*Note* As we announced early in 2020, the retail nursery at Linden Hill is closed for the season. We still plan to share tips and highlights in hopes of bringing you enjoyment and motivation so that you can continue to enjoy the splendor of the gardens. Also know, this is not due to COVID-19 or the governor’s mandated temporary shut down of retail garden centers. We are focusing on our design/install projects this year. Thank you for your past support and continued interest in Linden Hill.

It appears that April is the new March as far as this year’s gardening is concerned. It came in like a fluffy little lamb and is winding up like a growly, grumpy, and rather damp lion. Still, it’s all part of spring gardening in Pennsylvania. Though progress has slowed significantly, things are coming along nicely in the gardens here at Linden Hill, particularly as far as foliage is concerned. Isn’t the paint that Jerry chose for the cottage door a perfect color echo for the brilliant spring growth of the golden mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’) growing at the front corner?

 

Bright yellow and yellow-variegated leaves–like those of the Golden Shadows pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia ‘W. Stackman’) growing behind our office–are particularly eye-catching on drizzly spring days.

Gold Rush dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Ogon’) is another of Jerry’s foliage favorites for bright spring and summer color and terrific texture as well. Just look at those leaves!

In the upper part of the Rill Garden, the lush new growth of golden meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea’) creates a mood-lifting spectacle even in gloomy weather. It thrives in the moist soil in this spot, as does ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris).

Over in the Dawn Redwood Allee, the young variegated leaves of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ creeping Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans) are showing a dainty pink blush right now, nicely complementing the delicate blue blooms.

Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) offers a brighter color palette, with showy red-and-yellow flowers.

In the Formal Garden, Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina) is loaded with elegant white blossoms.

This dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) along the driveway offers white in another form: brushy flowers with the added bonus of a sweet scent.

Besides the fact that the four plants above are natives (or a selection of a native), they have something else in common: their bloom period coincides with the return of the return of the ruby-throated hummingbirds to our area. Keep an eye out for these elegant little gems in your garden in the next week or two, particularly if you have lots of flowers now for them to feed on. To supplement the nectar supply, you could hang out a couple of hummingbird feeders as well. It’s worth a bit of effort to keep these birds nearby, as their antics are endlessly entertaining. Don’t forget that they eat small spiders and insects too, like gnats and mosquitoes, so welcoming them now can help to keep your outdoor living space more pleasant this summer!