You just have to love some old standbys in the garden. Spireas are plants that never seem to inspire garden designers. Overused? Too rangy? For whatever reason planting a spirea just isn't sexy.
And then Spirea thunbergii 'Ogon' comes into bloom -- in March this year -- and it is a stunning bright spot in the brown awakening garden. I love this plant.
This March has been crazy warm, and 'Ogon' is in bloom early. In prior years it showed off its white fountains in mid April, and at least the greening grass gave it a nicer frame.
Here it is last Thanksgiving day, also enriching what becomes a subdued browning scene in late fall.
And you just gotta love the star magnolias. They aren't the big shows that saucer magnolias are, and they are not rare forms or achingly soft pink colors.
But how could you not smile at this baby Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star', planted last fall, blooming in March for all it is worth on its tiny little branches?
The forsythias, much maligned all the rest of the year, are just gorgeous right now all over the neighborhood, along the highways and everywhere you look. You have to love a plant that doesn't care what we all think, and blooms with such obvious happy enthusiasm.
Big old "Lynwood' forsythia shrubs live out by the road, under big utility wires, among the Eastern red cedars and brown meadow weeds, not minding that they are not in a prime spot in the garden. They just bloom away.
And who ever notices that maple trees flower? When you are out there scanning the mud for newly opened daffodils or emerging spring bulbs, do you ever look up? The Acer rubrum red maples are in flower in March.
They are not called red maples because of their leaves --- they have green leaves and look like other maple trees. They are called red maples because they have hazes of red flowers in early spring.
You gotta love 'em.