Catching the Crabapple at peak bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) involves some tricky timing, but we gave it another try last week on the first day that worked. Last time we visited the buds looked as if they were just getting ready to burst.

Passing the Regenstein Center, CBG’s building for indoor displays and public education, we noticed that there was an exhibit of the work of Philip Juras, an artist who specializes in prairie remnants. We stopped to look and are we glad we did.

In the spring of 2019 I planted 5 plugs of Golden Groundsel (Packera aurea, also known by the less appealing common name of Golden Ragwort) in our shady Back Garden. Some two years later, Judy and I are happy with the results.

Golden Groundsel, aka Golden Ragwort, at lower right. This is the back of our shady garden, the fence is against the alley.

Tulip season has passed its peak around here, a peak that came early for some reason during this cold, dry spring. While several of my favorite Species Tulips have already come and gone, there are several still gracing us with their cheerful presence.

Tulipa humilis ‘Little Princess’

Only a few weeks ago I was complaining about how our ‘Schubert’ Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) had never bloomed, and now – it’s blooming! I guess patience has been rewarded, since this tree was planted 6 years ago as a bareroot whip less than 3′ tall (it’s now about 15′).

Chokecherry flowers

I wanted to do just a quick post on the ‘Donald Wyman’ crab blooming now in our Front Garden. For me, the flowering of this tree is one of the most joyous moments defining spring in our garden. For the last two years in a row the bloom has been unusually prolific.

Maybe the title is a little misleading. It’s not that we don’t have a bunch of beautiful tulips. It’s just that we don’t have as many as I feel we ought to have.

Tulips, mostly orange Tulips, dot the Driveway Border

On Friday Judy and I visited the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG); it’s been a great place to visit since the pandemic struck. Since last June, CBG has been open to the public on a time-reserved basis. Getting our entrance passes online has been easy each time we’ve tried it. Here’s a link from our first visit to CBG after the reopening last year.

Tulip planting at Chicago Botanic Garden

When neighbors plant a new tree on their side of the property line, it feels to me like I’ve got a new tree of my very own. In this case the tree is a Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis), and its first season of profuse bloom is happening right now.

Yoshino Cherry flowers

It’s easy to love the woodland spring ephemeral flowers – the Bluebells, Bloodroots, Bluets, and Trilliums. But what about plants that persist in the shade after the ephemerals are gone?

Early Meadowrue

How can you not love Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)? They are coming into their own in our garden right now. The clusters of soft blue tubular flowers are fantastic, especially combined with the pink and purple buds.

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