Sunday, May 9, 2021

The flowering shrubs of late April and early May.


This is azalea time. My husband Rick told me that a friend of his from France was amazed when he first saw our native azalea with their dense clusters of flowers. Because azaleas are everywhere in the Delaware valley at this time of the year, we may take them for granted. It is amazing that a shrub with such gorgeous, delicate flowers should also be so tough and long-lasting. There are many neglected gardens all over Philadelphia where in the middle of all the weeds we often find a healthy azalea, blooming its heart out.

Azaleas provide the color but the cherry laurel blooming all over my garden provides the powerful musky fragrance.
cherry laurel and pink azalea

Early May is when the tree peonies make their appearance—spectacular flowers that last for only a few days, but despite their heartbreakingly short season of bloom, they are worth a prominent spot in the garden.
Tree Peony

And in early May the late season tulips appear--the most beautifully shaped of all the tulips. My long-lasting Negrita is finally fading but the graceful white Maureen and the cherry-red Yosemite have emerged. For tulips, this has been a very good year!

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