I am not particularly good at identifying plants or flowers. I'm not much for noticing detail. A naturalist friend to whom I am describing an unknown plant will ask things like, "Were the leaves opposite? Alternate?" and I'll usually have to admit that I didn't even notice.
Part of this comes from living in the same place my whole life. I can hike past the white flowers blooming under oak trees in late April and know at a glance that they are trilliums. I don't need to kneel down on the ground and look at their leaves to figure that out any more than I need to get out of the car to pick out which of the teenagers milling about the sidewalk of the high school is Shaggy Hair Boy. Most of what grows here is familiar to me, and I learned the names long ago, in childhood perhaps, or on a hike with Poet Woman or Signing Woman, two of my naturalist friends.
I know the names of the flowers in my garden and the trees in my yard because I planted them. The daylilies came from the house where my grandmother lived up until she died. The forsythia bush came from Red-haired Sister's yard, as did the rose of sharon and the chocolate mint. The lily of the valley and the peonies I dug up in my parents' yard. The white pines came from camp, and the lilac bushes from an abandoned house near camp. The hostas came from the garden Reiki Woman had to leave behind when she left her husband.
The plants and trees have not just names, but stories. I often plant a tree or a bush to mark a new stage in my life, sometimes as a way of grieving, sometimes as a way of celebrating, sometimes both at the same time. As I walk around my yard, looking over the gardens, pulling up weeds, deciding what I might add this year, I think about all that has happened in my life since last spring, and what tree or flower would best tell those stories.
The flowers in this photo are Profusion crabapple (Manzano Silvestre). I know that because I planted the tree myself, about seven years ago, and that's what the tag said.