What’s Blooming Now? And What Isn’t

There’s no denying this has been a cold, late spring. Last week, I talked with a very knowledgeable and experienced gardener who told me that she thought we were at least two weeks behind the “typical” Minnesota spring. (Typical is in quotes for obvious reasons, if you’ve lived in Minnesota long!)

So, what is blooming now? These are observations from my garden and others I’ve seen. Crabapple trees finally bloomed in the Twin Cities last week, but the rain and wind knocked off a lot of blooms over the weekend. Daffodils are still looking good, as are some tulips. My front yard PJM rhododendron, which was a bloom machine in early May 2018, is a complete slug now. There are a few tiny blooms on the bottom but most of it is closed-tight buds. I’m hoping it will still bloom and that the polar vortex of January did not nip them. Lilacs, which can handle anything Minnesota weather throws at them, are blooming away.

what's blooming now

What a difference a year (and a very cold spring) makes.

Bleeding heart are also blooming now, though one of the three I planted together two years ago, is not coming up. It, too, may be a casualty of the tough winter.

Scouring though some of my favorite northern Instagrammers, I see images of amsonia in bloom, chamomile flowers, wild violets and euphorbia, and fothergilla. Other fruit trees are also in bloom, such as cherry, plum and apple.

What’s Not in Bloom?

In 2016, my peonies were in full and glorious bloom by May 20. This year, I see lots of wonderful foliage (peonies love a cold winter!) but only buds. Columbine often is in bloom by now, and in the past, I’ve seen wild geranium in bloom in May. Buds are out on both of those in a native garden near my home, so soon, soon, soon.

What’s blooming (and what’s not) in your northern garden?

It’s been a good year for daffodils.

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