Enjoy yellow blooms in three-plus seasons
BY SHARON DANIELS
Most of us look forward to early spring flowers for color to brighten a dull winter landscape. School buses and some taxicabs are yellow for a reason, and yellow flowers also are easily seen and eye-catching.
In late winter/early spring, delight in yellow crocus when bulbs are planted the preceding fall, or tulips a bit later. Buy species tulips — some yellow, of course — for year-after-year flowering, or treat other types as annuals and replant every autumn.
Forsythia showed first on St. Patrick’s Day this year, but it often starts opening a few days later than that. Daffodils are fully strong yellow or mixed with spots of white, pink or orange-red. They bloom from about mid-March although my ‘Tete-a-Tete’ tiny ones open earlier.
Bright yellow Coltsfoot dots roadsides, often mistaken for dandelions which push up prolifically in lawns. Later in spring you may be rewarded with yellow Lady Slippers. Shiny Buttercups spring up on a portion of my unmowed lawn, and I simply trim around them to enjoy their clear color for several weeks.
Native yellow Poppies freely cast their seeds, so in a couple of years you can have dozens. Kerria japonica, or Japanese rose, blooms about the same time. This suckering, deciduous shrub features golden blooms.
Prettiest of my Iris, by far, are the tall bearded ones, in a strong yellow color. The originals were passed along by an aunt decades ago and I have divided and shared them many times, as should be done again soon.
Summer yellows are found in Black-eyed Susans, calendula, marigolds, some daylilies, sundrops, long-blooming yellow Knock-Out roses, both lanceleaf and threadleaf Coreopsis, and yellow Crocosmias. Striking sunflowers range in size and form, some annuals, some perennials.
End the year with yellow fall mums, choosing plants in bud instead of those with flowers fully open. Ones I planted last year survived winter and are blooming now. Pinch them back in June for more blooms.
My recurring autumn reminder is to plant dozens of pansies this month — including plenty of yellow ones, of course. Deadhead them regularly, even daily, and they will delight you until next June.
Sharon Daniels is a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer.
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