The spring floral parade marches on, abetted by the seasonally mild weather of the last few days.

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A couple of years ago the rabbits in our garden discovered that they had a yen for our Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica). This was more than a little upsetting, as Virginia Bluebells are probably my favorite native spring ephemeral.

Virginia Bluebells

Actually, the first Daffodils bloom in the Back Garden, which is fairly sunny before the trees leaf out.

Narcissus 'Sailboat'

A number of Species Tulips can play an important role in the build up to the Great Tulip Crescendo of late April and May.

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A dramatic high point of the traditional Passover Seder is the recitation of the 10 plagues visited upon Egypt. On this last night of Passover, it occurs to me that there were at least 3 plagues visited upon our garden this week. And while they all were a lot milder than the ones cited in the Book of Exodus (no water into blood, for example), they did make our garden less of a tranquil refuge.

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Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) can form extensive colonies of gleaming white flowers, blooming in woodland glades in early spring. They don’t do that for me, though. I mean, they bloom very nicely, but they don’t form big colonies.

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Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a native alternative to Forsythia that’s certainly worth considering. It’s a shrub that offers much more than yellow flowers in spring.

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Forsythia 

So when the contractors put in our new driveway, they cut a slice out of the planting area for the Driveway Border and the little bed along the west side of the house where the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is planted.

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On Monday it reached into the low 70s (F), constituting a one-day heat wave, at least in the context of early April in Chicago, especially for a cool spring like the one we are having.

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Now that the Snowdrops are done, I’ve been spending a good deal of time inspecting the progress of all the other bulbs. While it’s still early spring hereabouts, there are a few blooms out there.

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