This is one of my favorite times of the year. Bluebird Hill is pretty shady with all of the oak and hickory trees. I used to bemoan that, but in the last decade I have embraced it and sought out plants that will flourish here in the semi and shady gardens. However, in the spring I do get to enjoy some flowers, like iris that need more sun than I normally have.
And of course there are the azaleas that the South is known for. The shrubs come in colors ranging from white to dark rose in my gardens and their bloom times are staggered so I can enjoy them from early April until early June.
I prefer the old-timey types that are not ever blooming like the Encores. It gives me something to look forward to and makes them more special.
Engineered plants are wonderful for their traits that have been accented such as extra bloom time, however like heirloom tomatoes, I still opt for the originals with richer scents and more character. I think the bees like them better too.