Springtime Out the Front Door

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog where we see lots of perennials in bloom around us. Some of the magic of spring occurs outside our front door.

What is attracting pollinators most at the moment appears to be catmint. You may see a bumble bee in mid cluster of stems now, but butterflies, other bees and hummingbirds that we hope are nesting nearby have visited catmint regularly this spring. We have had more rain than in past years, and the drought tolerant catmint responds with a bare center and growth all around. It’s time to divide the plant!


Delicate columbines have been in bloom all month.


Peonies are beginning to display.


Ninebark is in bloom.


Right out our front door is a puzzle. What are we seeing? Our mugo pine, planted a couple of years ago, is in bloom. The Internet helped us remember that pines are monoecious (separate male and female flowers on the same plant). This is the male flower. Tap it and see all the pollen flow on this wind pollinated plant!


The female flower is a small red cluster at the top of the stem. First of a cluster of cones is forming here. Each cone will have 50-75 seeds. Birds and small mammals assist the wind in dispersal.


Mugo pines were introduced from high elevations in central Europe. These evergreens are hardy as ornamentals in USDA Zone 3-7 and tolerate alkaline and acidic soil in full to part shade conditions. They are drought tolerant. Cultivars can be dwarf shrubs or upright in a rounded pyramidal shape. They are slow growing, can be managed by removing tips of candles, and are long-lived, with few detrimental insects or fungi issues.

Spring is all around us. We hope you enjoy your environs today! Plenty more to see with other posts and topics by subject here. We hope you won’t miss a weekly post. Consider to “Follow” us and let us know your favorites with a “Like” or Comment.






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