April showers came. May burst onto the scene bringing a rainbow of colorful blossoms from every direction.
With relief from dry, dry fall and winter, coupled with early warm weather the spring growing season came bounding onto the scene several weeks early.
The gardener's dilemma - what should we do, clean the beds, bring up the roses, leave everything alone for a few weeks? Some people did one thing, others waited. Even some frosty nights, one couldn't really go wrong this spring.
First came the Scillia, better know as S. hispanica or "Spanish Bluebells." These delicate little plants bloom all over my yard before the grass starts growing. They come from tiny bulbs which were planted in this yard years ago. The green grass grows and soon these little flowers are gone, not to be seen until early spring next year.
I was sure the Magnolia were going to be ruined, but their heavy bud coverings saved their blooming time. All varieties seem to have come into their full glorious bloom showing clouds of white and pink.
From large to small, yellow bubbles of Forsythia bushes ushered in a fresh new color to brighten the spring vista. Not far behind the Cercis leguminosea (Redbud trees) popped onto the scene with their delicate bright pink flowers festooning their open style branching.
Narcissus and Tulipa have been blooming together in perfect harmony this year. With the down-pours of the past week they are being tattered and torn but tenaciously retain their brilliant colors from almost black to white and everything in between.
Pale blues of the Mertensia "Virginia Cowslip' bloom along my fence row interspersed with the various shade of green of the emerging Hosta. Over their heads is a hedge of Syringa (lilac) and Lonicera (Honeysuckle), both old fashioned varieties. Too bad there isn't Spiraea (Bridal Wreath) planted in this hedge. However, the fragrance that is heady now would be almost over whelming with another sweet smelling odor.
Not to be usurped in the beauty arena, the Rhododendron arborescens, and R. schlippenbachii (Azelea) have been fabulous this year. Although Rhododendron have many species, cultivars and hybrids the ones we usually call 'Rhododendrons' as opposed to 'Azaleas' are the ones that bloom first, have handsome foliage and have ten or more pollen-bearing stamens. Often the varieties grown in Minnesota have smaller, less showy flowers than the 'Azaleas' which have only five pollen-bearing stamens.
Many varieties of Malus (Crab apples) are filling the walkways and lawns with petals of many tints of red and pink as the winds continue to blow. Other fruit trees are also blooming, attracting bees and other insects in preparation for the fruits of summer and fall.
Of course, all trees and bushes bloom. It is just that many have such insignificant blooms we don't even realize they are in flowering mode. This is one way plants are propagated and generate new growth.
It is unusual to have all these trees and bushes blooming at once. Generally we have an opportunity to enjoy the visible blooms one or just a few at a time. This year our senses are almost on overload with the beauty and agreeable aroma of the outdoors.
Many ground covering plants are joining in the beauty also, but if I go on, you too will be in "scentual" overload.
Do absorb and enjoy the hues and tints of color along with the wonderful fragrances of this lovely, unusual spring.