Where are the Spring Flowers?

Some of what I know:
SPRING is sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where,

Well, if you didn’t plant them last fall, they ain’t around. Spring flowers, whether they come from bulbs, rhizomes, corms, or tubers need to be planted in the fall, for you to enjoy in the spring. Every month of the growing season new things are sprouting up. To determine what you want to come up in your yard at a certain time of year, just take a walk around the neighborhood, (or the next subdivision, or the next town) and see what is blooming. If you don’t know what it is just ask the neighbor, gardeners are always ready to talk about what they have growing in their yard. And if it is growing in their yard, it most likely will grow in your yard. If no one is around to ask, take a picture, and take it to a Master Gardener. You can find out where they are by googling Master Gardener in your state.

Local nurseries are the best choice to buy plants and shrubs. They may be a little more expensive than big box stores, but their selections are usually home grown, which again, will help insure the survival of the plant, just ask to make sure. Also ask if the plants are pesticide free. There are many pesticides that are detrimental to bees. This is a huge concern word wide at this time.

Native plants are at the top of my list. They are indigenous to your area, so their survival is virtually guaranteed, because they are highly adaptive to your region. Just googleaudoban.org/native-plants, and put in your zip code, and see what you like. Finding out where to get it is another story. One way is to google, GrandPrarieFriends.org, and click on your state. They are not always the showiest of flowers, but definitely the hardiest and many are very unusual, like jack-in-the-pulpit.

Perennial plants come up every year. Annuals need to be planted every year, although some tend to reseed themselves, i.e. marigold and alyssum. Whatever you plant, be sure it’s in the right place in your yard. Take note of exactly where it is in your neighbors’ yard. Is it a shade plant or a sun plant? Is it under a tree, in the middle of the yard, along the side of the house? Which side of the house N, S, E, or W. How big is it? How big will it get? Perhaps the most important question is, “How can I get rid of it if I don’t like it ‘, (some plants can be very aggressive, and may take over all, or a portion of your yard).

Wild life is always a problem. Many plants you buy are labeled “deer resistant”. This is not foolproof. A hungry deer will eat almost anything, and rabbits are always a problem, and chipmunks are very fond of bulbs, (especially tulips). There is a bulb dust that can be bought and applied to the bulb before planting, but I cannot vouch for its effectiveness. I think that daffodils are the only plant that is safe, and maybe columbines and blue bells. I have found that a motion sensor attached to your hose at night works pretty well. The combination of the water spraying, and the noise it makes while spraying, keeps the deer away. The one that I have sprays up to 30 feet, and has a 165 degree radius. Two of them set up back to back covers a large area of yard. A four foot fence will not deter a deer, a five foot fence is a little bit of a challenge, and a six foot fence will probably keep them out.

Hope that this info is helpful.
Well, ththththat’s all folks.


Vic Bocek, lives in Lindenhurst, Il. Gardening is my hobby. Better than some, not as good as others. I love to be out in the yard. I am an Ex Master Gardener. Graduated from EIU. Grew up in Downers Grove, Il.