"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."
When the poet John Keats wrote this line, I'm pretty sure he was thinking of art. I do know he wasn't talking about spring flowers, because the beauty of spring flowers certainly doesn't last forever. We admire and write about spring ephemerals, those short-lived woodland beauties, but really, everything about spring seems ephemeral. Spring brings me so much joy, but if I have one complaint, it's that it simply doesn't last long enough.
For example, this was the view from my front porch just two weeks ago--the scene in my header gives an even longer view of the flowering crabapples lining my driveway.
I look forward to this sight every year and enjoy every moment of it I can. We were lucky to have a few nice days of sunshine to enjoy them, but the rain and strong winds can make short work of all these beautiful blossoms.
The redbuds, too, show off their glowing pink blooms for only a short time before they begin to leaf out and turn a pleasant, but ordinary green.
The tulips have also been short-lived this spring. A week or more of unusually warm weather in April--in the 70's and even reaching 80 F some days--put the tulips into overdrive with all of them blooming about the same time and fading quickly in the heat.
In my last post I lamented that all I seemed to have were yellow tulips, but I needn't have worried. After the early yellow blooms, other tulips opened up revealing that I had indeed planted a multitude of colors. There was the delicate pink of 'Angelique,' one of the latest to bloom.
Shades of peachy-pink in the new 'Marit.'
Darker shades of pink in the new 'Mata Hari.' This is an interesting tulip--
the petals get darker as they age.
There were orange tulips, too, including the 'Princess Irene' which bloomed just in time for my mother's birthday.
There were even pink tulips that opened to a near white bloom--'Lady Jane,' a species tulip. And, of course, what would spring be, without a few dandelions--one bloom that sticks around for a long, long time.
Deep dark purple 'Queen of the Night' and the white of 'Marguerite' added even more colors.
And to add even more, there were several bi-colored tulips as well.
No, my garden wasn't just a monotone of yellow this spring after all.
There are still a few tulips blooming this first week in May, but most have disappeared, and the few remaining are fading fast. This is the first year that I can remember when the tulip display didn't last until at least mid-May.
There were other fleeting blooms as well. The Pulmonaria bloomed before I even had a chance to get a decent photo of it, but I did manage to capture the tiny blooms of the Epimedeum above before they, too, faded.
While I am sad to see some of my favorite blossoms leave so soon, there is an upside to spring, of course. Later blooms appear to take the place of that early show of color. Camassia is the perfect late spring bloom, tall enough to command attention amongst all the green foliage.
And then there are bluebells. I was so excited to see these this week, nearly hidden among the Solomon's Seal and emerging hostas. The reason I was so happy about these bluebells is that I've planted them before, and they've always been a no-show. I'm pretty sure these were some I planted two or three years ago, and I'd forgotten their name. These are Spanish bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica, not the native Virginia bluebells.