My Year in Bloom
by Jeanine Renzoni
My year in flowers starts with violas or daffodils. I’m not sure why one or the other wins the race to bloom first. Is it daylight or snow melt or soil heat? Both are my favorites because it means the season of plants is here! Finding cool blooms, even if I was the one who originally planted them is always fun.
Tulips show their heavy heads and blatant color. Bright in the cool spring days and fading as the sun grows stronger. Turning pale and weak as everything else thrives. Competing with supposedly lesser flowers … gotta be impressed with those yellow bursts of persistence.
Then comes the fruit tree blooms – apple, cherry, plum and pear, dancing the dance with hard frosty chance.
And the graduation ceremony flowers (or at least they used to be because they were free) lilacs, crab apple, lilies of the valley, violets and bridal wreath.
And now, after the petals have fallen from the trees come the avalanche of early June blooms here in northern Wisconsin. Iris in all sizes.
Wild phlox – fragrant and prone to inhabit ditch sides, and the earliest day lilies (mine are yellow). Korean lilac, blooming later than the traditional lilac and having a sharper scent. Dianthus – the only hardy carnation-type flower that can handle our winters so far, clematis, Siberian Iris and honeysuckle vine – which the hummingbirds love.
Chives! I’ve got lots of those. Several years ago it seemed like a good idea to propagate them and then they propagated themselves. I have a hard time pulling them out because I like the flowers and they are so healthy. I do use them in salads, but I haven’t seen benefit in drying them as their flavor declines so much. Today the pink peonies on the south side of the house started opening up. The bumble bees are occupying them at the moment. They are pretty, but don’t smell very good. The white peonies and the dark burgundy ones smell much better, but are later to open.
There are some other flowers that have come and gone. The wild ones are mostly smaller, but often have great scent or sometimes not.
Do you have floral favorites this time of year?