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We have flowers!  The first of our fall plantings started to bloom this week.  It seems the squirrels left the bulbs alone over the winter and the spring flowers have all started to show themselves.  Our Hyacinths were the first to open, quickly followed by a couple varieties of Fritillaria.  (These seem to be overshadowing our Hellebores in the back, so we will keep an eye on placement this first year).  The Lilac, Lilies, Peony, and Viburnum are sending out green leaves.  The only casualty seems to be one Hydrangea that we transplanted in the late fall.  An abundance of wild violets has returned to the newly-cleaned-out lawn space.  Ada and I have been transplanting them to the designated garden space before our sod arrives in a couple of weeks.  Our three-foot Japanese cherry tree arrived via post office from the Arbor Day Foundation last week.  It was a bargain at under $18 with shipping!  We planted it as our first tree as a family and it has already shot out bright green buds.  This is all quite a learning process, as neither Chris nor I have had a real garden of our own before… This post shows some of the before photos from the previously terrifying back yard – (I found a dead rat back there on our first walk-through of the property).  Our backyard bees are arriving in May and will take up residence in the far corner of the yard.  Chris found these German beer garden table and benches yesterday, which we are considering for use on cement patio.  We can hardly wait for the girls to have a real yard to play in!  We are slowly making progress and looking forward to perhaps even relaxing amongst all the projects outside this summer.