Swans and flowers

On this next-to-last day before May, between putting away my day’s writing and preparing dinner, I took a walk around the neighborhood. It was so warm and sunny — the first day that has really felt like spring. At Stillhouse Cove, the swans were minding their nest. (They do this in pairs. The other swan is close by, though you can’t see him (?) in the picture.)

Down the street, the apple blossoms were in their full, polka-dotted petticoat glory. Apple blossoms always remind me of May at Hampshire College.

The magnolias were a bit past their prime, over-ripe and slightly battered from this week’s heavy rains. But pretty nonetheless.

Before their leaves open, maple trees have flowers, too.

In our yard, the lavender, which has been dormant and grey through the winter, is getting new leaves.

The oregano has come back to life.

The mint has returned, though not where it was last year.

In the backyard, the ferns are uncurling. By June they’ll be huge.

The hosta are also uncurling. I think I prefer them at this Georgia O’Keefe, Imogen Cunningham stage than when they’re fully open.

The bee balm has barely begun. When when you rub against it, you can smell the bergamot. Like Earl Grey tea.

The rhododendron we put in last year is covered with promising buds.

The daffodils are basically over, and those that aren’t got battered pretty badly by the rain. On the other hand, if they were in better shape, I wouldn’t have the heart to bring them inside.

How’s your spring coming along?

7 Responses to “Swans and flowers”

  1. Emily Says:

    Love seeing your flowers! Our Daffodils were done like a month ago! We must be way ahead of you guys. My hostas are all completely up and out and have some flower stalks coming up! My lilac bush just went into full bloom today and I can smell it when the windows are open!! LOVE LILACS! My peonies are almost ready to open too, and my roses already have buds! Can’t wait to see what colors they are since this is our first spring here and I have no idea! Do you know anything about hydrangeas? I have five of them and they are growing out of the old growth from last year. It’s weird, I almost pruned them all back earlier this spring, glad I didn’t!

  2. Ruth Horowitz Says:

    You are way ahead of us, Emily. Glad your garden didn’t get flooded out. I don’t know much about hydrangeas except that I love them. They remind me of Cape Cod and old farmsteads — in Vermont you’ll sometimes see lilacs and hydrangeas and maybe an apple tree in the middle of nowhere, and you’ll know there used to be a farm house there. Hydrangea flowers are pink in alkali soils and blue in acid. Around here they’re the deepest blue I’ve ever seen them. Let me know what color yours are!

  3. Emily Says:

    I hope ours are blue…there is this weird ornamental type pine tree planted in the middle of all of them so I’m hoping that means they are that gorgeous perwinkle color. This pine thing is hideous though, it looks like a weeping willow tree, but with pine branches. No idea what it is but it’s the ugliest ornamental tree I’ve ever seen.

  4. Emily Says:

    Okay I just did some sleuthing and I think I found it…a “Weeping Norway” maybe? It’s ugly though….really ugly. http://anastasilandscaping.com/spruce-weeping-norway.html

  5. Linda Says:

    Terrace report:
    Our three daffodils are over. Our two sprays of lilacs are gone. Our japanese maple has it’s flowers hanging down, and the beautiful feathery leaves that make the whole plant look and feel so soft. Lavender looks promising, although still pretty gray. Thyme returned, scanty but here. Rosemary will have to be replaced.
    And it’s time to decide which annuals we will put into the window boxes.. That’s our report on a beautiful spring day while getting lunch ready for Sascha, Katy and Alina. Love to you, Linda

  6. Ruth Horowitz Says:

    Linda, I’m impressed by how much you’re able to grow on your terrace! Hoping to see a photo of those annuals when you finally get them in — preferably with Alina among them.

    Emily, We have some of those Weeping Norway spruces on our street. I always wonder why anyone would deliberately plant them. Maybe you could screen them with other plantings?

  7. treetops adventure park Says:


    Right here is a very good illustration of what I’m talking about by that…

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