Spring is progressing so rapidly that I have a lot of photos to share, so come take a walk with me around the back and side yards. Above is the view looking south toward the back gate. The 'Spring Snow' crabapples are fulfilling their name with 'snow' petals on the branches and all over the ground. We think it looks like someone decorated for a wedding.
A view of the area looking west reveals red peony shoots among all the spring green of other perennials and shrubs. Spring is early this year, and I have no complaints.
I came back out a few minutes after the first photos to capture the interesting lighting during one of those April showers bringing, well, you know. The pink 'Royal Raindrops' crabapples are just starting to open their blossoms. I forgive them all their faults (those endless babies springing up all over) when they explode into the fiery magenta-maroon glory of full bloom.
Here is a view of the northwest corner from my second story window. By this point the sunset had shaded everything pink. Notice the new little arbor over the bench in the corner. My husband kindly installed it a week ago, and it has been getting a lot of use since then. It's fun to have a place that feels hidden away - a feeling that will increase when the 'Hall's Purple' honeysuckle vines I planted on either side grow up to cover the arbor. I'm still thinking about what else to plant nearby - perhaps a couple of 'Fine Line' buckthorns to frame the arbor?
A closer view of the NW corner shows my giant 'Victoria' rhubarb plants. I just love these pretty plants, even though I'm not a big fan of eating rhubarb. The poor sick-looking 'Little Rascal' holly shub at bottom right looks awful - I think I need to find a more protected place for it where the soil doesn't dry out so much in winter. I'll replace it with a 'Smooth Touch' compact holly, which is much sturdier around here.
Purple 'Negrita' tulips are already in full bloom, while pink 'Don Quichotte' tulips are opening across the front of the main sunny bed. Pink 'Renown' should follow in a week or two to extend the show. All three of these tulips are supposed to be good perennials in well-drained soil, so I have high hopes for them here.
After rounding the northeast corner (which still looks barren, hence the lack of photos), the view towards the south shows lilacs ready to open, interesting dark leaves on the 'Black Lace' elderberry (at left), and the wonderfully fragrant blooms of a Korean spice viburnum at bottom right. 'Medallion' Oriental poppies are growing vigorously in front of the elderberry, and their rosy-lilac blooms should be especially pretty in front of that dark background in June.
More spring 'snow' covers the ground on the east side of the house. Delphiniums, columbines, rhododendrons, and alliums will bloom here soon. At the top right you can see the small contorted filbert (Corylus avellana 'Contorted') I planted as a focal point at the end of the path. Someday it will be as tall as the fence. And when it gets too wide, I will happily prune off branches for floral arrangements.
A shot from an upper window shows this area from a different perspective. In a month there will be much less soil showing as perennials leaf out. At left you see the two support stakes for the columnar apple trees I planted last week. They are supposed to stay less than three feet wide but still produce a few apples.
This view of the same area includes the rainbow we enjoyed during the rain.
I'll finish with a couple of shots of the west garden, where the pink 'Don Quichotte' tulips I planted last fall are a nice addition to the bright color scheme.
Each spring it is amazing to watch the garden burst back to life and color. I love this time of year!