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 March can keep you guessing up to the last minute, wondering whether Spring will ever arrive. But with April it finally does. And it's overwhelming: A tide of Virginia Bluebells flows down a slope, crowds of Mayapples unfurl their umbrellas to protect the single white blossoms dangling beneath, and long-blooming Wood Poppy will scatter its gold coins well into May. In May also, not only the expected Azaleas and Rhododendrons catch the eye but numerous other shrubs as well: A Mock Orange bursts into cascades of scented bloom, while the sun shining through the new leaves of a Smoke Bush can rival any flower for intensity. With June, though, the end of Spring is approaching. Increasing warmth brings on showy summer perennials like the Coneflowers in the Plant Mural display garden, while the incandescent green of reeds by the pond presages the full force of Summer's heat and humidity, soon to arrive.

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