Suddenly Spring

A spring of exceptional bloom

This week, it seems that every Flowering Dogwood in town burst into bloom at once.  They 'lit up' all of Portland.  After the longest winter and the wettest April, May has brought warmth and sun. After so much gray and cold, the flowering world has exploded with particular vigor.

Yesterday, for example, I drove to all corners of Portland, and everywhere was spring in bloom (the dogwoods most notable). I had a great day with garden bloggers in the morning;  success with my mom & sister on a long-awaited errand (huge relief) in the afternoon;  and finally, long drive home, to this...

Tibetan Peony (Paeonia lutea ludlowii)

Tibetan Peony (Paeonia lutea ludlowii)

...my Tibetan tree peony in exceptional bloom.  I know it doesn't look like much, but this is news!  In the 18 years I've owned it, I have never seen anywhere near this many blooms on it at once. There are just over a dozen. The clear yellow flowers are lovely but hard to see (they seem to purposefully hide) and they are very short-lived. Some years I miss seeing them altogether. Let's just say I grow this species peony for its foliage. (It is worth it.)

Paeonia lutea ludlowii

Paeonia lutea ludlowii

Paeonia lutea ludlowii

Paeonia lutea ludlowii

I am just floored by the number of blooms on it this year.

Other highlights of the day abloom

Most of the day was filled with Portland, and especially a plant exchange with the Portland bloggers group. This warm group of writers has been meeting informally for 8 or 9 years, and I am very grateful they let this blogging newbie participate.

This year they gathered in the garden of Matthew aka The Lents Farmer.  His garden was glowing with peonies this day (and young Pink Flowering Dogwood). Photo below shows his impressive collection of water and blog plants!  I have much respect for such passion. It will take him on a path to so many good things.

Matthew's garden

Matthew's garden

This garden is filled with glorious peonies.

This garden is filled with glorious peonies.

Matthew, showing some of his obscession with pond plants...

Matthew, showing some of his obscession with pond plants...

...and bog plants.  Here: one of the showy and carnivorous Pitcher Plants (Sarracena sp.).

...and bog plants.  Here: one of the showy and carnivorous Pitcher Plants (Sarracena sp.).

Wrapping up: the feature tree

While the day was too busy to catch a photo of the City that was pink with them, this is the one in my yard. My Scappoose street is also thusly adorned.  Happy spring!

Cornus florida 'Rubra,' Pink Flowering Dogwood.

Cornus florida 'Rubra,' Pink Flowering Dogwood.


Story and photos by Alyse Lansing, copyright 2017. All rights reserved.