susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Springing Fast

The rain stopped and the sun came out.
Many flowers are going through their short lives quickly.
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Camellia blossoms are always beautiful,
but short-lived.
It is a good thing the glossy leaves stay green all year.
* * *

This azalea bush will be covered in red
at peak bloom.
The deck is scheduled to be repaired this summer,
I am afraid I will have to prune this plant severely:(
* * *
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Reliably, this is the first rhododendron
to flower every year.
When I took this photo yesterday morning,
there was only one other open bud.
This afternoon, half the plant was abloom.
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Blue Bells, Cockle Shells . . .
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Bleeding heart is a newer addition to my garden.
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Sweet woodruff is one of my favorite groundcovers.
Besides the delicate flowers, the leaves are evergreen.

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December Flowers in Paradise

There really is a town named Paradise!
In the Sierra Mountain foothills
of Northern California.
We visited friends at their new home in the sunshine.
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Manzanita, a native plant, is blooming now.
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Pineapple Sage is in my friend’s garden.
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I saw a number of Camellias in bloom.
Where I live, further north, it will be a few more months
before I see my plant flower.
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We think this is a Coreopsis.
Sure looks like one.
*  *  *
IMG_1669[1]I know Lavender can rebloom if cut back.
But in December?


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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.
* * * * *

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?

* * * * *

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.