My friend Paul, an avid up-before-dawn birder, once made a great comment to me about cardinals. How lucky we are, he said, to have this amazing, tropical-looking scarlet bird eating at our feeders during the depths of winter. Don’t take for granted this fabulous, showy bird just because it’s native to our area.
Since I’m not an up-before-dawn anything, I’m going to preach the same message about my favorite tree: the eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis). How great is it that this April show stopper belongs here. Not some import from Japan or China, the redbud flashes its bloom laden branches and we here in North America get to enjoy it guilt free. Hey – I have a redbud. I’m sustainable! I support local insects! I didn’t import any nasty elm-killing, chestnut-blighting hitchhiking fungus! See – you can feel good about owning a redbud.
But even if you don’t look over your shoulder guiltily whenever you plant a non-native (true confessions), you must admit the redbud is spectacular. The blooms burst right out of the bark for goodness sake.
My dad always said he loved them in the spring, but they were horribly ugly the other 49 weeks of the year. I must disagree. They have beautiful heart-shaped leaves and grow up to 30’ tall so they can provide shade if planted strategically. They love full sun to part shade and well drained soil. Apparently they don’t transplant well, but I’ve moved mine twice and its doing great. Plant one next to a white dogwood and you’ve got a gorgeous pair all year round.
So there you go. Plant a redbud. And then be amazed with me at this spring and the bounty of blooms we have to enjoy on tax day.
My lilac behaved this year:
The grape hyacinths are actually just past their peak (at least the ones in the sun):
I love the tiny blooms on the brunnera macrophylla:
as well as the tiny blooms on the sweet woodruff
and look! The hope of blueberries
The foam flower is getting there:
And my favorite newcomer (and native), fothergilla
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m getting tired of uploading. Wait, here come the tulips. In back:
and in front:
Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day every month. Very fun!