Always in her subtle (and often not so subtle) way, Mother Nature gave me a bit of a start when I turned the corner into the herb garden one breezy morning to find the Yoshino Cherry Tree gently snowing its petals all over the place. Now, we all know how beautiful the first snow of the winter season can be, but can it really compete with fragrant, fluttering pink cherry blossom petals floating over sprouting flowers and herbs to the gentle rhythm of a fountain? I think not--at least not during the month of April!
And then, there is the Pink Dogwood Tree (Cornus Florida 'rubra")--one of my special April favorites. When it is in full bloom, the entire tree looks like one of those "wrist-let" corsages that girls wear to their Senior Prom. The delicate pink-tinged blossoms give the whole tree frothy, "frolicky" and feminine appeal and I keep waiting for Pollyanna to come skipping out from behind it whenever glance its way. It shamelessly flaunts itself, not only in the spring but also in the fall with deep red foliage and branches sprinkled with red berries. Who doesn't love this tree?
The Eastern Red Bud Tree (Cercis Canadensis) is not about to be up-staged by her pink dogwood cousin, especially when it comes to Senior Prom night. The graceful limbs are covered with frilly magenta-pink blooms that stand out beautifully against the greening landscape. These trees, like the dogwoods are plentiful in our area and we are ever-so-lucky that we can enjoy them in person just about wherever we go around here, from the backyard, to the forest to the side of the road where they grace the scenery and bring a bit of colorful serendipity to the setting.
We have lavender and white rhododendron placed in many different beds around our house and while many are showing the ravages of the hungry devil deer from this past winter, the "rhodies" managed to live and tell about it. This lavender one must have hid itself quite well from those devil deer as it is in full bloom tucked away in a back corner of the house with not a hint of bite marks on it anywhere! It's frilly blossoms are all in their splendor enjoying their shady respite in this lovely April weather.
Finally, there is this frothy looking bush called Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla Gardenii) down at the entrance of the driveway looking very fussy, with soft, white prickly blossoms that remind me of fluffy bottle brushes --the kind Martha Stewart would use--or, at least, very large and ripe pussy willow blossoms that are just about give way to leaves. In either case, its puffy flowers soften the driveway entrance providing texture and color against the dusty road. Its amazing to me that these bushes looks so cheerful and dainty with all of that dirty dust floating around down there. It's enough to make anything want to wilt but, it goes to show that dainty can also be sturdy and stalwart when it needs to be...you go fothergilla! These blossoms will turn into unusual creased and fuzzy leaves that also feel a bit leathery and, in the fall, the leaves turn beautiful shades of burnt umber and orange.
There is still so much more to this colorful and blossoming April to show you but it will have to wait for another day as the greenhouse and emerging plants in the garden beds are beckoning me to come and water them because the April sun is strong, even as this new week begins, thankfully, on a cooler note. Such is an April day to keep in a memory bouquet for sometime off, I'm sure, in the not too distant future, when I could use a bit of springtime color to look back on.