Everywhere all sorts of things are blooming, including rhododendrons, forsythias, flowering crabs and magnolias. In addition to their spectacular color, some are also delightfully fragrant. Forsythias are some of the earliest to bloom in the spring; therefore, due to this year's mid-March warm spell, most reached their peak a few weeks ago. Regarding the rhododendrons, be sure to notice their thick, somewhat leathery, dark green leaves that remain after the beautiful clusters of blooms have withered. In these parts the Saucer magnolia tree, with its large white to pale pink flowers that appear before the leaves, is a common sight in many yards as it can handle the often harsh winter conditions. Finally, there are several varieties of flowering crabs that thrive in Iowa and provide glorious shades of pink, white and red along with a pleasant fragrance.
So, on your next trip to the grocery or discount store, see if you notice any of these spring-time beauties in full bloom!