Tag Archives: bluebell

Friday Floral Feature: When Shy Bloomers Decide the Time is Now


April 19–Moscow Lilac starting to bloom for the first time.


April 19–Harsh winter two years ago killed off a red bud tree, which I replaced with a Magnolia. It is also blooming for the first time this spring.

News this week from the gardens: Several shy flowering plants have decided 2017 is the year to get into gear.

I purchases a tiny “Moscow Lilac” some years ago, about 8, I think, in a fund-raiser by the Art Program at Mount Mercy University. The bush is in a spot a bit too shady for lilacs—but then again, that pretty much just means it’s somewhere on my property. I’m a bit tree crazy, I admit.

Nonetheless, various other lilacs in my yard manage to push out a few flowers despite the copious shade. I was not surprised the first couple of years when the new bush was busy growing and not blooming. But two years ago it had reached about 5 feet, and it started to seem ridiculous—how big does that bush need to get before it can spare some sugar for sex?

About 8 feet, it appears, because that’s how tall the bush is. Two weeks ago, its leaf buds started to show, and I took a close look and decided, darn, another sterile spring.

I was wrong. On Easter Sunday, I noticed that way at the top of the bush, where I could not check the buds easily, Mr. Moscow had a surprise lurking. Flower buds were visible, and three days later, on Wednesday when I shot my second set of pictures for this weekly flower update, the buds were starting to open.

See my weekly Facebook flower gallery for more images. But here are a few of my favorites flower photos of the week:

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As advertised, the Moscow Lilac bush has pretty white blossoms. Now that it has started, let’s hope it can catch enough photons between the tree leaves to continue to flower.

The lilac isn’t all that’s newly bloomed this year. My “new” magnolia tree, planted in 2015, didn’t bloom in spring 2016, but is doing very well with pretty pale lemon yellow flowers this spring.

So far, the apple trees that are adjacent to the white Moscow lilac seems to be following their usual habit of not blooming. But, who knows?

I’m hoping some year soon to see Tulip Tree flowers and Catalpa blooms. Maybe 2017 is the year.

Maybe I’ll even see some apple flowers soon … if not this spring, then maybe next year? After all, crab apples in my shady yard manage to flower.

the weather has been good in Iowa this week. We’ve cooled off a bit, and there has been some rain, but we still have enough warmth and sun to feel like spring. How are your gardens doing?


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Columbine Shows June Is On the Way


Blue Columbine in front wall garden--have orangish red ones, too.

June isn’t busting out all over, but the gardens are starting to get a bit of early summer look to them—what survived the winter is growing robustly, the back yard is starting to “shade up” and helicopters are beginning to drift down from the huge maple that will bombard us in June.

Still a few tulips in bloom, and only the early Chinese peonies are flowering yet—but the first shift of lilacs is being taken over by the second shift (pink ones bloom later than blue and violet ones, and the miniature bush isn’t in bloom yet). Bluebells are in their prime, and the subtle sweet perfume of Lily-of-the-Valley is in the air.

And pretty Columbine are starting to bloom.

Foreshadowing of later garden news—the “rose that never blooms” from last year is covered in tiny flower buds! Well, good for Audrey for insisting that I not remove this bush. Roses are several weeks away—and Audrey and I plan to buy a better camera this summer. Maybe I’ll have it by the time roses bloom.

Making wish

"I make wish" she says, and blows the seeds all over the yard.

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