The First Floral Friday of Spring!

Wow. I knew there are some passionate gardeners on my Garden Delights Facebook page, but boy--I had no idea HOW passionate some of them are! A little backstory, in case you missed the conversation:

Yesterday, Peter and I went to lunch. As we drove to the restaurant, I noticed that lining either side of the road that cuts through a huge parking lot (strip mall on one side, Home Depot, more strip mall, Wal-Mart on the other) are more than 20 enormous, gorgeous cherry trees.

I'd forgotten about those trees.

Every year, they throw the most spectacular show--huge, billowy, fabulous pale pink blossoms just smothering the branches. So, naturally, my flower lust kicks into high gear, and I say to Peter, "I wonder if anyone would mind if I snipped a few branches. Forcing those blooms would be awesome for Floral Friday."

He laughs at me but said he doesn't think anyone would care, and we start talking about scenarios of how to snag some branches. Dress in black and sneak into the parking lot at night? Brazenly hold up the snippers in broad daylight? Act like I'm from the extension services, checking the trees for disease?

You get the picture. Lots of silly scenarios.

After lunch, he dropped me off at home. Still laughing about my complete and utter obsession with cherry branches, I posted a question on the Garden Delights Facebook page, polling my gardening friends: would it be wrong to snip three to five small branches off of a tree in a parking lot?


While more than half of the folks said to go for it, the other half were appalled--to say the least.

It's like I announced that I planned to harvest wild ginseng or transplant Lady's Slippers from a wildflower preserve into our garden.

Needless to say, I did NOT--I repeat, I DID NOT snip any cherry branches for Floral Friday. (I'm still pining for them, but I've learned the error of my ways through my friends. I just need to plant a yoshino cherry tree in our garden, wait 20 years, and then I'll have some branches of my own.)


It's a good thing I don't have cherry branches to force, because this is probably the last week for 'Ice Follies' daffodil blooms. And goodness knows, I'd rather use daffodils from our garden than suspiciously procurred yoshino cherries. (Plus, I'd be breaking the rules for Floral Friday, since we're supposed to use blooms from our own gardens, right? Who made these rules? Oh. Right.)

Still smarting from my reprimands, I ventured out this morning into the cold. And it was COLD. From 70s yesterday to 33 degrees this morning, I was a bit afraid how the blooms would look.

Ah, daffodils. What a workhorse you are.

Honestly, daffodils are frost-resistant and perpetually cheerful. I gathered 20 stems. I also snipped a handful of viola blooms--they're so perky, I'm always so glad to look out the office window and see their bright burst of color throughout the winter and spring. Somehow, though, they just didn't work once I made the arrangement. They were a little too bright for the subtle colors of the bouquet, so I relegated those to a small bud vase to put on my daughter's nightstand.

This week, the pieris japonica added height to the arrangement. The bush by our front entrance is something we inherited in the landscape, and until last year--I never really appreciated it.

Now, though, when those lovely, lily-of-the-valley-shaped blooms appear, I'm smitten. Plus, the foliage is such a nice contrast, deep shiny green turning to rich reddish bronze in the fall. It definitely grew on me.

As a surprise, I added one trailing vine of honeysuckle. Sadly, our garden is full of invasive Japanese honeysuckle, which I'm battling to eradicate. It's climbing blueberry bushes, strangling trees, and invading the asparagus bed. It's creeping through the entire forest, I'm afraid. It's an ongoing battle, but for today's bouquet, I'll admit--I liked the texture and color it provided. (Plus, now there's one more bit of honeysuckle gone from the garden!)

Once again, I haven't found the perfect spot to photograph the entire bouquet. The day suddenly became too busy, and I'm scrambling to finish this post before toting the kids to piano lessons this afternoon. Next week, I WILL find a good, photo worthy location!

I can't believe that the daffodil blooms are almost done. I need to add more late blooming varieties to the garden this fall. But soon, soon the tulips will be in full force--I spotted buds today!! Perhaps next week I'll be so enamored with my tulips that I won't even consider filching cherry branches. Perhaps.

Now, it's your turn! What did you find in your garden today that you brought inside to enjoy? Please share your photos on the Garden Delights Facebook page so that we can all "ooh" and "awe"! (Unless it's cherry blossoms. Then I'll just be jealous!)

Happy Floral Friday, and Happy Spring, friends!



P.S. Don't forget to go here to enter the Spring Giveaway! A $25 gift certificate to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a copy of The 20-30 Something Garden Guide, and a pack of MooPooTea! Enter by midnight EST on Tuesday, March 25 for your chance to win!