This is a collection of many photos of spring flowers that I’ve taken over the past month.
From May 5th
I have two of these red-flowering azalea bushes. This one was on the west side of the house, where it wasn’t doing well. I moved it to a shady spot on the north side of the garage four or five years ago, and it has doubled in size.
This azalea is still on the west side of the house but it grows well there. The colors appear different because of the lighting, but these seem to be identical bushes. They were both planted before we bought the house.
blueberry, inside a re-purposed tomato cage
The following three photos are of my dogwood tree, which like the azaleas above was planted before we bought the house, and which we also moved to a location with more shade. Azaleas and dogwoods are usually found in the understory of the forest, so they do best with some shade.
This frilly tulip was also planted by the previous owners.
Mazus reptans is fairly good at crowding out weeds and it has pretty flowers.
Another favorite groundcover is this Whitley’s speedwell, which isn’t quite as good at keeping weeds at bay but does look nice. It is planted beneath the cherry tree and under some rose bushes.
This flower used to be larger, but the lily-of-the-valley has crowded it out. It was planted before we bought the house, but I believe it is a primrose.
Of course, many weeds also bloom in spring. In this photo, violet, creeping charlie, and dandelion all are in flower. The clover will bloom later. I wouldn’t care about having any of these in my lawn (indeed, I do little to discourage them) if they didn’t spread into the flower and vegetable gardens. The happy, yellow dandelion flowers are something of a guilty pleasure, violets are pretty, and clover provides a benefit as a nectar source for bees.
I’d never noticed bees visiting dandelions until I saw this one. I’ve also seen goldfinches feasting on dandelion seeds, another reason to let them grow.
From May 7th
the red-flowering azalea near the garage, again
These plants, which I believe are coral bells (they came for free with an order) are nestled between the red-flowered azalea seen in the photo above, a purple-flowered azalea, and lily-of-the-valley, which I have to pull out to keep it from overrunning the coral bells. The coral bells were on the north side of the house but have grown better since I moved them here. The flowers have a faint but lovely scent. Of course, coral bells are grown more for their foliage than their flowers. The green leaves of this variety are so bright they almost seem to glow.
From May 11th
the red-flowering azalea on the west side of the house, again
This is a deciduous azalea (meaning it loses its leaves in winter) that I planted where the other red-flowering azalea used to be, on the west side of the house. It also isn’t growing well in that spot. The flowers you see here are as much as it has produced since it was transplanted, and several branches have died.
In this photo, the deciduous azalea is in the middle right (note the dead branches), another variety of coral bells (Heuchera x ‘pewter veil’) is on the left, and Lamium maculatum ‘Chequers’ (dead nettle) is in the foreground and behind the azalea. A spreading Japanese yew is in the back, Japanese hinoki (false cypress) is on the far left, and another dwarf conifer (probably Alberta spruce) is on the right.
another view of the coral bells and lamium
lamium flowers and ant
frilly tulip again, with white-flowering azalea in the background
pawpaw (Asimina triloba), a fruit tree native to North America
One of the best things in spring is the scent of lilac blossoms.
From May 18th
azalea trio: pink-, purple-, and red-flowering (still blooming!); lily-of-the-valley on the left and Mazus reptans in front
azalea trio from the left side
deciduous peony bud with ants feeding on the nectar
From May 26th
pink-flowering azalea, again
Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower), used as a groundcover on the north side of the house
Black raspberry is probably the easiest to grow of all the types of fruit that I have.
very large, purple-flowering rhododendron
‘woolly’ creeping thyme, a groundcover for sunny areas
From May 29th
The white clover blooms a little later than the other weeds in the photo above.
I planted this red-flowering rhododendron a few years ago. It will remain much smaller than the purple-flowering rhododendron above.
Golden star (Chrysogonum virginianum) is a native plant that I use as a ground cover in shady areas. The groups of bright yellow flowers are visible from across the yard.
Sage is grown so we can use its leaves in cooking, but it also has some attractive flowers. It was easy to grow this small shrub from seed. They also will self-seed, which is useful as sage plants don’t live very long.
Mock orange is another shrub that, like lilac, is a favorite not only for its appearance but for its fragrance as well. The flowers have just begun to open.