Nature has asked us all to slow down. Not so much asked as demanded. So here we are, spring revealing itself more and more every day; the gardens know their path forward even if we do not. There is comfort.
The two Yoshino cherry trees in the water garden always ask me to slow down. Their beauty is so stunning that I get lost in the time I spend taking it all in each April. This year is no different. The pink blossoms are an almost otherworldly treat. When the world feels scary and uncertain, I find unfettered joy standing beneath these trees.
Ordinarily, in mid-April I would wax poetic about all the daffodils blooming here at Blithewold. There are so many interesting cultivars in flower. The Bosquet in bloom is certainly a sight to behold. It feels strange these days to have the property looking so glorious but no visitors. It is for the best, but does make for a surreal experience walking around Blithewold. I almost feel like the original owner Bessie Van Wickle McKee must have when she was here 100 years ago. No wonder she had parties and invited her friends over to Blithewold. It is too beautiful not to share. So I share it with you here virtually!
Pictured below is Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’ with its flowers all closed tightly against cool, wet weather. I love the soft magenta pink blush on the outside of the petals. These blooms open to a glorious white when the sun is shining.
The other early spring bloom that caught my eye this morning is barrenwort (Epimedium). We have many different varieties and cultivars here in the dry shade garden by the moon gate and in the Rock Garden. I love watching them emerge in April. Their heart-shaped foliage and dainty flowers draw me close to the ground for further inspection.
I leave you with a flower that ordinarily would greet every visitor. Just outside the Rose Garden by the parking lot is a lovely hedge of this Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’). It is just past its prime, but its flowers will hang on for a few more days.
If you are feeling like you are missing out on spring at Blithewold, I urge you to take this time to plant more beauty in your own backyard. Make note of your favorite flowers and shrubs and begin to create a sanctuary right outside your back door. Even if you choose only one or two plants, the joy they will bring you each year will make you glad you did.