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Early Flowers

Crocus Cyclamen coum Hellebore 'Merlin' Snowdrop Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Spirea 'Ogon'

For the past month, Spirea thunbergii 'Ogon' has been the most beautiful plant in the garden. A blaze of burnt yellow and orange shades that remains unfazed by freezing nights and a deluge of rain. It has been particularly stunning during the recent long stretch of gray days. It is what I see from the window when I'm sitting at the computer and it brings much pleasure.

This particular spirea is commonly known as the "Baby's Breath Spirea" due to the tiny white blossoms that cover it in very early spring, before the leaves appear. It is the first blooming shrub and a sure sign that spring is on the way. The structure (upright and twiggy) and narrow leaves are reminiscent of a willow.  Needless to say, spring is not the only time that it is beautiful.


  1. You’ve made a pretty good case. I did some more reading: deer resistant and not too large (the straight green gets so much larger doesn’t it?). Thanks, I think I’ll try it.

  2. So beautiful ! I love mine but here in z9 Norcal I get no fall color and it's basically evergreen. I'm going to do a rejuvenation prune. I need to see if I can restrict the size a bit.

  3. It's a gorgeous plant. I envy you the rain, if not the freezing temperatures.

  4. It is especially good to have a beautiful scene outside every window of the home. More time to admire favorite plants!


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