An Amazing Spring

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:

10 thoughts on “An Amazing Spring

  1. Spring here is winding down, so it’s nice revisit the season with all those amazing trees and rhodies. Someone should do a study to see whether plants up there produce any fewer flowers than those down here. You just seem to get them all at once. It makes for a pretty manic spring!

  2. It’s totally true about the manic portion, James. It gets positively bizarre the utter profuseness of it all. The good news is, however, it actually lasts a while. We easily have another month of rhodies going off and, unfortunately, a cooler Spring will probably extend some of the other Spring bloomers. But I find it impressive, yearly, just the same. A two month long series of Spring blossoming events is never a bad thing.

  3. I’m increasingly impressed by your neighborhood. I’ve never seen a viburnum that huge. And I love the rhodies, only the most talented and dedicated can grow them here, too hot and dry. I remember them from visits to Seattle and the Olympic peninsula, stunning stunning flowers. Now I’ll have to search your blog and see how rhododendrons got you into landscaping.

  4. wow! amazing trees. i love the blossoms. i wonder what it would be like if we lived in a place with seasons. thanks for sharing.

  5. I’m going to send you a link, Mizz Belvedere, but it is pretty straightforward, really. I just could not believe the first ones I saw – I was in Vancouver, BC at the time, going to school and working outdoors in Spring and summer. When I first saw them, I thought they were unique to the home but then the entire city burst out in them. It was quite a revelation.

  6. Well to be honest it is not that great to have No season. When i stayed in the sub tropical climate of Queensland i was revealed to see change when i moved back to the south in Australia where the maples change colour and the evenings are cool.

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