp whites are the colors of our most notorious early bloomers including the Texas mountain laurel, redbud and many fruit trees. While the mountain laurel stays green year round, redbud and fruit trees begin to bloom even before they sprout leaves. For those of you who allow nature to design your landscape, you may see the soft pink blooms of the native Mexican buckeye throughout the month of February.
  •  Shrubs — Other early bloomers include bridal wreath and flowering quince. Bridal wreath is a great choice for cold hardiness and its soft and frothy blooms are rich with nectar making it a favorite of butterflies. As for the flowering quince, don’t blink or you’ll miss its bright red blossoms on bare branches.
  •  Vines — Wisteria, with its fragrant cluster of grape-like blooms, is also a fine choice if you wish to attract butterflies. And if you see a vining cluster of bright, golden blooms in early March, you can almost be certain it’s the evergreen Carolina jessamine.

This year as the cold fades away, see which one of these springtime harbingers you can spot first!

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