In Bloom – enjoying outdoors

My Year in Bloom

by Jeanine Renzoni

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The earliest of the daffodils – they come in early, mid and later spring blooming varieties.

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.

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Violas or Johnny Jump Ups … these seeded themselves for very early blooms last year. This year this bed was covered so only random violas volunteered.
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Tulip in rear, very large dandelion in foreground.

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.

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Apple tree blossoms, our other trees bloom with only white flowers. Camera used for all photos  Canon PowerShot A710

Then comes the fruit tree blooms – apple, cherry, plum and pear, dancing the dance with hard frosty chance.

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Crab apple planted 7 years ago.

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.

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Iris with two blooms, one above the other. The top one is the oldest, they open top down.
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Korean lilac, the buds are dark pink/purple and then as they open and age they get lighter and lighter in color.
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Clematis vine with first bloom of the season.
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Wild phlox – pale purple with some darker purple. They have a lovely scent. The perennial garden phlox blooms later in the summer.

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.

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Siberian iris with variegated leaves. It has smaller flowers but looks nicer longer.
Honeysuckle vine blooms throughout the summer in waves. Bee and hummingbird magnet.
Honeysuckle vine blooms throughout the summer in waves. Bee and hummingbird magnet.

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.flowersJune 011flowersJune 002 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.

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Elderberry has small white flowers and later small berries.
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Buttercups along the fence line. Yesterday I mowed these down as they are toxic to horses, but the horses avoid them anyway.

There are some other flowers that have come and gone. The wild ones are mostly smaller, but often have great scent or sometimes not.

And then there are cool looking seed pods.Kendra elderberrybuttercups 012

 Do you have floral favorites this time of year?


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