Well, what is that in bloom around the Twin Cities this year……April 9-20 depending on location of specimens?  

Among the trees there are the magnolias, pink being Leonard Messel and the white, the Merrill Magnolia.  Both are pleasantly fragrant.

The bright yellow flowering shrubs are the forsythias, probably Meadowlark or Northern Sun.  They have been in bloom in most locations for about a week already.  In older plantings one might see Nankin Cherry, a large ten foot high and wide rose family shrub with soft white flowers coverning the plant.  My own PJM Rhododendron opened its pinkish lavender blossoms in full force this very morning.  It is over 30 years old, twelve  feet by twelve  feet in size. 

The Amelanchiers both shrubs and trees will be beginning their flowering now, as well.   Floral displays are an off white.

The masses of stunning pure white among the groundcovers now in bloom is white arabis….or rockcress.  It is an evergreen spreader, and does like to spread, but is not at all weedy.  If wattered reliably the bloom might last for over three weeks.

My Lenten roses are in their third week in bloom….and might continue for another couple weeks. 

Most of the earlier Dutch bulbs, eranthis, snowdrops, crocus, dwarf fritillarias, scilla (Siberian squill) and Chionodoxa are either in full bloom or are past their prime in the more sunny exposures.  All of these bulbs must be planted in the fall.   Scillas are the one super reliable minor (small) Dutch bulb in our northern gardens.  They will last and spread in the grounds for decades and decades.  There is no more beautiful  penetrating  blue in nature.  It is too bad they are so small……but then, a spread of  a hundred or more square feet of them is spectacular.   An issues arises after the plant fades and disappears in a month.  What is going to happen next in their space is often a question. 

My lone marsh marigold clump will begin opening  tomorrow morning.

Many of the narcissus (daffodils) are in bloom now.  Remember these bulbs are not eaten by rodents.  Unfortunately, they do not bare colors outside the yellows and whites, but they do bloom about the same time as the early rhododendrons which together is a color scheme no family member or neighbor will fail to appreciate.   They also are available in miniature sizes.  Again these must be planted in autumn as well. 

Tulips are sold as early, middle, or late season bulbs.   Early season was yesterday and the week up to yesterday.   I like the Kaufmanias.  They are shorter and therefore more attractive abutting boulders.   I much prefer bulbs, flowering perennials in general, whose blooms and foliage are under 18 inches for these smaller sizes make my garden boulders looks bigger. 

Most hyacinths will be blooming next week.  They are tremendously fragrant.  The big fritillarias are much later,  after all they become  a rather large plant in adulthood. 

If you keep track of bloom times of any flowering plants in your garden, you will notice by the records you’ve kept, that not every Spring is the same in sequence of bloom. 

This spring in my garden the season is about ten days further along than last year at this time.  The steady weather in March helped to lengthen  Spring. 

Gardeners should remember that, in general, the best location for flowering plants and those shrubs and small trees which might be a bit more sensitive or delicate for one good reason or another, is the grounds to the East of the house or where the plants are exposed to morning light.

Why?   Here’s a hint. 

Remember your explanation when you do your plantings.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons, those hardy for our northern areas, do their best in full morning light, especially in floral display.  They would be unhappy in afternoon sun throughout the summer.