Flowers!

It’s been warm here for a couple months already, which has gotten the plants all confused. They’ve been sticking more to their usual schedule. So in the past several weeks, they’ve blossomed with beautiful flowers, although some of them have already shed their flowers for thick leaves. The lilacs smell wonderful, although in early spring there was a kind of magnolia that made the air smell like cinnamon. The apple trees are magnificent – they are covered in delicate flowers, and each tree has its own shade, from pinkish-white to magenta.

There are plenty of flowers on the ground, too. Dandelions (of course), bluets, violets and white violets. The tulips aren’t wild, but they are everywhere anyway, and they  come in every color imaginable.

apple blossom (left) and white violet

apple blossom (left) and white violet

Fall Flowers

It’s easy to think of autumn plants as dying, brown, or gone. But when all the showy bright flowers of summer stop blooming, a whole new variety of beautiful plants comes to life. These are often smaller flowers, usually in pale or duller colors, like the autumn joy Sedum, which is a dusty pink. I recently noticed a new autumn-blooming plant that has become very common – the large-leaved aster. These tiny lavender flowers look like a miniature daisy, with a yellow center that turns red-brown as it matures. Some of them are planted in gardens, but most are just growing wherever they haven’t been weeded out. There are over 20 types of asters in MN.

Bluets

"A bluet."

Bluets are blooming. They’re little blue flowers with long narrow leaves, & they grow all over. They’re about 2 – 3 ” tall. Many people consider Bluets weeds, but they’re good ground cover & they’re pretty. They are also good for butterfly gardens, as they’re bright & smell nice so they attract butterflies & other insects. They bloom early in spring & stay all through the summer. They can grow just about anywhere, such as in the cracks of a stone wall. They’re pretty hardy little flowers.