The Arch City Gardener

Journeys In St. Louis Gardening and Beyond


Weekly Update – Spring’s Freshness

crabtree (1280x960)Crisp as a cracker. That’s how the air felt Saturday morning. Fresh and cool, I believe Spring is at its glorious peak in St. Louis. Daily the local landscape is pop, pop, popping with an abundance of gorgeous flowering trees.

There was a real freshness in the air when I took an early morning walk. We had a drenching rain on Thursday, a cleansing rain that rid the streets of any remaining salt and debris and washed winter away. Friday’s rainy, overcast disposition turned sunny with bright blue skies and temperatures in the low 50s when I got out and about on Saturday morning. Here is what I glimpsed: Pink, yellow and white magnolias; bright, bright yellow forsythia; purple red bud just beginning to burst; soft pink cherry trees in full bloom; rosy-red and white flowering crabapple trees, and rows of Christmas-tree shaped Bradford pear standing tall in white bloom along the the edge of the road. All are on display in their full glory just a short walk from my home.

magnolia close up

Magnolia liliiflora

forsythia (2)

Forsythia – oleaceae

I wasn’t the only one to take notice. Front porches are pretty much a staple in this area and I came upon more than one resident sitting on their porch, newspaper and coffee cup in hand enjoying the alpine-like air. This time of year is fleeting. I am glad I made time to stop and smell the roses.


Red bud – cersis canadensis

star magnolia

Magnolia stellata



1 Comment

It’s Looking More Like Spring

It seems like forever but it won’t take long now until we’re in full fledged Spring in St. Louis. Forsythia, Bradford pear, pink magnolia and star magnolia are in bloom. After reading the Steve Bender’s, aka the Grumpy Gardener, opinion of Bradford pear trees, I can no longer drive past one without laughing. According to Grumpy, having one in the front yard is akin bragging that you have a toilet in the house. So funny! He also says its spring flowers smell like fish. I wondered what that awful smell was! Of course, they line the streets and boulevards of St. Louis and are popular in neighboring front yards. And they look great.


Tonight’s backyard tour highlight are the blooms on my PJM rhododendron. This is one of three rhodos growing in the yard and the one that was protected most from our severe winter. Oddly, though, it always blooms ahead of the other two. Go figure. Coming along nicely is the Oakleaf hydrangea I planted three years ago. This plant loves the spot it is in (north side of house and protected in winter) and was laden with blooms last year.

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?