I love spring in East Tennessee. Its almost like I woke up one morning this past week and noticed how green my world was becoming. I feel like the past several months, I have been living in a black and white version of Knoxville, where all of the trees are dead, the grass is dead, and the skeletal remains of kudzu remind me that winter in Knoxville sucks.
One of my all-time favorite trees, the Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), is in full bloom, as are dogwoods. Forsynthia is that bright yellow bush that is blooming right now; it’s another of my favorites.
From left: Dogwood, forsynthia, and redbud Source: utgardens.tennessee.edu
At my work, I see so many people buying annuals and perennials to plant outside, and that’s fine if they are willing to replace them when it gets cold again in next week. This happens every year. For two or three weeks, the landscape is beautifully decorated with bright bursts of red, pink, white, yellow and purple. Then we get Dogwood winter, or Blackberry winter, or some other cold snap that freezes and kills most of this beautiful color. I’ve lived here for thirty years, and I can’t remember a year when this hasn’t happened.