florals


On a brilliant summer’s day we took a drive west of the Twin Cities to Swenson Gardens in Howard Lake, Minnesota.  Their gardens were open for their annual Peony Field Days, and the timing was perfect.  With warmer temperatures and bright sunshine many of the peonies had come into full bloom.  It was a chance to wander and dream and plan for places in our own garden for more of these lovely plants.  I especially liked these America peonies –  their bright red was a wonderful contract to the green foliage and the blue sky with its puffy clouds.

All within a few days the clematis have burst forth.  A delicate pale yellow bloom with a yellow center, this lemon chiffon clematis has climbed up the trellis and  bloomed all at once.  The cooler temperatures and bright sunshine of the past week coaxed the buds to open in profusion.  Soon the other clematis will follow, but it will be hard to top the beauty and fullness of this one.

The lilac bushes has blossomed out, and their sweet smell lingers in the air.  We’re fortunate to have both white and purple lilacs.  Throughout the neighborhood there are lilac bushes and hedges, and some are over 10 feet tall.  Their colors and delicateness are noticeable.  After the heavy rain from a day ago, the alley was littered with white and purple petals scattered on the ground.  As short-lived as their blooming season is, it makes me appreciate their beauty and their scent even more.

Spring generally announces its arrival with the bright colors of tulips, crocus, and daffodils, and the greening of grass and trees leafing out.  And yet I’ve found a much softer and more delicate side to the season just out my front window.  We have a lovely magnolia tree that bursts forth into blossoms near the middle of April.  It’s bloom is much anticipated.  And unfortunately its bloom is also short-lived, with the flower petals giving way to the wind or rain, and quickly to the green leaves that burst forth afterward.  But as it becomes awash in white flowers it becomes magnificent.  The petals are thin and delicate with a soft tinge of pink.  To me it signals the whisper and call of a softer side to spring.

Spring and Easter – all at the same time.  Bright colors, light colors, the colors of spring.  This flowering crabapple bonsai seemed to sum up the season and the day.   Wishing you the bright colors and warmth and joy of spring and Easter!

Yesterday I drove south from the Twin Cities with a photographer friend in search of pasque flowers.  The weather was unusually warm, the sunshine was bright, and it was good to catch up with my friend.  We arrived at this gravel prairie area and were at first disappointed thinking the flowers were not in bloom yet.  But as we looked more closely we could see peeks of flowers amidst the dry prairie grasses.  The pasque flowers are only three to four inches tall, so they can easily hide.  They start out as little fuzz balls (of which we saw many) and gradually open their petals to the warmth of the sun.  Although there will be a larger and showier display with more flowers blooming in the days ahead, it was a delightful evening and a reminder of all the good things that come with spring.

It’s tulip time –  perhaps in the temperate Skagit Valley of Washington, or in the states to the south of me.  But in Minnesota the ground has just thawed and there hasn’t been enough warmth for any bulbs to force through the still cool soil.  Yet with the help of a nearby florist, we can enjoy the scents and colors of the spring to come.  These tulips have brightened my world every day this past week and given me the promise of spring – perhaps just around the corner.

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