Midspring in Carla’s Garden


Today we’re in Carla Zambelli’s garden, looking back at what was blooming for her this spring.

Spring is really beautiful this year! I feel like Mother Nature is rewarding gardeners for all of the extra time we have to spend this year on our gardens because of the coronavirus.

Strawberry flowers, full of the promise of juicy fruit to come.

The spring flower show-stoppers have arrived—like my pink tree peony! This tree peony was a gift from a friend a few years ago. The only thing I know is it is truly from China. But never a weary world traveler, this peony is always the first to open when others in my garden are still just budding.

Ferns wave proudly in the breeze.

‘Gold Heart’ bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis, Zones 3–9) has glowing golden-yellow leaves that stand out against the darker foliage around them, along with the classic pink, heart-shaped blooms.

Hosta ‘White Feather’ (Zones 3–9) is an unusual variety with leaves that emerge nearly white and then flush green later in the season.

I must mention my red rhododendrons. My late mother had them in her garden, and this is not the expected shade in most East Coast gardens. But I liked the idea of them and sought them out. And I am glad I did. They add amazing color!

As spring slips into summer, the roses begin—the most romantic of garden flowers.

This rich, deep-colored herbaceous peony blooms a little later than the tree peonies, but it is just as beautiful.


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