“I’m not dead yet!”

It’s been a long, trying few weeks but the worst is over (referring to post of March 21). All test results were either negative or low-normal, and that’s a pretty good sign. Although I’m not seeing much improvement yet, I anticipate it coming soon. And, as Monty Python succinctly stated, “I’m not dead yet!”

In the meantime, I’ve been walking and gardening as much as energy allows. This is the season of voluptous cherry blossoms, magnificent magnolias, and cheerful daffodils. Brilliant colors stand out on early spring days and make a timid blue sky bold and bright. Surrounded with gaudy color – yellows, purples, pinks – it’s difficult to look away. But one color, in particular, brings us down to earth with a forcefully quiet presence. White flowering plants – the color of many straight species’ flowers – brings a boisterous spring garden down-to-earth. It is the perfect backdrop for an intense spring display.

Two of my favorite white-blooming trees are Amelanchier and Magnolia stellata. Along my walking routes, the city of Seattle has planted many Serviceberry trees (Amelanchier species) and they are in full, glorious bloom right now. The flowers don’t last long, but the bud and early leaf stages are almost as beautiful. I’ve eaten the berries when I can get to them before birds and they are almost tasty. But the reason I grow this gorgeous, small tree is for the flowers.

Amelanchier in full, glorious bloom.
Its canopy is open and graceful.
Outshining pink and blue. Amelanchier’s early leaves have a copper-reddish tint that creates a perfect back-drop for the flowers.

The other tree I mentioned, Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) is my favorite magnolia. Much smaller than M. grandiflora or other huge magnolias and a perfect addition to smaller gardens, its flowers are gracefully shaped and classically beautiful.

Gorgeous little tree!

Either tree – or both! – are elegant, easy-care plants that enhance a landscape as well as any flowering cherry or plum tree.

I wish you good health, clear skies, and easy gardening.

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