Flower Power

Tradescantia 'Sweet Kate'

Tradescantia ‘Sweet Kate’

Twenty years spent packing as many wonderful plants as possible into five acres is starting to pay off big time, especially during spring blooming season. I truly cannot keep up. The plant above grows in my front garden, and those pops of purple against chartreuse leaves are too eye-arresting to miss. But other plants sited in more out-of-the-way corners of our yard sometimes manage to finish blooming before I notice. My umbrella magnolia did that to me this year.

A recent heat wave required me to pay careful attention to the lovely bearded irises in my yard.

A soft yellow.

A soft yellow.

A deep purple.

A deep purple.

And a gorgeous coppery orange.

And a gorgeous coppery orange.

The black walnut trees are some of the last native trees to leaf out in spring. Their dangling flowers are usually still clinging to the branches as the leaves emerge.

Black walnut flowers with emerging leaves.

Black walnut flowers with emerging leaves.

The terrifying enthusiasm of blooming poison ivy in my yard this year leaves me itchy just thinking about it.

The scent of poison ivy flowers makes my throat itch.

The scent of poison ivy flowers makes my throat itch.

Already here when we moved in 25 years ago, the Rhododendron catawbiense exploded in blooms this spring. All parts of this shrub are poisonous, and it’s kind of tricky to grow here, but the specimen we have is thriving.

Evergreen Mountain Rosebay

Evergreen Mountain Rosebay

I can’t close without mentioning the deciduous magnolias. The Ashe Magnolia is blooming prolifically. I expect the Bigleaf Magnolia to follow suit in a week or so.

Even the buds of Ashe Magnolia have wow power!

Even the buds of Ashe Magnolia have wow power!

Of course, there’s more, but I have to give you a reason to come back, right?

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