Peeking at bloomers

Yay spring?

As Jenn coughs and harrumphs her way through allergy season and I glare at the rivulets of yellowy pollen in the truck bed after a rain, I thought it might be good to remind ourselves of why we love this season, despite what our immunity-ravaged bodies tell us. Here are a few photos from what’s blooming in the front yard:

That’s the phlox we planted astride our front walkway two years ago, in an effort to both add some border color and erosion control on our sloped front lawn. The plants on the high side of the walkway have thrived, while about half of those on the other side have struggled mightily or died. We’re not sure why, unless they’re getting too little sun or too much runoff water on the low side of the walkway.

Right after we bought the house, a small tree in the southeastern corner up and died. I replaced it with an 8-inch dogwood sapling that Keep Columbus Beautiful gave me one year when I turned in my Christmas tree for mulching. In seven years, it’s grown to 8 feet tall. It didn’t bloom until year 5, but boy has it bloomed like gangbusters ever since.

This is a catalpa tree in the other corner of the front yard, just starting to shoot out its leaves. It’s another KCB gimme. The oak you see in the background is probably only going to make it for a few more years, so we planted the allegedly fast-growing catalpa as an on-deck replacement. It had an amazing first year, but then it’s growth slowed dramatically. Maybe it’s having trouble finding rootspace among the oak’s roots, or maybe it’s a little too shady. Still, I predict great things from this little guy once the oak is, ummm, retired. (Cool thing about catalpas: Old timers call them “worm trees,” because they attract caterpillars, which fisherman can easily pluck for bait on their way to the ‘Hooch. … Hey, whatever keeps them out of our tomatoes.)

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