It just gets better this year. I believe the minus 4 degree days back in December set the dogwoods into a true 4 season mode, somehow, maybe even stressing them some – at least enough to produce the local color which has taken over out here in Portland and delivered the most stunning Spring I can ever remember, at least certainly for dogwood trees. The pinks and whites are just stunning!
(click images to enlarge)
All these photos, once again, are from my local neighborhoods. I live near the MAXX Line – the light rail transit system that courses through the city – and amid a mix, therefore of apartments, duplexes and single family houses. The point is this – they are not necessarily any different from any other neighborhood in the town itself. In fact, less grandiose, by far, than other sections. Typically working-class people, many of whom do indeed take pride in their gardens, it nevertheless is not famous for much of anything more than a serious concentration of Mexicans. Now, since I speak Spanish, after all those years working with them, I happen to actually like that.
I have all sorts of subject matter slated for postings but, assessing the remarkably pretty locale, I cannot help an urge to share it with others, maybe, I guess, to brag a little. I think it can be seen as very obvious that what i say is true – that the trees alone are magnificent this Spring season.
So, while the dogwood trees have taken the full glory for such a resplendent Springtime, other plants are also doing remarkably well. Take this Double File Viburnum, always a favorite of mine. This hulking beast is getting very close to “popping” loud and proud.
This plant will soon be pushing blooms which look like this, a smaller version who has been the beneficiary of far more sunlight:
All those budding blooms on the large plant will pretty much literally cover this Queen of Shrubs, as I have seen it termed. I was shocked to see it last Spring – in all its glory – and resolved then to keep it in mind on my walks around the hood. Here’s an idea of what shape it will take then: (just ten times larger)
Anyway, other local items of blooming interest include the usual raft of rhododendrons. Here is a local I have my eye on:
And these noteworthy fella’s here are all from within a few blocks as well. One thing about the Northwest – it is definitely Rhododendron Country:
There is no bloom quite as rich as a Rhodie. The sheer volume and weight of the blooms is just breathtaking to me and always has been. I have often spoken of the revelation I had concerning this plant and its role in my becoming a landscaper. I had no idea then of just how much more love I would pour their way. They just suit the climate perfectly and make one of the most insanely easy-to-plant and maintain plants in Nature. Tiny little root balls make them imminently transplant able, too.
The colors are amazing, even electric. Here are just a few more:
I’ll end with pictures of some local Mollis Azaleas. Back East, Azaleas seem to be king, along, of course, with Dogwoods. These show why, anywhere they grow, they are so appreciated:
And this one is a personal favorite. I walk by it pretty much every day. Here it is on the very verge:
And my tribute to my local Japanese Red Maple: