The difference in the scenery around here is astounding: we already have flowers coming up, and although we've had way more rain and cooler temperatures than normal, walking back from the bus this morning I saw flowers everywhere! It seems like just a few days ago there were only a few little teeny green shoots. And now look.
Camillas, not rhododendrons
The rhododendrons are already beginning to bloom! This must be a very early blooming plant, though, as most of the others I've seen have no blooms yet. This flower is the official Washington state flower, and I've seen it in gardens, lawns, and in its wild form in the forest. It just occurred to me that maybe this isn't a rhodie at all, but an azalea instead. I couldn't decide after reading about them both. Anybody have any ideas? (Correction: Linda Reeder told me this is a camilla plant, which is why it is blooming already.)
Some pretty hyacinths
Our neighbor's garden is also already showing some flowers. There will be tulips coming up here in a few days, it seems. And the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley begins this Friday! I went to the bloom map to see if anything is up yet and learned that several of the fields of early daffodils are up, but no tulips quite yet. I'll be visiting them within a week or two, once they are at their peak. Plus I'll wait until the rain has let up a little, remembering the fields of mud I've had to navigate in previous visits. But I'm beginning to think about the garden now and planting flowers in my pots on the front porch.