March 21, 2008

Magnolias near Lincoln High School, 2000
Living in Oregon means being strung along by the weather in great swaths of wet-laden weeks at this time of the year. But at least things still bloom. A few weeks ago was high daphne season–it smells so strong and sweet it’s like it’s synthetic–and the daffodils are just eclipsing.

Which means it’s (deciduous) magnolia time. We have a stunner: a full tree (not just shrub) of a specimen in our yard. Though I admit I do prefer varieties with some pink, I agree with Mr. Pencil that our magnolia is a bit less feminine and more modern.

I don’t really like Rhododendrons that much (maybe it’s just that we’re glutted with them here), but the very unusual variety that Wes found for us last fall–the leaves are black!–is blooming right now, an unreal lavender-on-black flame. Yes, I know, it’s very early–rhodies usually bloom around mother’s day.

Camellia Petals, 2007

What’s your favorite springtime bloom?


  1. tODD says:

    It’s hard not to vote for crocuses, the first sign of things to come. Plus, their form is pleasing and their foliage nice and polite. I also love the cherry blossoms now on display. Definite bang-for-the-buck, at least for a short while.

    But no camellias. Thanks for the tea and all (different species, I think), but dropping those massive quantities of soon-to-decay blooms? Blech.

  2. autumn says:

    ooh ooh!! daphne. no question. it begins blooming in late february and smells like heaven. its not the most showy blossom, in fact they’re quite compact and unassuming. but the aroma that drifts off of the flowers is like no other. it smells like happy and sunshine and waking up from winter.

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