It’s Rhododendron time. This is R. oreotrephes, a dainty, small-leaved variety with pale lavender flowers.
I like to show the Rhodies in bud and in flower, because the color is usually more intense in the bud form. This one is called ‘Misty Moonlight’.
Having said that, ‘Markeeta’s Prize’ is red from start to finish. I haven’t had the best of luck with red Rhodies, but this one seems to be bucking that trend. There are some excellent gardens where you can see Rhododendrons in all their glory. Two that come to mind are the Cecil & Molly Smith Garden in St Paul OR and the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Milwaukie OR. Both are great sources of inspiration for companion plantings.
Always the first of the Irises to bloom is this short, deep purple one. You can see the full chorus of these little guys waiting in the wings.
The flowers on Epimedium ‘Lilafree’ are so dainty that they almost disappear. Worth the trouble to get down there for a frog’s eye view, though.
Weed? Wildflower? It’s a beauty, whatever it is. Any ideas?
Here’s another little weed that I prefer to think of as a groundcover. It rambles everywhere, so why fight it?
Speaking of ground covers, Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ is one of the more satisfying ones. It is currently a sea of blue, but just as attractive when not in bloom.
I could easily go on and on, but instead I’ll leave you with the blooming redbud and pass you on to May Dreams Gardens, where Carol hosts Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the 15th of each month. Happy Spring!