Entries in spring flowers (24)

Monday
May122014

Glittering Trees and Other Joys

When I came outside the other day, long sun rays were slanting across the garden, and Japanese maples, dogwoods and other trees were glittering in the light. Burgundy, rose, orange, lime green and gold sparkles shot through the leaves and shone around their edges. My camera could not truly portray the beauty of the light coming through the trees.As I watched, nearly a dozen different types of birds were calling and playing about the trees, and a fresh breeze brought aromas of damp earth, fresh pine straw and some delicious flower. Was it jasmine or rose or dianthus?

I breathed in and absorbed the moment, and then I had a thought. I was the only person in the whole wide world who was experiencing this particular scene. From my perspective, at that time, looking across my front garden. Oh, there were many special events going on around the earth, and lots of them were far more spectacular and significant to those who were experiencing them. But this particular moment in time and place was mine alone, a gift just for me.

Once again I was reminded that to experience life at its fullest one must take it in little bits, savoring the small joys that each day offers, whether it be the beauty of a plant or the smile of a child, the satisfaction of a job well done or the lift of the heart that doing a kind deed brings. 

Here are more recent scenes around the garden that made me smile:In the top photo, day lily foliage grows in front of a birdhouse. The perspective is deceiving. Between the rose and the day lilies there is a stairway that goes down to the arbor garden. The rose is Coral Drift. The hanging basket on the lower right contains Calibrachoa 'Dreamsicle'.

Clockwise from above top: 'Whitewater' weeping redbud foliage is spectacular as it matures. The leaves start out golden green, then gradually acquire more variegation; Persian Shield; Rue; Variegated Solomon's Seal; Dusty Miller.

Clockwise from top left:Rosa rugosa 'Alba'; Unknown passalong iris; Another passalong iris - all of my irises came from friends; Spirea 'Anthony Waterer'; Flowers above potato foliage; Romantica rose 'Orchid Romance'.True rosarians often turn their noses up at Knock Outs. Not me! (But then, I don't claim to be a rosarian!) Knock Outs are fantastic, easy-care landscape roses, and who could not love the 'Pink' Knock Out roses below?

Last week I put together a small succulent garden in a hypertufa container:

Finally, here is a dramatic look into the woodland garden as late afternoon light comes pouring through:

May your week be filled with glittering trees and other joys!    Deb

Monday
Apr282014

Passing in a Flash

I thought I was being attacked the other day. I heard shrieking, and I looked up to see three hawks zooming down toward me. They were about ten feet above my head when I realized two of them were chasing after the third. They swooped low over me, then soared in a huge arc back into the sky. With their wings spread wide, the sight reminded me of a dogfight between fighter planes! I am sure I witnessed my resident hawks, whose nest is nearby, chasing off an intruder. Of course I did not have my camera! I will remember it as the picture that flew away.

I had better luck with this more sedate bluebird:

April has passed in a flash, just like those hawks. Spring was so late in coming, I wish it would stay a while! But already we are having temperatures well into the 80's. The garden is transitioning to deep green. The pastel blooms of redbud and dogwood trees are gone. Most azaleas are spent. Soon the brilliant spring foliage of Japanese maples will assume more sedate tones. Meanwhile, there is plenty yet to enjoy as April comes to a close.

Philadelphus coronarius, or mock orange, is blooming. My friend Nancy dug up an off-shoot from her own mock orange and gave it to me in 1990, after a tornado took out almost everything in the center of our property. Her gift has grown and prospered, and I think of her kindness every spring when it blooms. Japanese maples glow in the background in the first image. On the lower left, the shrub to the right of the mock orange is Chinese snowball viburnum, still blooming and looking great after several weeks:

Rose buds are beginning to open:Clockwise from top: Bee is enjoying the last of a rugosa 'Alba'; Rosa mutabilis, also called Butterfly Rose; Rosa mutabilis; Penelope rose; Penelope rose buds; Knockout rose; Rugosa 'Alba'.

Here are more flowers. Notice the poinsettia at the top. It is not left over from this past Christmas. That is a 2012 poinsettia! It spent 2013 outside, and its foliage was so beautiful I brought it back inside for the winter. I did not expect Christmas blooms, and I did not get them. Imagine my surprise when it began to bloom in April! So it's back outside for 2014. Clockwise from top left: Poinsettia; Poinsettia to right of a potted arrangement; Clematis 'H.F.Young'; Calycanthus floridus 'Athens', a type of Carolina sweet shrub with creamy flowers that smell like bananas; Lonicera sempervirens, a native also called trumpet honeysuckle; Variegated weigela.Above left: Bordeaux Rose Salvia. Above right: Variegated hosta, coleus and coral impatiens in a crusty old urn.

Native woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata), hybrid columbine and Dianthus 'Bath's Pink' grow around the blue bench in the front garden. In this scene one gets an idea how the front garden wraps around the front lawn. The house is beyond the camera on the upper right:

Some more scenes from around the garden:

Fatshedera 'Angyo star' is a new viny shrub with large, ivy-like leaves. It grows to about 6 feet:

Clockwise from top left: Sambucus 'Lemon Lace'; Variegated Winter daphne is putting out new growth; Cornus florida 'Cherokee Sunset'; Heuchera 'Green Spice'; Autumn fern; Hosta 'Empress Wu'; Heuchera 'Citronelle'; Pieris japonica.

Finally, with warmer weather, I planted most of my summer veggies, and look what I already have:

And most exciting, one of those tomato blossoms has turned to this!

Grow, tomato, grow!