I am also particularly lucky to have a backyard with a cherry tree and not one but TWO lilac trees, in addition to apple trees that have white flowers. I don't remember flowering apple trees in the states, but hey, I'll take it.
And while most people don't do the whole "grass" thing in their "yards", many people do the flower or vegetable garden thing in their yard. Including the neighbor behind my house and across the street, who has an insane tulip spread right now. Nice to gaze upon out my kitchen window while sipping tea in the morning.
And, lucky me, there is a garden in our "yard" (I say "yard" because it's 90% concrete and 10% grass) that is faithfully tended by the Romanians who care for the property. That sounds strange, but they're not my "landlords" per se, because the ministry I'm here under owns the house, but since Americans can own houses but not property here, the pastor of our 'sister' Romanian church owns the actual land. Yes, that is correct, a Romanian owns the land and an American owns the house. Very strange indeed, but Romanian bureaucracy at its finest. Not that you needed to know all that, because I could have just said we have a garden out back that has flowers. But those of you who know me know that I don't so much have any green thumbyness, and you would surely think to yourselves, "Well, who tends the garden in which these flowers grow?" Hence my unnecessarily long explanation that all boils down to Tulips.
And so while during the 5 dreary months I go to my neighborhood bunica (old woman) to get flowers to brighten up our apartment, now I can simply walk out back and choose from lots of free options. No weeding involved! And that, my friends, is why I love living in Iasi in the spring.