All About Gardening and Gardening Q & A by Pernell Gerver

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"Trilliums and Other Choice Spring Wildflowers"

Spring wildflowers are some of the earliest plants to bloom in the garden. There are many different wildflowers that you can grow in the garden and all are wonderful perennials that return year after year. They can be planted just about anywhere in the garden and because they are so early blooming, they take advantage of the spring sunshine that gets through the still-leafless trees in even deeply-shaded areas. Click on a plant name to order it from Pernell Gerver's Online Store.

Trillium is an spring-blooming wildflower that forms handsome clumps of flowers. The flowers of trillium have three pointed petals and its leaves also have three leaves.

Red trillium bears deep-red flowers on flower stems that stand above the foliage. It spreads to form a wide clump.

Great white trillium bears pure-white, large flowers that are three to six inches across. The flowers are held on flower stalks that rise above the foliage. It forms a large clump up to a couple of feet across. Mature plantings bear dozens of flower stalks.

Yellow trillium is a clump-forming trillium with multiple stems from one rhizome. It's great for mass planting. Long-lasting, pale-yellow-to-light-green flowers that stand upright on top of the center of its leaves appear in early spring. The solitary flowers are very long lasting, remaining colorful through spring. The flowers have a pleasant, lemon scent. It has oval, deep-purple-green leaves heavily mottled with large patches of silvery green.

Foamflower is a low, spreading wildflower that forms a dense carpet. White, bottle-brush-shaped flowers rise above the foliage in early spring. Its maple-shaped leaves form handsome clumps. It spreads by underground stems and makes a handsome groundcover for a shady spot in the garden. It looks especially nice planted beneath trees and shrubs.

Blooming at the same time as foamflower is woodland phlox and when planted together their springtime floral display is stunning. Woodland phlox bears clusters of blue, star-shaped flowers that rise above the foliage on slender stems in early spring. Hundreds of flowers are in bloom at a time and large sweeps of woodland phlox become a sea of blue in spring.


Blue crested iris is a native iris that is a fine addition to the spring woodland wildflower garden. It's a small iris that creeps along by shallow, underground rhizomes to form large clumps. Each plant bears one to two flowers on a single flower stem two to three inches tall. Flowers are pale blue. When in full bloom in mid spring, a mature colony carpets the woodland floor with a sea of blue.

Pernell Gerver's Gardening Q & Aby Pernell Gerver

"Contact local DPW for Hazardous Waste Disposal of Lawn Chemicals"

Q. I recently purchased your Organic Lawn Weed & Feed and your Herbicidal Soap Spray and I love both. My lawn has never looked better and the weeds are finally gone! My question is I have a lot of chemical lawn fertilizer and some other chemical weed killer that I'm not going to use anymore and I want to know how do I get rid of it? Thanks.

A. I'm glad you like my products and your lawn is doing well. Regarding your unneeded chemical lawn fertilizer and chemical weed killer, some cities and towns have hazardous waste days where you can bring your hazardous waste and they dispose of it properly. Contact your local DPW (Department of Public Works) office for information on hazardous waste disposal for your lawn chemicals.

Click here to read more about my Organic Lawn Weed & Feed and Herbicidal Soap Spray.


Click here to submit gardening questions for Pernell Gerver's online Q & A column.

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