I am always amazed at how fresh and new the garden looks in spring.  I shouldn’t be surprised since it happens every year…still, there is something so encouraging about seeing roses as they add beautiful green leaves and buds, with promise of lovely blossom.  Vines and shrubs that looked sleepy in the winter now have a freshness about them, washed clean from the rains we’ve experienced here in Southern California.

Some of the perennials are putting on new growth and will bloom shortly.  The grass is an emerald green that is incomparable (again thanks to the rain).  I think this is nature’s way of enticing us into the outdoors and it certainly inspires me to get busy working on some of the flower beds that could use some new plant material.


Since I work full time (am I starting to sound like a broken record?) I’ve started planting things that require less attention and manicuring such as:

Iceberg roses – a shrub rose (I love white but it comes in other colors) that really is remarkable in its ability to bloom time after time for about 8-9 months of the year.

Iceberg Rose

Penstemon – a perennial plant with beautiful spikes of bell shaped flowers.  I particularly like ‘blue midnight’ for its growth pattern (more upright than rambling).

Foxglove – I buy ‘foxy’ a more compact version of the traditional foxglove.  I’ve had some success with this plant regenerating new blooms if cut back after the initial bloom.

Impatiens – I know this is considered by some to be nearly a weed and not worthy of the serious gardeners cast of ‘garden stars’.  I find it to be beautiful and it provides me with big splashes of color in semi-shady areas with little or no work, what could be better?!


Herbs – If you love to cook and entertain its worth planting a few of your favorite herbs.  Basil, Italian flat leaf parsley, curly parsley (I personally don’t find much of a difference but enjoy both varieties for different reasons), dill, thyme and mint are my ‘go-to’ herbs.  WARNING:  Mint must be planted in pots unless you want mint growing everywhere, including the grass!  I know this may sound lovely but trust me, you’ll be pulling mint out of your yard 10 years form now if you put it in the ground.

Japanese Boxwood – since we have never gotten around to “hardscaping” the back yard so I use the Japanese boxwood to provide architectural structure in my yard.  These little plants  are wonderful and when hedged regularly set off the flower beds with architectural flair.

Our Secret Garden

These are just a few of the proven winners I’m growing in my garden.  I’ll keep you posted as I discover new plants that will keep your garden looking pretty with very little work.  What are you planting this spring?