My Beauty of Moscow lilac budded last week! I was actually a little worried that this tree wouldn't make it through the winter, because about halfway through it didn't look so good. But now it's covered in adorable little leaf-buds that get larger each day.
The tree didn't flower last year, but I'm hoping it will this year now that it's established. The double blooms are apparently mostly white with a light pink center and very fragrant. I love lilacs so much, I'm actually considering going up to the Lilac Festival in Rochester this year. I know, it's kinda dorky.
My Double Knock Out Rose is already covered in leaves and thinking about blooming.
But the most exciting springtime coup is that both of my tree peonies have come back. Peonies can be fussy, and last year neither of them looked very happy---they died back really early and then I thought maybe their feet were too wet. But the other day I glanced in their direction, and they're alive! Here's the Sahohime peony. In another week the leaves should be open.
This weekend I went through all my planters and pulled out the dead annuals, planting poppies and snowdrops in their stead. I've decided only to plant perennials from now on, because it's just too expensive to replace plants each year. Then I took advantage of a couple of promo codes and ordered some new varieties---assorted ferns and shade-loving plants that I can tuck in around the sun-seekers, the Rose of Sharon I'd been coveting, a climbing clematis, two kinds of columbine, a lily-of-the-valley and another tree peony.
Now that I have quite the little garden going, I'm considering using larger, longer planters that can hold a variety of plants and will look less cluttered than a mess of little pots. I love these minimalist galvanized steel planters at CB2.
I'll probably wait until they go on sale, then buy a few for the front balcony. An elevated flower bed will also keep Dottie from being able to dig in them. Last year I had to replant my forget-me-nots three times after she dug them all up. Even after all that, they managed to re-seed themselves and are already coming back. Spring's kind of amazing like that.