It’s strange to be re-starting the blog during a worldwide pandemic. But we’ve been working on updating the website (stay tuned!) and I find myself with time on my hands. With a little head space, I realize I’ve missed the thinking, the writing and the picture taking that go into the blog. So welcome! It’s good to be back.

On the subject of happy returns: Spring is unusually early here – about three weeks ahead of schedule. Normally, I’m not a fan of a quick start to the growing season. I worry that tender new growth will get zapped by a late freeze or I won’t finish my garden clean-up in time.

But the weather has been strangely compliant. While we’ve had some rainy spells and some see-sawing temperatures, there have been many wonderful days to work in the garden and it’s only early April. The cherry and magnolia trees bloomed way ahead of time – but their floral displays were particularly magnificent.

My Accolade cherry trees (Prunus ‘Accolade’) usually cheer me up around tax time (April 15th), but here they are at peak bloom in late March, completely awash in early foraging pollinators.

Accolade cherry trees (Prunus 'Accolade')

The bloom on my spike winterhazels (Corylopsis spicata) (known as an elegant forsythia substitute) is typically pretty spotty. Not this year – there have been so many blossoms that I learned they actually have a great scent! And one of my favorite trees for small spaces, the columnar serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis ‘Rainbow Pillar’, has been going great guns, too. (Click image to enlarge)

Spike winterhazel (Corylopsis spicata)

Spike winterhazel (Corylopsis spicata)

Rainbow Pillar (Amelanchier canadensis)

Rainbow Pillar (Amelanchier canadensis)

All this spring beauty makes me so very thankful that I have a garden to escape to in these trying times. I’m also never alone. The birds, the bees and the spring peepers missed the social-distancing memo. They are all out in force, having a blast and taking full advantage of the beautiful weather.

I do miss my human companions, though. My elderly mom is often with us for Easter, but this year she is staying home. If she were here, she’d be making a slow circuit through the garden in the late afternoon, looking carefully at all the new growth during her daily constitutional.

I sent her some photos of the first flush of blossoms and new foliage to help stay connected. I hope you enjoy them, as well. (Click image to enlarge)

White Arabis

White Arabis

Penstemon, Phlox, Euphorbia and Sedum

Penstemon, Phlox, Euphorbia and Sedum

Helleborus

Helleborus

Crocus and Sedum

Crocus and Sedum

Chionodoxa and Euphorbia

Chionodoxa and Euphorbia

 

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