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A Spring Fashion Show - In Your Own Backyard

April 15, 2013

Mother Nature has fashioned a trend - in your closet.

Blouses, scarves, shoes, jackets and even jeans have adopted colorful floral patterns this season. Fabrics of several materials and textures mimic the beautiful blossoms and bright buds Mother Nature has presented in your local park, flower bed or backyard. So, with the clasp of a button or the tie of scarf, you can delight in spring's fortunes wherever you go.

Your dark, drab sweaters, thick coats and scarves will gradually make their way to the depths of your drawers and reveal the bright, bold hues, pastels and patterns you've been longing to wear for months. Like a flower bud that opens in the sun, spring's demeanor will shed light through your windows and heaping arrangements of floral fashion will emerge.

Flower power is in

From the minute I wake up in the morning, squinting to take a quick glance out my bedroom window, I'm overwhelmed by the palette of pale pinks and purples that brighten my day from the blooming trees below. The flowers I see are my garden's cheerleaders, bursting with pom-poms of color that add a contagious spirit to the landscape. They draw attention, lighten the mood, add color and breathe life.

Flowering trees transform outdoor living spaces.

In many ways, they're jewelry-pops of color inviting you into landscapes. And if you choose wisely, your flowering trees can provide year-round appeal. Their leaves offer interest before buds pop, and in winter the artistic structure of their branches lend sculptural qualities to the landscape.

"Just consider the wonderment of a tree throughout its seasons," says Dr. Charles Hall, professor and Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Hall relates how flowering trees-all trees for that matter-cycle through stages each season.

"Trees impact the deepest parts of our being," he says, noting how we anticipate the "sometimes-showy but always fragrant flowering" in summer, and are rewarded in fall with "the explosion of color, as red and orange pigments take over to form a blanket of coloration that painters have tried to capture and poets have tried to describe."

A bonus of flowering trees is many have colorful, edible fruits that attract birds. Flowering dogwoods are especially interesting to birds. Time fall migration by watching berries mature-red berries ripen at migration's peak.

And let's face it, flowers just say "spring." We associate the promising buds that dot branches following winter with warmer weather and new beginnings. We wait for certain flowering trees to show their stuff each year.

So why not plant a flowering tree-that spring special you can always look forward to, just like your spring-exclusive, favorite floral blouse?

When choosing a flowering tree, remember showy varieties can stand alone. (You wouldn't don your floral denim pants with a busy, patterned jacket, would you?) Consider the tree's size, form and overall appearance. And tune into the bloom season-and flower intensity, duration and color.

Consult a professionally trained arborist to help you choose the most stylish specimens for your property.

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