Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Flowering Trees

All around me, the trees are in full bloom. Shades of pink and white are lining my street and filling the air with a sweet scent. And while trees are beautiful to admire from across the street, my favorite vantage point is right next to the trunk, looking straight up. 

The Bradford Pear tree has clusters of small white flowers and a lovely sweet scent. 

I just love the pink flowers against the burgundy leaves of the Plum trees. 

The Saucer Magnolia tree usually blooms before the others, but this year, everything is a little off because of the long cold winter we had. Truly a magestic tree in full bloom. 

I was lucky enough to have inherited this tree when we bought our house. I'm not sure how old this Weeping Cherry tree is, but it's no youngling. Filled with small, dainty flowers on long, cascading branches, it sways quietly in the breeze and is simply gorgeous. 

So next time you see a tree in bloom, get right up under its canopy and look up. It's a view that won't disappoint. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What's Blooming This Month? April 2014

April showers bring May flowers...
Everything here is just on the cusp of blooming and today's rain showers will no doubt help them along. Spring has definitely sprung and it's wonderful to see something new in bud every day.

Here's what's blooming in my Long Island, NY garden this month:

I planted this Helleborus "Cotton Candy" (Lenten Rose) last year, late in the season, along with the Chinodoxa bulbs. I am so happy to see them both blooming!

The daffodils have started to bloom. I love the small heads of these type with the orange trumpets. And no matter how much clean up I do, I still find oak leaves everywhere!

These white tulips are a few days away from bloom. Behind them, the Endless Summer Hydrangeas are starting to show signs of life.

 New this year are these cheery Primrose. A blast of color in the cool, early spring days.

More Chinodoxa, complete with rain drops! (Read more about these here)

I love spring - seeing all the new growth, hearing the birds singing and feeling the warm sun on my face. Can't wait to see it all unfold in the next few weeks.

And that's what's going on in my part of the world! Be sure to check out what else is growing around the country this month over at May Dreams Gardens "Garden Blogger Bloom Day" list.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Little Blue Spring Flowers - What Are They?

I love seeing the little blue flowers that appear in the spring. They often appear naturalized in the lawn or showing up in the garden bed among the daffodils and hyacinths. But which are they - Scilla or Chionodoxa?

The main difference is the direction the flower head faces.
Scilla siberica, or Siberian squill, have electric blue flowers that are bell-like, drooping downward. 

It's six blue petals surround stamens that have thread-like filaments and are not clustered together. Scilla can grow 3-6 inches high and each bulb produces 3-4 stems with medium, strap-like leaves. It's very tough and cold hardy that easily naturalizes by bulb offshoots and self-seeding.  

Chionodoxa is commonly called Glory-of-the-Snow because it is among the first bulbs to bloom in the spring. Each bulb produces six petaled, soft blue flowers with white centers that face upward and are surrounded by narrow, basal leaves.

If you look closely, you'll notice the stamens have very flattened white filaments arranged close together, giving the appearance of a central white cone.  The plant naturalizes easily by bulb offsets and self seeding.

Both these bulbs are planted in the fall and during the late winter/early spring months begin to bloom. They may be small, I think they are both adorable and beautiful!