Ok – this was crazy – some of the warmest temperatures on record! Everything – and I do mean EVERYTHING – but most particularly the mustards and dandelions, seemed to be on steroids! And who can weed a garden that is covered with hungry bees? So that was my convenient excuse for April, but seriously, we were just grateful to see everything around us burst open in the brilliant yellows of spring: daffodils, dandelions, mustards, and forsythia, and the air scented with an abundance of cherry blossoms, particularly sweet because I thought we had lost them forever…a tale for another day. For now, enjoy the flowers! Our bees certainly did! How we all rejoice in Spring!
FLOWERS & BEE PLANTS
Ceanothus, Blue & White
Currant, Red Flowering (Native)
Korean Bush Cherry
Quince – Flowering (big shrub
Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) is up! Hooray! A great bee plant, medicinal plant, and mulch provider.
Nettles! Nettles! Everywhere! Pick them now while tender and fresh! Dehydrate what we can't eat now for nourishing teas next winter. (Urtica dioica)
Lovage, Levisticum officinale, has a strong celery flavor, but is great when it is young. And I love the "lovage forest" that it makes.
Over-wintered chard is a reliable standby in early spring. And who can resist that beautiful red!
Turkey Rhubarb, aka Da-huang, Rheum palmatum tanguticum: This important medicinal plant likes rich, damp, soil in somewhat shady areas. It grows huge! I am happy that it made it through the winter (along with regular rhubarb)
Cardoon, Cynara cardunculus: I mostly grow this for the blooms, which look like giant artichokes. The bumblebees love them. The early stems are edible.
Magnolia Star, Magnolia stellata, is such a beautiful pure white flower with a blush of pink. This shrub almost glows in the dark.
Oregon Grape, Mahonia aquifolium: The little pollinators are all over this. Love this bright yellow near the red flowering currants!
Nanking Cherry, Prunus tomentosa: These bloom so early and are like the breath of spring! I thought I had lost them.
Wild mustard? Feral turnip? These came up in the compost. I leave them for now for the bees.
Daffodils: I would plant them for no other reason than that they make me happy.
Honeyberry blossoms, Lonicera cecerulea edulis: This early bloomer will bring wonderful blue berries around June. I will definitely plant more of these.