These photos of the backyard are from early May when the tulips were in full bloom along with the 'Royal Raindrops' crabapple trees.
'Margarita' pink double tulips were blooming at front along with lily-flowered 'Merlot,' 'Orange Princess,' 'Negrita' and 'Black Hero.'
As the 'Spring Snow' crabapple trees finished blooming, white petals covered the ground.
These double red 'Palmyra' tulips might have been my favorite this year. In the background you can see one of two newly planted 'Primo' dwarf arborvitaes. Eventually they should grow four feet tall by one foot wide to add beautiful evergreen structure to this main sunny bed.
A shot looking west shows the back northwest bed. I've been giving extra water and love to the two 'Green Tower' boxwoods at right. We transplanted them out from the very back of the bed last year, and they're still a little stressed.
Speaking of stressed plants, my two 'Thoweil' false cypress shrubs (just left of center and far left) are both struggling. I'm not sure if they have tip blight or if they just got too dried out last winter, but they've had a lot of dieback and just don't look good. I have been making sure the soil is moist at their bases and have treated them with fungicide. Every time I walk by I send them good thoughts for recovery.
The tulips in this area came back nicely for a second year, including pink 'Aveyron' and creamy 'Verona.' Newly planted 'Bowles Golden' carex echoes the chartreuse blooms of cushion spurge.
In my tiny white garden, the 'Exotic Emperor' tulips have multiplied over several years to make a good showing along with variegated white aubretia and the 'Spring Snow' crabapple.
This photo doesn't do them justice, but the 'Exotic Emperor' tulips have interesting green flames coming up their sides and lovely full blooms.
A view of the east back garden reveals the new hot tub at far right. We bought it for my husband and I swore I would rarely get in, but it turns out that I use it more than anyone else in the family, especially after a long day of gardening.
This is the view from the best seat in the hot tub. It has become another way to enjoy the garden!