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Harbingers of Spring

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March 30, 2020

Dr. Gary Bachman: Early spring flowering plants herald the coming spring season after a dreary winter, today on Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dr. Gary Bachman: Spring flowering shrubs and trees offer a big punch of color. Forsythia may be one of the most beautiful and well known of flowering shrubs. The bright yellow flowers look great against the background of evergreens. Forsythia are hardy and long lived deciduous shrubs. These plants are not fussy about where they're planted as long as the soil is well drained, and they seem to thrive on neglect. It's a common sight to see forsythia showering old neighborhoods with their golden blossoms in the spring after many years of abandonment.

Flowering quince is another indicator that the beginning of spring is near. The flower buds swell and give a preview of the coming color. When fully open, the masses of cherry red flowers are almost gaudy in a barren, late winter landscape. Flowering quince stems can be cut and brought inside allowing the flowers to open, but you have to be careful, as flowering quince forms an interlacing network of thorny stems.

Redbud is a flowering native tree that certainly gets its fair share of attention. It flowers early in the spring before most other trees start to leaf out. The flowers are gorgeous, with colors ranging from light clear pink to purplish pink grouped in clusters held tightly against the stems and branches.

Forsythia, flowering quince, and redbud trees announce the coming spraying. You should be seeing them soon where you live in Mississippi. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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