It has been a disappointing spring in my yard. There are few silver bells and fewer cockle shells. I had great hopes, but things started too soon and most froze. For the most recent freeze, I draped my azaleas out front with every sheet I could spare.
I expected them to come into bloom that week. I think the reason they had only a few blooms wasn't that they hadn't started, but that they'd already frozen. I didn't think my gardenia had buds either, but this photo of one blackened bud next to one green bud shows otherwise. I'll expect a small display this year. Ditto for my dogwood trees and my climbing yellow rose, Lady Banks. Some years it smothers the arbor with yellow, this week it sparkles with only a few blooms.
One of the nice surprises I've had is the discovery of a native yellow azalea in my front yard. I'd never seen it before, but somehow I have a four foot bush with these lovely blooms. This should be what the new azaleas we bought look like. I protected them from the freeze with pillowcases on their heads! The area where we cleared away ivy looks bad, but I hope to get some ground covers in to replace the evil ivy.
The other nice surprise was the sight of tulip leaves when they finally emerged from their pot. Tulips are annuals here, and I'd hoped this view of pink blooms rising up from dark purple pansies would greet us in early spring. When they didn't show, I was convinced the squirrels had eaten them all. Instead, just later blooming. I will tuck a cherry tomato plant in here when the flowers are done. (Yes, we throw out pansies when it gets warm.) I will post about veggies soon. I'm making progress there too, but it is always slower than I want.