By Mary Glazer
One of the best things about living in the Gulf States is the blurring of the seasons. For folks new to gardening in a warmer climate, it can feel like an Alice in Wonderland experience; per author Lewis Carroll “Curiouser and curiouser!”
In Ohio, where I grew up, I remember flowers and flowering plants falling into distinct categories for spring, summer and autumn. That was a tidy system.
Living in the South I’ve heard seasoned gardeners refer to the months of February and March as early spring, when azaleas, amaryllis, citrus and ‘Erlicheer’ daffodils bloom. The late spring, also known as early-summer months of April and May, finds temperatures starting to creep into the low 80s despite blanket-weather nights.
My favorite flowers at this time of year are plumbago, walking iris, salvias, pentas, hyssop and bush daisy, plus the wildflower spiderwort.
Gardeners in the Gulf Coast States tend to wink and smile at each other when planting flowers like these. We have a secret (don’t tell the rest of the country): Many of our late-spring flowers bloom on and off through the dog days of summer. In addition, depending upon low temperatures for your specific area, the odds are good they’ll be perennials for next season too.
See some more favorite spring bloomers for the Gulf Coast in my video.