A Carpet of Spring Flowers
Gardens should not show bare earth. This is a core belief of my gardening faith. A belief not quite as central as “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13), but a lot more important than “Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together” (Deuteronomy 22:10).
By mid-June all my beds and borders reflect this belief pretty well – everything is covered in foliage and flowers and there is little to no bare earth to be seen. But because I have many late-emerging perennials, and because I have not yet filled all available space with Spring bulbs, there is a lot more bare earth than I would like in April and May.
This brings to mind the time when Judy and I visited Giverny in April, 2012. Tulips were everywhere, but there were also annuals blooming wherever the spring bulbs did not cover the ground. Wallflowers (Erysimum), forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica), and pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) bloomed everywhere, between and among the tulips.
Since buying enough plugs to fill in all my beds and borders seems extravagant even to me, I have just ordered a bunch of spring-blooming annual seed packets from Renee’s Garden Seeds. Specifically, I’ve ordered:
- California poppies (Eschcholzia californica) ‘Native Orange’ and ‘Copper Pot’.
- Wallflowers (Erysimum perovskianum) ‘Scented Gold’.
- Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor).
- Forget-me-not ‘Azure Bluebirds’.
We’ll see how these perform. I know in some areas Forget-Me-Not can be invasive but that really doesn’t seem to be a problem around here.
Do you sow spring-blooming annuals to assure sufficient early color?