Boise -- nicknamed "The City of Trees" -- is the third largest U.S. city in the Northwest. Situated where the high desert meets the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, Boise is a mecca for outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, biking and camping.
With a relatively mild winter and long growing season, the area also offers ideal growing conditions for many trees not to mention other plants. In fact, Boise has frost-free periods of 120 to 150+ days annually, according to Idaho Cooperative Extension.
And yes, Idaho grows a lot more than just potatoes. Peaches, apricots, apples and cherries are just some of the crops grown in this area.
Spring is a season when Boise really sparkles. Aside from all the blooming trees, there are the lovely lilacs. Any Idahoan will tell you that lilacs really love this climate. (And we, of course, love them back...) The above lilac in my neighbor's yard is one example of how well this flowering shrub thrives in this area.
Tulips, daffodils and other spring bulbs also perform well in this four-season city. Here's a clever way my neighbor displayed her flowering bulbs in the front yard.
At this time of year, wildflowers and grasses cover the rolling foothills that surround the city.
Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) is just one of the wildflowers you'll find on the foothills at this time of year. This perennial thrives in elevations from 4,500 to 7,000 feet. Best of all, arrowleaf balsamroot is drought tolerant and has good winter hardiness. Although it prefers full sun, this plant will tolerate semi-shade.
Not sure of the name of these delicate blue wildflowers, unfortunately. But look how pretty they are against the hillsides.
Katie Johnson (left) and Maggie O'Connor (right) show just how fun it is to run through wild lupines on a spring day in Idaho.
If you're lucky, you just might come across a field of purple and yellow lupines on a Boise foothill trail. Surrounded by these wonderful wildflowers, be sure to take a deep breath and smell all the sweet scents. Then, take a moment to figure out how you can come back to visit Boise in spring again.