Spring Forward

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It's that time of the year when we all wait with unbridled anticipation for the first color of the fresh, new year in the landscape!  As the end of one of the mildest winters in recent memory nears, that enthusiasm is no less significant. Witchhazels (Hamamelis spp.) are typically the first hardy shrubs to bloom in this area.  We in particular, like the variety 'Arnold Promise' as its bright yellow blossoms stand out cheerfully in the otherwise bleak planting. If the unusually seasonal weather continues, soon many of the ornamental cherries (Prunus spp.) will start to flower.  'Little Twist' is a cute 6' tall growing specimen with light pink blossoms and interesting foliage the remainder of the year.  As always, look for forsythia and quince to be a couple more harbingers of spring.  We like 'Gold Tide' and 'Double Take' respectively. Both of these make great options, especially for a smaller urban garden where space is at a premium.  PJM Rhododendron is the earliest flowering broadleafed evergreen that we know. Its lavender flowers are quite striking against the early season backdrop.  Several other trees that generally make their appearances at the outset are the Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) 'Autumn Brilliance.'  We like this variety especially for its three seasons of interest.  And of course, we can't forget to mention all of the beautiful early spring flowering Magnolias. We like the members of the Little Girl series with their large saucer-like blossoms of different shades of pink, purple and white on diminutive multi-stemmed trees. The variety 'Butterfly' is another favorite for its unusual bright yellow blooms that also make their appearance early in the spring. These and many other early spring flowering trees and shrubs are available starting in early March at Rolling Ridge

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