We write mostly about Minnesota…Twin City area landscape gardening issues. With this in mind, I hear countless complaints about this Spring, Spring 2013 is a lousy one.

I am one of these complainers….Cold, rainy, cloudy, windy, snowy for the first six weeks, more rain, more and more rain. Here it is only 30 days until the days become shorter…and shorter….and shorter.

I am extra depressed already…..but then, before the rains, the heavy ones today, Sunday, May 19, 2013, I became convinced I have never seen my own landscape garden more spectaular….unbelieveably spectacular, the color, floral show piece of its existence.

It is true that a landscape garden regularly worked, thoughtfully maintained, corrected, added to, subtracted from, IMPROVES every year….and I have pictures to prove this in my own experience.

If we are serious about practicing landscape gardening thoughtfully, every year our standards become higher, more severe. Our artwork becomes better and better. The once pleasant dogwood or spiraea is now noticed as ugly, or no longer harmonious in our “composition”….and after all, if we are striving to create settings for our eyes at any level of Beethoven’s adagios for our ears, harmony, beautiful harmony is the ultimate in the art of landscape garden. (I have cultivars of both dogwood and spiraea in my own garden paradise, but not in the numbers and cultivars of those forty years ago).

My May 19, 2013 landscape garden is by far the most colorful in the 39 history of my stivings. Why not guess why?…..besides mentioning the maturing of the woody plants…for landscape gardens, like people, gain character with age.

Well, if your geography around our Twin Cities is similar to mine….and it generally should be, we haven’t had much of a Spring at all until a day or two ago with its warmth and moisture. Last year’s Spring began on March 15 and dragged out for six to eight weeks. There was a long, delayed and a much appreciated extended floral display over the two months…..extended more than overlapping.

Two days ago not only were my early tulips blooming, so are my midseason and late tulips. Some of the Siberian squill are still in their royal blues, but let’s add everything that I have for Spring bloom is now in Spring bloom….All at once!

PJM Rhododendron….all of its twelve by twelve feet is at peak bloom as are all ten Fragrant Viburnums, the forsythias are still in their yellow display, the fothergillas, all eight Redbuds, the Elizabeth Magnolia, Toka and Waneta plums…and if you don’t think that these redbuds top everything else in bloom, you’ve missed your best spring-bloomer of them all! Rockcresses, Lenten Rose, Euphorbias, Japanese Poppies, dwarf Frittilarias, the pulmonarias, Bleeding Hearts, Lamium and Vinca, the fern fronds, and all of the dozens and dozens of conifers are in bud as if in bloom. Add to this array the yellows, limes, aquas, greens dark, greens green and light of the conifer world, you have the makings of a masterpiece without even trying. All squeezed into this week….and with rain with or without heat, all of the color will be gone by Friday.

Oh, however, what a show this landscape garden displayed today….and will again tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain.

My old-time huge white flowering crabapple is not moved by cold or heat, rain or drought, cloud or sun….It has its own calendar and will open its mass of white on May 22 whether anyone likes it or not. Mother Nature doesn’t seem to fool the larger trees very often.

Call Masterpiece Landscape, Ltd. at 952-933-5777 to schedule visits to view these grounds. Keep Planting and Pruning. Every year your own masterpiece will get better and better, if you constantly answer the question(s)….WHAT are you placing WHERE, and WHY are you doing this? The more honestly, accurately, that is, answer these questions, you will become a better landscape garden artist every year, year after year.