susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Fun with a Fish Eye (camera lens, that is :)

I have spent an extraordinary amount of time this last month, weeding.
The flower beds are not near perfect, but have never looked so good.

Above are two views of the same flower bed.
Foreground is Shasta daisies, bearded Iris and lavenders.
Foxglove, daffodils, and iris live further back.
A couple of canna lilies are the recent additions.

There is a fence (we call it a ‘flower jail’) along the edge of the deck.
Inside live an azalea, peony, hosta, calla lilies, camellia,
tulips, tree peony, stock, rhododendron and a few others.
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If this bed were planned before planting,
the Japanese maples would be at each end with the
contorted filbert (aka Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
– where that name came from, must be a good story)
in the middle instead of on the left end.

Santolina, teucrium (germander), hyssop, more bearded iris (they multiply!)
with lots of Greek oregano as groundcover are the main plants here.

I had read in a novel that daylilies could hold a hillside in place,
so I planted and re-planted them behind.
California poppies are multiplying slowly, and the weeds here are prolific.
Specially after our wet winter.

Anyway – above are some views of the front & back of my yard.
You are introduced to some of what I care take.
Isn’t the fish eye lens cool?  What a view!


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Spring Flowers can be Fleeting

Weeping cherry tree flowers early,
but the blooms are not long-lived (for me).

While I was cleaning out weeds from under this tree,
it started to snow flower petals, as my head bumped the trunk.

Do I dare remove the deer fence,
since those animals usually prune lower on plants?

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Camellia in full bloom
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This shrub always seem to bloom when it is raining.
Water is deadly to the appearance of these fragile blossoms.
Talk about beauty being short, but sweet!


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Pruned Camellia

Copy of DSCN2124 It must have been the sunny afternoon that sent me on a pruning binge.  I decided the camellia needed to be trimmed and the bottom severely cut back.  Nothing like a dose of plant management education on the internet to get something going in the garden.

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After pruning the camellia, there were so many flowers that might go to waste, that I found a couple of vases to display the cuttings.  They may not last a long time, but they will look real nice for a couple of days.


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Camellia

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The camellia is full of blossoms, and this is about the prettiest it has ever looked.   With a little luck, rain will hold off until all the buds have fully opened, but that never happens 😦
This must truly be a zen plant.  I need to enjoy the flowers while they are here today, because no one really knows what the future holds.

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Almost two weeks ago, a friend emailed this photo of a camellia from her yard in a pottery vase I had made.  While she lives only about twenty miles from me, her garden is in a significantly warmer climate than my garden.  The river-bottom land she cultivates is very fertile and sunny, in contrast to the small valley in the hills I call home.

Balloon Flower

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Balloon Flower

I planted this a number of years ago, and was sure it disappeared soon after. Surprisingly, it has survived and lives in the shade and moisture under a Camellia bush. The blue-violet flowers grow on stalks that emanate away from the balloon plant, thus they appear to be growing in the leaves of nearby winter-blooming violets.

Violets grow profusely under the camellia bush, making it hard to see any other plants that might also be growing there.  Besides the balloon flower, I am now discovering various other plants popping up under the camellia including a bergenia and bluebells.  I know I have not planted the latter two in that area, so I am thinking the mice (or voles) have been moving bulbs and parts of plants around in the winter time.  I had heard that this could happen, and now I am observing plants in places that I have no other explanation for their location.

Camellias

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Camellias

I had not realized just how close this plant was to blooming, when I noticed a bush full of flowers. It is so colorful, too bad these are not cutting flowers that can be enjoyed inside as much as appreciated outdoors. Though, I remember a babysitter from when my kids were little, who showed them how to float a camellia bloom in a dish of water.

The photo doesn’t show petal edges that are black from the rain. Finding a perfect camellia flower is always a challenge on my bush. A rainstorm passes over and the flowers are never quite as nice. While the plant will often flower over an extended period of time, many buds fall off the plant. Maybe if I learned judicious pruning, I would have more premium flowers. So much to learn about so many plants. In the meantime, they are pretty, even if they look better from a distance than from close up.