It’s only been spring for three days, and two of them were bitter cold by South Carolina standards. (Don’t laugh — 32 degrees?? On March 21?? When we were all wearing shorts and flipflops last week??) But the yearly procession of spring flowers is well underway. Walking around my neighborhood, I’ve seen:
- Japanese magnolias — at least we call them that. Big pinkish-mauve blossoms on leafless trees. Often meet an early end at the hands of a late frost, but not this year.
- Crocuses — a month ago or more?
- Daffodils — three weeks or more of bright yellow soldiers in every yard. Then we had our spell of flipflop weather, and they all collapsed from the heat.
- Azaleas — they’ve been in bloom for a week or so and will linger for two weeks or more. All sizes and shapes, each with its own timetable.
- Flowering quince — Every year I resolve to plant one when I see those fragile coral blossoms on thorny stalks. They belong in a Japanese print. Then I forget . . .
- Dogwoods — just starting to pop. The blossoms in their baby stage remind me of pearl buttons.
- Redbuds — the mystery trees. When they’re not in bloom, they’re completely nondescript. Then for a couple of weeks a year they make magenta exclamation points in the still-leafless woods. And then they vanish.
- Wisteria — didn’t get what it wanted this winter. It’s blooming now, but feeble little trickles, not lavender waterfalls of blossoms.
- Dandelions and violets hiding in the grass. Growing up a city kid, I thought dandelions were beautiful. I still do. How can you complain about something that gives you flowers whether you want them or not?
And much more to come.