After a tease of warmer weather earlier in April, we plunged back into colder temps and more snow flurries, and spring was put on hold. It certainly has made a very late appearance in the Chicago area this year. The colder temps helped the crocuses and irises stay around for a longer period than usual, but delayed everything else from blooming and delayed the planting of spring gardens at CBG. Finally, this week we seem to be on the road to full-fledged spring. The Garden staff have been in a whirlwind of planting this week - all hands on deck to get those spring gardens in! So please, spring, don't disappear again - we are all rooting for you. It was an impossibly long winter and we need you!
So, what will you find if you make a trip to the Garden right now? The daffodils are in bloom, the fields of Icelandic poppies in the English Oak Meadow have been planted, many, many anemones have been planted in various places around the Garden (the entrance gardens, the Bulb Garden, the Enabling Garden, the Sensory Garden), ranunculus are in a few areas...and lots of other spring blooms. Some early tulips are in bloom in the Bulb Garden and in the Waterfall Garden area, and a few tulips are starting to open in the Circle Garden. Most tulips, however, are still at least a week, maybe two, from blooming. We seem to be a good 2-3 weeks behind schedule this year. Magnolias should be in bloom over the next week but no sign of crabapples being close.
The wind (always a problem in spring) has made photographing poppies and anemones challenging. I have a lot of patience when it comes to flower photography. If you wait long enough there are usually lulls in the wind...usually, but you have to work fast when that lull comes because it may only last a few seconds. Here's some of what I've been capturing this week. The anemones and the poppies are captured with my 100mm macro. I was eager to photograph these flowers with my Lensbaby Velvets but because the wind was so challenging and I was reliant on autofocus to get anything at all in focus.
The last of the crocuses, captured late last week with the Lensbaby Composer Pro II and Sweet 80 optic and Velvet 85mm respectively.