Monday, May 5, 2014

The Delaware Valley in mid-spring has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Cornell's Pink Rhododendron

During my working years, I always felt that the glory of mid-spring went by so quickly. There would be a brief glimpse of early flowering shrubs and then they were gone. I thought that when I retired I would be able to take it in much more slowly, but somehow it hasn’t worked out that way.

In preparation for old age gardening, I slowly converted my garden from a perennial garden to a mixture of perennials and easy care flowering shrubs. They are all incredibly beautiful but their flowers last for just a few days--if we have serious storms, they are literally here today, gone tomorrow. The show begins with the delicate flowers of deciduous rhododendron Cornell's Pink.

Then the PJM evergreen rhododendron which has the advantage of foliage which darkens to deep purple as the season progresses.

Cherries have the briefest period of bloom of all--especially true of the purple sandcherry which also has the advantage of reddish purple foliage to break up the midsummer wall of green (The downside of flowering shrubs is that for the most part it is a spring show.)
Purple Sandcherry

The shrubs are all blooming later than usual this year but the succession of bloom never changes, the cherries after the early rhodos, the redbud trees with their gorgeous purplish flowers and graceful shape always bloomimg with the cherries and with the astonishingly fragrant early viburnums, followed by the dogwoods and crabapples. So what if they often bloom for less than a week?

Carlesi Viburnum

Crabapple Indian Summer

The azaleas and lilacs are just beginning to emerge.

Emerging azalea

The first lilac

I can never get enough of that lilac fragrance. The Delaware Valley in mid-spring has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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