I don’t know if you’re like me and haven’t been able to stay indoors recently with this beautiful rebirth and awaking of spring all around us but if not, stop what you’re doing and go outside! Go to the nearest park or wooded area and take a stroll. Even a walk along a back road and it’s undeniable. Spring has sprung! While I love the sight and (usually!) smells of these trees, it adds a lot of context and a deeper enjoyment from the experience and connection with Mother Earth when I know a bit more about the plant. I conveniently currently live with a horticulturalist who agreed to sit down and talk about the trees that are making our drives to the grocery store and morning walks that much more enjoyable.
Red Buds are very eye-catching with their heart shaped leaves and purple flowers. They thrive and partial shade or full sun and come in two varieties Eastern and Forrest Pansy. You can tell the difference because the Forrest Pansy has a maroon leaf. All Red Buds are native to Eastern North America. I happen to think that my grandma has the most beautiful ones in the entire world. While my grandpa was the owner of the landscape business, she won an award for the most beautiful garden about 30 years ago and that backyard is her baby. Her Red Bud is pictured to the left.
Ornamental Flowering Crab Apple has hundreds of different varieties blooming from white to light pink to deep shades of pink. These are popular trees because they will produce a tiny crabapple that is a nice bird attractor but doesn’t leave a messy yard.
Magnolias are stunning! Jane and Betty are the two pink varieties with a pink color that fades the longer the bloom has been open. Star is the only white variety and is the most popular because it holds it’s beautiful, snow white flower longer. Sweetbay Magnolias, set to bloom in June will come with a creamy white flower and (like the name suggests) will have a wonderful sweet small. Now worries though, the beauties that are blooming now also have a nice fragrance to them! I’m a HUGE advocate of stopping to small every flower you see! Yes…even the ones are the super market that are sprayed with the general “flower” smell.
The Ornamental Pear has about three varieties blooming right now. Known for white blooms that are showing but don’t last long (especially if there’s a storm with a hard wind), these not so wonderful smelling trees are blooming now, but will peak next week. Often used to line a drive or parking lot, they will definitely make a statement but only for about 10 days… take the hint from Mother Nature, enjoy them (everything!) while it lasts! Soak it up, be present enough not to miss it and find joy in it.
Many fruit-bearing trees including peach, apple and pears are also starting to bloom this week. Their blooms are very important; if they are frozen off the tree will be unable to produce fruit at all that entire season. So if you’re depending on your fruit tree for product for you own family or to sell take note of your buds and night temperatures. Frost clothes can be purchased at your local garden center to protect them. If you live in the N.E. Ohio area, go to Anthony Petitti *Organic* Garden Center. Just trust me. I’m not biased or anything, but everything from their Indoor Farmers Market on the first and third Saturday’s of the month from November to May to the very knowledgeable and passionate owner (who definitely is not my mother), they are the best choice for sure.
Weeping Cherries are a delight! You just look at them and get the sensation of being in a life sized fairy garden! While often trimmed into a traditional round cut, I prefer them wild and untamed- they have a feeling of magic about them. The two varieties are Fountain, white blossoms, and Japanese, pink. For those of you familiar with Japanese indicating smaller, in this case the Japanese is the larger of the two varieties and can actually get rather larger.
White and pink Dogwoods have also started blooming and perfer partial shade. Traditional Dogwoods, not Japanese are blooming right now and it’s worth noteing the white are hardier than the pink. Unfortunately no fragrance
I didn’t want to leave out our shrub friends that are contributing to the rebirth of color and life in N.E. Ohio. First, our PJM Rhododendrons that are all purple. Rhododendrons of other varieties come in other colors, but the PJMs are 100% about the purple life. Next, the Azaleas currently blooming can come in white, multiple shades of pink and multiple shades of red. Only Evergreen Azaleas are blooming now, Deciduous only won’t bloom for another 3-4 weeks and come in orange, yellow, white and peach. Finally (and my personal favorite), Forsythia always have a beautiful, bright yellow flower and are ending their spring bloom now. I don’t know if you’re like me and haven’t been able to stay indoors recently with this beautiful rebirth and awaking of spring all around us but if not, stop what you’re doing and go outside. Go to the nearest park or wooded area and take a stroll. Even a walk through a back road and it’s undeniable. Spring has sprung! While I love the sight and (usually!) smells of these trees, it adds a lot of context and a deeper enjoyment from the experience and connection with Mother Earth when I know a bit more about the plant. I conveniently currently live with a horticulturalist (look it up, when was the last time you got to do that?!) who agreed to sit down and talk about the trees that are making our drives to the grocery store and morning walks that much more enjoyable.