Central Oregon springs are full of contrast. In one day you can wear your entire wardrobe as you experience frosty mornings and cool evenings while afternoons fluctuate between warm and sunny to windy even snowy.

Contrasts can be seen in the landscape as well. While some plants still appear to be lifeless others have burst into full bloom. To bring the colors of spring into your garden, try growing some of these favorites found around the Old Mill District:


Grown in large clumps, spring bulbs including daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinth, allium, and muscari provide beautiful and varied color displays.  Be sure to purchase and plant your bulbs in the fall so that you can enjoy them in your garden next spring.  

Basket of Gold and Phlox

For the rock garden, creeping phlox, rock cress, and basket-of-gold create mounds of bright pink, yellow and purple.

Pasque flower

With its feathery leaves, cup-shaped flowers and silky seed heads, pasque flower adds interest to the perennial garden.


Frosythia shrubs brighten the landscape as their leafless branches are covered with large yellow flowers in the month of April.

Flowering Plum

Flowering plum and Callery pear trees grace spring gardens with their white and pale pink delicate flowers.

 Spring pot

For small gardens or patios, enjoy the colors of spring in containers by planting evergreen perennials and cold hardy annuals. For example, in the picture above, I used variegated boxwood, ‘blue star’ juniper, creeping phlox, periwinkle, flowering strawberries, violas, and pansies to create vibrant spring color.

Happy gardening!

Nate O’Meara, M.A.  

Bed and Color Supervisor

Millsite Landscape Services