Spring Flowers: Yellow in the Garden

Euphorbia polychroma, spring flowers

In the early spring, we can’t wait to see some color, right? I’ve been noticing how much the yellow-flowering plants really brighten up my garden, especially on the dreary, rainy days we’ve been having. And that got me to thinking how nice it would be to chronicle the parade of spring flowers. So today, we’re going to focus on yellow. Note that you can click on any of the photos to view a larger image.

daffodil, spring flowersDaffodils _ For really early color, you can’t beat daffodils. The bulbs are inexpensive, they’re deer- and rodent-resistant, and they slowly spread… which gives you the most bang for your buck. The brightest yellow daffodil cultivar is ‘King Alfred’. And they come back year after year after year, without diminishing flower size. Hardy down to zone 3, they bloom in early to mid spring.

Tulips _ I think tulips are absolutely gorgeous. The only problem is that deer and gophers think they’re absolutely delicious. But, if you can protect them from those guys, they add grace and beauty to any garden bed. There are many different varieties that bloom in early, mid, or late season. Like daffodils, they are hardy down to zone 3.

Euphorbia polychroma, spring flowersCushion Spurge (Euphorbia polychroma) _ What’s not to love about the brightness of this perennial?! However, the yellow you’re seeing isn’t flowers but rather bracts (modified leaves). This plant is hardy down to zone 4 and grows 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall. They are drought-tolerant and incredibly easy to grow. They do best in full sun and will self-seed so keep them in check if that will be a problem in your garden. There’s also a milky sap that can irritate the skin. But other than that, I really like how they brighten up my garden so early.

Celandine poppy, spring flowersCelandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) _ This perennial is quite an early bloomer but really perks up my back perennial border. I also think the leaves are very attractive. Hardy to zone 4, they grow 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall. This is a nice shade plant that prefers moist soil. They are very easy to grow but be aware they are self-sowing. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem where I’ve got them but thought you should know about this.

globe flower, spring flowersGlobeflower (Trollius europaeus Superbus ) _ I think the flowers on this perennial are stunning. I first saw them while on a trip to Alaska and knew I had to have them in my garden! It took me a while to locate some but now mine are becoming established and rewarding me with these glow-in-the-dark blossoms. Hardy down to zone 3, they do best in part to full shade and are perfect for brightening up a darker area of your landscape. The plants grow from 1 1/2 to 2 feet in height and like a moist soil. If you’re curious, my cultivar (pictured) is ‘Lemon Queen’.

golden currant, spring flowersGolden currant (Ribes aureum) _ This lovely native shrub is hardy down to zone 4 and has attractive, fragrant yellow flowers that provide nectar to the early-arriving hummingbirds. Berries soon follow the blossoms, and they will be an important nutrition source for birds during the winter months. Depending on how much moisture the plants get, they’ll grow anywhere from 6 to 12 feet tall.

Magnolia Butterflies, spring flowersMagnolia ‘Butterflies’ _ This is a relatively new addition to our back garden and we just love it. The flowers are absolutely breathtaking and fragrant to boot! The trees are hardy to zone 5 and reach a reasonable mature size of 15 to 20 feet. It grows in full sun to part shade. The trees need a medium amount of moisture and have minimal insect and disease problems.