April 25, 2016

Peak Spring Bloom: Part I

It has been a gloriously colorful spring here in the garden.  I have been especially excited to see some beautiful scenes in the backyard, as we landscaped it in 2013 and have been patiently (or not) waiting for plants to grow.  Nothing is mature yet, but things are well on their way.  Above is a view of 'Negrita' tulips in front of a 'Red Dragon' contorted filbert (Corylus avellana) at the center of the main sunny bed.

Moving back a few feet brings a 'Royal Raindrops' crabapple tree into view (Malus 'Royal Raindrops').  The buds open magenta and fade to almost white before falling, so this is about half way through the progression.

Here is the whole northwest corner.  The bench under the arbor continues to be a favorite spot for the children and I when we want a few quiet minutes in the garden.

The other stars in the backyard have been the eight 'Spring Snow' crabapple trees (Malus).  The one above has lost about half of its petals which coat the ground.  You'll notice its nice columnar shape, which is unique among crabapples.  It doesn't produce any messy fruit, and large bumblebees love clambering through its petals.  For a week or two the backyard has been filled with a sweet fragrance from these trees.

My six fragrant 'Katherine Havemeyer' lilac shrubs are also blooming now.  Even though it creates unity through the landscape to have so many of the same type, I wish I had planted different colors here and there.  I did find a corner to squeeze in a dark reddish-purple 'Charles Joly' lilac this spring, but the tiny thing doesn't have any blooms yet.

This was the view from the arbor bench last week.  The spot of pink at left is creeping phlox (Phlox subulata).  Small clusters of lavender woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) are blooming along the right of the path.

'Spring Snow' is definitely the right name for these trees.  All of these white petals will turn brown eventually, but for now they look magical.  We just need a bride to walk down the path.

Here is one more shot of the petal-strewn path and the pink crabapples in the corner.

The double tulips in this small bed by the patio continue to boom each spring.  I didn't expect these tulips to return well - often the fancy types only bloom well for one season.  But light pink 'Foxtrot,' deeper pink 'Pink Star,' and purple 'Blue Spectacle' have all perennialized happily in the well-drained soil.

In the southeast corner of the yard, a white double Lenten Rose (Helleborus) blooms in front of blue 'Jack Frost' Brunnera in the white garden.

I'll end with this view from an upstairs window looking down at a white flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) on the east of the house.  The front yard has also been full of blooms, which I plan to share next week.


  1. Gorgeous! I really love crab apples. I think I need to write a blog post begging people in my neighborhood to plant them instead of the flowering pears that smell so bad.

  2. I am still waiting for blooms in my yard. Yours are just lovely.


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