susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Scent of a Hyacinth

I love the scent of a hyacinth flower!
Some people actually complain the aroma is too ‘heady’ for them:(
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I got a good whiff just walking along the brick path.
It smelled so good, I walked back and forth a few times!
Made me smile on an overcast day:)
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Long ago, I made and sold porcelain hyacinth vases,
which were used to ‘force’ a bulb to bloom indoors.
There were always extra bulbs at the end of the season,
which I planted under bushes within deer-fences.
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White hyacinth live at the base of this budding lilac bush.
Because deer ignore daffodils,
those bulbs get to live outside the protective fence.
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Lots of hyacinths live below this rhododendron.
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Did you know that blue, white and purple hyacinths
are the best color of these flowers to force?
I can’t say for sure if I bought the bi-color flower bulbs,
or they hybridized naturally.

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Springing Spring ?!

We have had glorious weather:  some rain, some clouds and some sun.
Rain alleviates any thoughts of irrigation, clouds encourage the flowers to stay around much longer than usual, and the sun,
well the sun encourages everything to bloom and grow!

The first rhodies are blooming, and my one azalea is so covered with flowers
that is all you can see of it.

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Even though I cut rhubarb flowers, it keeps putting out more of them.
At least, they are unusual looking.
Blueberry and strawberry plants are booming with flowers.  We can only hope the weather stays favorable, and the bird nets keep the pilfering in check.
Last photo above is rosemary, which I see in flower around town.
Such a sturdy and aromatic plant, how can one not love it?

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This has been one of the best tulip years I can remember.  I like to think it is because I separated some of the larger ones and planted them all around the house.  We have enjoyed tulips out of most every window.
White lilacs open their blossoms before the lavender or purple ones do.
These are my favorites, I love the sweet scent and only wish they lasted longer indoors.


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Bursting Buds Update

April came in with showers, which is good for flowers to stay around.
When the sun is shining, spring flowers bloom very pretty and are done before you know it.
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This is my only bi-color rhododendron, and the first one to bloom.
With bluebells and tulips it is quite a show from my kitchen window.
What a way to greet the time of longer daylight.
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After years of being nibbled by deer, this azalea is slowly coming into its own.  I prune and thin the too-dense branches a little more every year.
As it now gets taller and more full, I find myself moving plants from the understory, so they have a chance to grow also.
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The lilacs are getting tall enough to fulfill a long-held dream:  to be able to walk on the path under a canopy of blooming flowers.
White flowers are peaking while the purple are just beginning their bloom time.


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Bursting Buds

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My rhododendrons always bloom in the same order, and this one is always first.  I so look forward to seeing the first rhody flowers.  When the blossoms open, they will be a pretty pink and white.  Those are bluebells in front and a tulip bud.  Barring anything unforeseen, I will be able to show photos soon.

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This is the only azalea here.  For some reason, the branches through the slats on the deck are blooming before the main plant.  Perhaps they get more all day sunshine.  In full bloom, the entire plant will look red.

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I got excited to see the first lilac bloom.  White-flowered shrubs bloom before the purple-flowered ones every year.  In the photo, the purple buds are very full, and the white flowers are beginning to bloom on the very top of the bush.


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First Freeze

We had our first overnight freeze and a number of plants are now dormant for the winter.  Still, the first official day of winter is not due for over a month.  Leaves of the hydrangea quickly turned a droopy brown, and those of the lilac bushes are on the ground.

But there are also trees whose leaves are not finished with their autumn show.
I present three examples I found around my house:
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First is a dwarf ginko tree, which is barely over a foot (30 mm) tall.  Daylilies keep trying to invade its ‘turf’ from the back and chamomile from the front.  The poor little ginko is so small, it cannot defend itself.
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Next is a Japanese maple that is a fairly new addition to my garden.  While my other Japanese maple tree has shed all of its leaves, this one is still trying to put out new growth.  Some of the leaves are starting to turn orange, and others are sprouting the light green of new growth.  Is this particular tree native to the Himalayas?
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Last is one of the beauties of this area, a Sweet Gum tree, from the maple family.  It grows more vertical than the sugar maple next to it, which has a classic roundish leaf area.  The sugar maple gets its leaves long before the sweet gum in the spring, but the sweet gum hangs onto its leaves longer in the autumn.

Chives

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Chives

I love the smell and look of chive flowers. I love all the members of the allium family. I love the smell and taste of onions. This plant is right outside my front door, in view of my kitchen window.

When people who are not gardeners (think city-folk) come to visit, I love to lead them though my herb garden and invite them to taste particular plants. When my then-two-year-old grandson visited, I did the same with him, but quickly learned my mistake. He naturally thought he could take any leaf and taste it. Of course, he headed right toward a large (to him) rhododendron bush – which is poisonous.

I noticed in this photo that you can see some of the different stages of chive flowers opening.  Just got lucky, this time!

I am heading toward an art show where I will display my pottery and ceramics. The chive and armeria flowers will grace some of my vases. I saw the last tulips starting to open, and I cut some peony buds, just because they are pretty that way. The lilacs are on the down side of their blooms. Day lilies and foxglove are about to open. Stock and Jacob’s ladder have so few flowers this year.