April has been quite mild, even warmish, so the gardens (and field work) are charging along at an alarming pace. This must be pretty close of peak flowering, whatever that may mean. So far over 75 different plants have flowered in our gardens, and a long-time friend upon hearing this at a brunch said, "That's inconceivable." And yes, for that person, that many different flowering plants is inconceivable. You see, it's like this: Trillium - nivale, recurvatum, flexipes, erectum, sessile, and 2 more to go. Magnolia - loebneri, stellata, salicifolia, liliflora, soulangiana, x acuminata "butterflies" and 2-3 more to go. Things like that begin to add up. Right now the crabapples, lilacs, and flowering dogwoods are just beginning. This is the first year that the yellow-flowered magnolia produced a big floral display, and it was not a disappointment. Of course there are many other things that aren't so noticeable like the blue cohosh hidden among a profusion of bluebells. But just knowing they are there makes you feel good. While most things survived the winter, including a Sinocalycanthus seedling, some of the survivors are showing signs of some die-back so they will need some evaluation.