No better place

What better place is possible than here, today? Could there be anything more beautiful than this winding, potholed Virginia back road decorated by flowers of redbuds, dogwoods, and a scattering of serviceberries? Abundant redbuds in full bloom lean far out from the tall canopy of maples and poplars, reaching for sunlight, while less numerous white flowered dogwoods and serviceberries are more restrained, standing more upright at the forest’s edge.

By strict succession, redbud flowers first, often at the start of April, though later this spring. The native dogwood blooms two weeks later, usually as redbud begins to fade, and serviceberry overlaps with dogwood, but rarely with redbud. But, not always, and today all are in their full glory.

In this last week of April, redbud, dogwood, and serviceberry are flowering in the garden, though each has its distinct space, which is not nearly as delightful as the masterful combinations along the highway. The gardener can do only so much to replicate nature’s beauty, and happy as I am in this garden, any scruffy back road surpasses its floral display. 

Still, I cannot be less than overjoyed by the garden in late April. Every day brings some new flower or leaf that is stunning.

A seedling Japanese maple growing beneath the Bloodgood maple, but more similar in leaf to Burgundy Lace (though darker in color).
Leaves of the Oridono Nishiki Japanese maple will become variegated in another month.
The first azalea flowers on Autumn Encore Amethyst, which is typically a poor spring bloomer. Amethyst often flowers in November and early December, and rarely displays more than scattered blooms in late April.
With cool early spring temperatures, flowers of hellebores persist weeks longer than usual.
Blueberries in flower. Long ago blueberries were harvested in early summer from a dozen shrubs, which were eventually removed to make way for the koi pond. The newly planted blueberries (five years ago) are more shaded, and allowed to grow wild, leaving most of the berries for the birds.
A first in this garden, flowers on the variegated Japanese aucuba, which are small and hardly noticeable.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Lynn says:

    Could not agree more. It had been a spectacular Spring. I think the cold weather has improved many of the plants that need a little more cold to really show off!! Have enjoyed your journey this year, thanks.

    1. Dave says:

      With warmer temperatures the flowering cycle is accelerated. With cool weather in March and April some flowers have persisted weeks longer than usual.

  2. Ruth says:

    What a lovely start to the day. You are right Dave; it’s a beautiful morning! And., your flowers are stunning. Wonderful photos as always! 😀🌸💕

    1. Dave says:

      With very warm temperatures forecast for the week ahead I expect dogwoods and redbuds will fade quickly. Fortunately, there are more flowers on the way.

  3. Sharon says:

    Where can you get dogwoods and other spring flowering trees for College Park MD?

    1. Dave says:

      The Meadows Farms in Burtonsville will have a selection of dogwoods, but all garden centers should have them.

  4. Bridget says:

    Here in Buffalo we have only the hellebores in bloom, some daffodils and that’s about it! Nice to know what’s coming down the road! Enjoy spring!!

    1. Dave says:

      Winter is too long here. I can’t imagine. Hang in there, the hard part’s over.

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Yes, there could be something more beautiful; to be here now; although the redbuds and dogwoods are finishing. The redwoods are grand!

    1. Dave says:

      Perhaps equal, not better.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        It is BEST! Shouldn’t here and now be best wherever and whenever it is? I know it is not like that always and everywhere, but it should be. Here and now is BEST!

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