It's not the most artful picture, but it gets the idea across. I planted three of these orange Erysimum and several Carex testacea along the front of the house, and have been enjoying them just as a foliage combo, the plain but pleasant green of the wallflower emphasizing the orange of the carex. Now, the wallflowers are blooming and it's even better! I planted many more wallflowers that I grew from seed I gathered from the three initial plants. They pretty much sat doing nothing all winter, but have started to grow as the weather warms. I don't expect flowers from them until next year, though.
Plain old Magnolia stellata never fails to delight when it blooms at the very beginning of spring. I limbed this tree up last year, partially in submission to the suckers that seemed intent on increasing the height of the plant. I'm glad the bloom doesn't seem reduced. In fact, allowing a few of the more dominant suckers to create a rejuvenated canopy seems to have reinvigorated the bloom display. I love this common plant because it provides beauty while asking nothing in return. In this location, growing in clay soil at the edge of the driveway, with some of the worst drainage on the property, it is entirely carefree aside from pruning for aesthetics. It requires no water in this spot during summer, provides a beautiful, fragrant spring display, has pleasant yellow fall color, and attractive branches and fuzzy buds in winter.
The new leaves of this Syneilesis I got from someone (sorry, I've forgotten who) at the fall plant swap remind me of shaggy mane mushrooms.
The flowers of Asarum caudatum always seem so exotic to me, like some Masdevallia orchid from the cloud forests of South America. Normally hidden beneath the leaves, this bloom is exposed on a small piece of stem I planted in one of the newer shade beds.
Rhododendron 'PJM' is blooming by Stump St. Helens. Not a particularly floriferous display this year, but beautiful nonetheless. Part of why I love this picture so much is the old seed heads of the Achillea millefolium rising just behind the rhododendron, as well as the blackened stump in the background. It's the combination, rather than any one by itself, that really makes this a favorite for March.
The same is true of Rhododendron 'Bob's Blue', just starting to fade. The backing of blackened stump and rich green, textured foliage on Viburnum davidii create a backdrop for the rhododendron that makes the whole display a favorite.
Native Viola sempervirens, growing wild both in cultivated and natural areas of the property, are always a favorite this time of year.
The textured, bronzy new leaves of Aesculus pavia make this a favorite for the month, too. I have three seedlings of this small tree that I plan to arrange in a small grove in the part of the yard that doesn't get bone dry in summer.
I've been enjoying this combination filling in. Sedum forsterianum 'Antique Grill' mingles with volunteer native Prunella vulgaris, with a few Sempervivum and a dwarf bearded iris in the mix.
A cushion of Saxifraga arendsii sends up clusters of dark flowers buds above the foliage.
Rhododendron impeditum flower buds are starting to pop open. I think they like their new home in the Acer griseum bed.
I recently was lucky enough to tour the growing facilities of Little Prince of Oregon. I've been absolutely terrible about getting to that post. It's coming, I swear. Until then, here's one of the plants I purchased, Epimedium 'Amber Queen'. Besides huge sprays of spider orange flowers held above the foliage, the new growth is mottled an amber green and bronze.
Luzula sylvatica 'Marginata' has, at least in my opinion, rather attractive black and brown inflorescences. My initial small clump seems to be sending up vigorous new growth. Hopefully it will make a nice evergreen groundcover in the dry shade where it's planted.
And finally, I recently added a whole flat of Adiantum venustum to this bed. The flat-full of ferns was a greatly-appreciated gift from a coworker. It should make a nice groundcover in this bed I made last year with random odds and ends. I'm already enjoying the interplay of foliage with the various plants, though it looks rather messy in this photo. Things will settle in.
That's hardly everything that has excited me in the garden this month, but if I tried to show all of it I'd break the internet.