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Weather has been unusual to say the least this year, and not just in Arkansas. While we were seeing summer-like temperatures Wednesday and Thursday, our friends up north were having blizzards and freezing rain. Friday was one of the prettiest days of the year so far, with bright sunshine and cool temperatures, and then the rains hit. We had some strong winds and copious rainfall. During the storm a neighbors tree went down,

and friends and neighbors jumped out to help clear the street.

Luckily, it fell just right and no one or thing was damaged. The rain and wind should have cleared out some pollen, and also helped those catkins to fall.

For those of you who have maple trees, their fruits are called samaras, but commonly whirybirds or helicopters.

Some of them came down in record numbers too.

Today, the rain has moved out, but it is chilly and so is my house, since I haven't turned the heat back on. I think we may have the last fire of the year tonight!

In spite of the weird weather, I think we are having one of the prettiest springs on record.

Even with the rain and wind, there are still plenty of blooms left in the gardens. One good thing about having gardeners as friends, is you get to see some pretty plants when you have a visit.

Mary W. has a beautiful garden and the azaleas were spectacular. See Mary hiding in the middle!! I wanted to show size perspective and this is her idea.

She even had some blooms on her lily of the valley. They aren't easy to grow in Arkansas, preferring a cooler climate.

The Solomon Seal

and heuchera were also putting on a show.

You can have great color, even with a shade garden. I hope you are walking your own garden and enjoying what is there. Take time to drive around and view Mother Nature's handiwork.

On a lighter note: in response to my column and what can happen when you don't cut back pampas grass on a regular basis, a reader shared her take on making lemonade from lemons. When the center rotted out, she used it as inspiration for some Easter decor!

Enjoy spring!

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