close-up of several white blooms of a cherry tree

With Easter right around the corner, everything seems to have come into bloom, but the flowering trees always take center stage!

"Hanami" is the centuries-old practice of picnicking under a blooming cherry tree. The custom, originally limited to the elite of the Imperial Court, soon spread to the common people. More recently, Forest Bathing has become popularized, as people seek out the opportunity to reduce the digital influences in their lives.  Either way, Al's encourages you to take a moment, and enjoy this short lived spring treat.

So whether its the pale 'Mount Fuji' blossom that you love so much, or the darker pink 'Kwansan' that you envy, planting and growing cherry flowering trees is an easy way to bring beauty to your garden.

A white bloom of the 'Royal Star' Magnolia'Royal Star' Magnolia

If cherry just isn't your preference, then there are a number of other beauties that flower this time of the year. An Al's favorite is the 'Royal Star' Magnolia with its large, fragrant, white double flowers. This open branched or multi-trunked small tree enjoys the sun, and can grow to 10' - 15' high by 10' - 12' wide.  We like it because it's hardy to -30° F, and it's deciduous.

If white magnolias aren't your thing, try the 'Butterflies' Magnolia. This beauty produces a yellow flower that sits upright on its branches, and blooms in mid-spring prior to when its leaves appear. Mature size can reach 15' - 25' high, by 10' - 15' wide. Or reach for the "Genie' Magnolia with a dark maroon tulip shaped bloom with magenta tips.  This is truly a prominent focal point in your landscape and can reach 10' - 13' high by 5' wide, and is hardy -20° F.

The maroon blooms of the 'Genie' Magnilia'Genie' Magnolia

Another great flowering plant that you'll see blooming in landscapes now is the "King Edward VII" Flowering Currant. It's pendulous clusters of vivid, crimson flowers delight our eyes, while the blue black berries are loved by birds all summer long. The flowering current can reach 3' - 6' high by 3' - 6' wide, and enjoy sun or PM shade, and is hardy to -10° F. We think the flowering currant makes for a great hedge or in a mixed shrub border.