In Praise of the Crabby Part of Spring


Crabapple in bloom!

Well, it’s here—one of the main highlights of spring.

Crabapples have burst into bloom. The sour smell of the pear tree is now masked by the sweet apple scent that makes being outside and alive joyful things, even in the hustle time of a busy spring semester.

In my yard, the two apples trees I planted some years ago are still declaring their dislike of larger nearby trees and their shade by failing to develop flowers. Their crabby cousins, however, have erupted in glorious, sweet scent and colors.

I know these little trees like sun, but there must be more to the story. Of the six crabapple trees I’ve planted in my backyard, this spring all six have bloomed. Take that, wimpy apples! But in front, where there are two crabapple trees (I know, diversity is a good thing—these are small trees and I have planted many other species, too) and both trees are in bloom, it’s the one that is in a slightly shadier spot that has grown taller and blooms more vigorously.


I have pink ones, too–but the white ones posed best for photos April 24. This is the shady-spot tree in front that has gone drunk crazy with spring blooms.

Crabapples come on at the same time that redbuds put on their transitory, fancy spring pink lace. All three redbuds in my yard are exuberant with flowers right now.


Daffodils and tulip.



Tulips and daffodils are starting to get past their prime, but are still providing bright splashes of color. In the shady spots of the gardens, one of my favorite flowers—bluebells—are ringing out their joy of spring.

Granted, the crabapple flowers won’t last—but the lilacs are just starting to open, too. And we haven’t heard from the peonies, yet.




Older redbud in back yard. I think the other picture is a younger tree in front.

Spring! I know it’s busy, but if you can, go out and smell a crabapple tree. Just make sure it’s not a pear. The crabapple odor is nature’s cure for any crabby mood. More photos that I shot April 24 in my yard.


Something was hiding in a bachelor’s button plant that has not budded yet.


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Filed under Flowers, Garden

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