The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
April ShowersNewfields, New Hampshire With all due respect to composers/lyricists George Wyle and Eddie Pola - who wrote It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year for Andy Williams - I think they were off by a few months. Christmas is great, but in my book the most wonderful time of the year is happening right now. Spring.
Each season has something beautiful to offer, but especially if you live in an area where winters are harsh, there's nothing like watching the earth reawaken after its long slumber. Crocus and snowdrops pop up their heads early, followed by tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Blooming forsythia paint with broad brushstrokes of yellow. Then come the rhododendrons. Redbud. Spirea. And my personal favorites, ornamental trees - especially crabapples. One after another, bloom after bloom, all of these plants transform a monochromatic, dormant landscape into a riot of welcome color.
While this is happening, lawns turn green. Seemingly overnight trees leaf out; the canopy reappears and there is shade where yesterday there were only the outlines of branches.
Spring comes later in the high-altitude, semi-arid Intermountain West, and it's more subdued than what you'll find on the other side of the 100th parallel, but still it makes its presence known here in a beautiful way. Surprisingly, crab trees (and lilacs, too) can be found in abundance in Eastern Idaho. Obviously they require an assist when it comes to watering but learning they could survive in this climate was a happy discovery; ornamental trees were promptly added to the landscaping plan for my new yard. As soon as they were planted the place started to feel like a little more like home.
Those trees are filled with buds and I expect will be blooming in the next week or so.
Sadly, the display doesn't last long. Especially with the high winds which are all too prevalent in the Snake River plain, the show is even more fleeting. Maybe that's what makes springtime blooms all the more special.
“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts
AnticipationThe beds in Prescott Park's formal garden await planting as the crab trees in full bloom take center stage. (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) The opening photo was made in my yard in New Hampshire. This crab tree in the front lawn, already beautiful due to its elegant shape, was also a prolific bloomer. When transformed into a springtime vision in white it was a show stopper. On this day rain fell gently; droplets clung to the petals. I looked for a grouping which could be isolated with a nice bokeh in the background and then waited for one of the raindrops to let go.
Pictured below is the formal garden at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The beds are prepped and ready for planting, but until the annuals arrive it's all about the eight stunning Japanese crabapples. Planted in 1962, they're unusually large and create a wonderful canopy along the outside edges of the garden. When the blooms begin to drop, the ground will be blanketed in white petals; it will appear almost as if it has just snowed.
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