Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (April 2010)

For the past two days in Central Illinois, the thermometer has risen past 85°F, accelerating pace of bloom in a way that I’ve never seen in my 17 springs in this area of the country. Most of our town’s magnolias have dropped their petals, but nearly all of the other flowering trees and shrubs are still holding on strong. The Bradford pears have been joined this week by redbud, flowering dogwood, crabapple, cherry, cherry plum, azalea and viburnum. Everywhere you walk, waves of aroma from the spring flowers fill the air, simultaneously blooming for the first time in my memory. Although the daffodils are on their way out, tulips and grape  hyacinth now decorate the ground beneath the woody plants

So on this fourth Garden Bloggers Bloom Day of 2010, it’s hard to decide just what to feature, because so many things are blooming at once. So I’ve chosen three plants that are at their peak in my garden today.

The crabapple (Malus sp.) that sits on the northeast corner of our garage is a giant mushroom of white blooms, covering that side of the yard with its sweet scent. Today’s steady breeze has knocked some of its petals to the ground, forming tiny drifts of white on the porch and driveway.

The lilac (Syringa vulgaris) are more vigorous and plentiful than I can remember, both white and pink-flowered varieties. These shrubs grow in the shadow of a Littleleaf Linden (Tilia americana) on the western side of the garage in the back yard.

While several varieties of tulip, including ‘Dynasty’, ‘Monte Flame’ and ‘André Rieu’ grace the backyard, the ‘Herman Emmink’ tulip pictured above steals the show. In the evening light, this tulip glows beneath both our linden and red maple (Acer rubrum).

Our weather promises to return to a more spring-like version of itself as the weekend arrives, and it will be a welcome reprieve for us humans from what has felt like summer arriving to soon. But for the plants, the hot, sunny weather has been the perfect storm to create a spectacular day of bloom in today’s garden.

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