Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Colors of Spring

Winters in the Northeast have been extreme for the last couple years -- lots of snow, ice and very, very cold weather.

In fact, my neighborhood looks entirely different winter and summer.  In the winter, many plants go dormant and lose their leaves. When this happens to trees, the canopy opens up and lets in more sunlight than in the shady summers.  This light is a nice compensation during an otherwise bleak season.

Now the landscape is in transition from brown winter emptiness to the lush leafy, shady summer.

Spring comes with warmer temperatures that provoke weekly displays of color to gladden the heart.  Here's what's been going on lately at my house.

First came the forsythia.

About the same time, daffodils.

The next week came the rhododendrons.

Now, If you look down at your feet, you will see color-coordinated flowers in the myrtle ground cover, joining the rhodies.

It just gets better from here.  The cherry tree will bloom shortly.  Here is a photo of a cherry tree in blossom to give you an idea what comes next.

Following the cherry blossoms come azaleas in many vivid colors.  My favorites are the bright fuschia-red ones, my late father's favorites, which make me think of him.

The riot of color dies back after the azaleas, but there are still flowering pleasures in early summer.  One is the shade-loving dicentra with its bleeding hearts. 

Then comes summer, when the shrubs and trees leaf out, shading the streets from the strong heat and making the house feel like a hidden retreat from the rest of the world.  

I do enjoy the seasons.

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