23 May 2010

Extraordinary Light, Petals and Feathers

There's nothing like a computer disaster to throw one's carefully organized work schedule right out the window. And unlike those Gen Xers and Yers (Is that a word) whose dexterity with texting on phone keyboards is phenomenal, I'm not much of one for writing using only my thumbs. So I've fallen way behind with reading blogs, posting to my own, and so on. To say nothing of my own work. Happily, my period of being electronically unhorsed is over and tomorrow is a holiday, meaning I can do a marathon of catching up.

Being in electronic pergatory for a few days didn't deter me from poking around the gardens, stalking flowers and feathers and foliage with my cameras--when it wasn't too windy, or too foggy, or too late in the day. The other night, things just conspired together to work rather nicely, and I spent some time looking at leaves with sunlight filtering through, as with the katsura foliage above.

In probably all of the rest of Nova Scotia, the shadbush (Amelanchier) has finished flowering--mine, however, is just at the peak of its bloom. This is one of my favourite native species, and for those who like a large shrub/small tree with three strong seasons of interest, the amelanchier is an exquisite choice. Bronze foliage in spring, dainty white flowers that turn into tasty purple-blue fruit (if you get to them before the birds do), great fall colour--what's not to love?

Another native that does my heart good, this one a perennial--Solomon's seal, Polygonatum. The hummingbirds love this perennial, which spreads slowly to form elegant colonies. At least, it spreads slowly in my garden--I would actually not complain if it picked up the pace a little!

Many of you ooohed and ahhhed over my photo of the opening flower on my tree peony; they're such ephemeral beauties, as tonight, the petals are beginning to drop from my plant. This is supposed to be 'Kinkaku', which has flowers rather coppery coloured and similar to the nonstop begonia 'Fire'. This isn't Kinkaku; possibly it's High Noon? Any ideas? (It came mislabeled from the nursery, so it's a mystery to us. )

Proving that biggest flowers aren't necessarily the best, the charming blooms of my tiny epimedium 'Lilafee' have now opened. I hope this one spreads like gangbusters, because as I wrote in an earlier post, I'm crazy about epimediums, and 'Lilafee' is small-but-mightily beautiful.

My cushion spurges are erupting into their full glory as well. Above is 'Lacey', one I've had for four or five years now. I love its cool bicolour foliage against the acid yellow flowers and bracts.

And this is 'Bonfire', and it's puzzling me somewhat. At both my mother's and at another friend's, this plant has a lot more golden-orange to its flowers than does mine, which is as you can see distinctly avid yellow against the purple lower foliage. Maybe it's a soil acidity thing; maybe mine is just so newly opened whereas the others have been open longer. I'm going to watch, because I'm curious that way.

Five years ago, I bought this spring flowering perennial sweet pea from Lloyd Mapplebeck in Truro--I believe the correct name is Lathyrus vernus. It's not fragrant, it doesn't want to be divided (having that typical legume tap root) but hummingbirds zip to it and it makes a happy burst of purple-blue in my front garden.

There are a lot of courting songbirds (and other birds) in our gardens these days, although we don't think we've seen this Rose breasted grosbeak's mate yet. He certainly does enjoy our feeders, though!

Last Sunday, the male hummingbirds arrived, and demanded we get our feeders up for them, STAT! We happily did that, and they've been feasting at the feeders as well as on spring blooms since then. We saw the first females on Thursday, so we can expect lots of aerial displays, acrobatics, squeaking and battles as the courting and family making goes into high gear.

Spring is such a perfect season. Even when it's windy, or foggy. I hope all of you are enjoying spring as much as I am. Most days, that is.

29 comments:

  1. Hi Jody,
    You're so right about technology - it has become such a big part of our everyday life. For garden-bloggers though it is obvious that we haven't lost that toutch with nature and your lovely spring display is an inspiration. A couple are added to my list to check on.
    Lene

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  2. We spend so much time on our technology, we forget the simple things in our garden that bring a smile to our hearts. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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  3. What great photos. Our long weekend in NS, being so hot and lovely, has kept most of us outside heh! I too have not kept up with posting or reading and also have visitors. So, it was a pleasure to read yours tonight...a little down time before bed))) Much appreciated.

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  4. I also like that variegated spurge. Hope the computer is back on track soon. I can empathize with your blogging catch ups. Life works that way sometimes.

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  5. Ack. I hate it when techno-crap gets in the way of life. Your first photo is SO gorgeous - the light through the leaves... ahhh... sigh.. lovely golds and greens that make me swoon. Within my yard grows a variegated Solomon's Seal that I adore. Yours is gorgeous. AND, the yellow and purple combination, TO ME, is perfect! So complementary. Love the grosbeak - never seen one! The hummers have been demanding here for a bit now. Love them! Great post.

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  6. Sorry to hear about your techno-woes. At least you got a chance to get out in the garden. Your photos are lovely and that grosbeak is wonderful. I've never seen on before, not even sure we get them down here. The first photo of the light through the leaves is spectacular.

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  7. I am so glad you asked this today. I am lovin every minute of spring this year. Even though it was 90F and the weathermen are beginning to talk about the "feels like" temps. Hopefully it won't last too long. With all your gorgeous blooms I can see why you are lovin it. It has taken my Solomans Seal a lot of years to get to its proportions. It seems like the varigated variety grows faster. I hope your computer woes are fixed soon.

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  8. All of it, very lovely Jodi, I do so enjoy seeing these pictures and reading about the delights of your garden, I must try and get a breather to get away from all this soil, soil,soil, soil......!!!! To smell the blooms in your garden.
    The Gardener x

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  9. Your spring garden is lovely! So odd to me from the middle south that we are so far ahead of you. My serviceberries have already set, ripened and been stolen by the robins! I have a yellow tree peony that is also supposed to be Kinkaku, it is the same color as yours. And I also thought it was supposed to be coppery orange...hmm. Mine is new this year.

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  10. It looks like even you in the US are not spared of internet anomalies, as Meredith also said in her site. It's good you are back as your photos always remind me how to compose beautifully, i should always be forwarned, as my composition are hmmmmph! I like that 1st one.

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  11. I Love when the light is jut right in the evening. The garden almost stands still. It's beautiful.

    Sympathies for your computer problems. Last week was similar on my end.

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  12. As dependent as we all are on technology these days, sometimes a computer disaster can be a blessing in disguise. It does force us to look to the simpler things in life for awhile. All the lovelies in your garden are a perfect example of what's out there waiting for us to enjoy. I find these days I'd rather be in the garden than on my computer, although it's suddenly become so hot here that afternoons may find me in my air-conditioned house instead:) Thanks for sharing all your May blooms, Jodi!

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  13. I love the term "electronic purgatory"! I felt the same when the rains came and knocked out our internet for 3 days. I'm in agreement with the Solomon's Seal, a little more and a little faster spreading would be nice.

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  14. I like fall colors in the spring as well. They flash their reds and hint of their yellows before they hide them under their summer cloak, only to come out in full glory in autumn.

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  15. All looks stunning, Jodi, well worth the long wait. Happy end of May (where did it go)!

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  16. Your photo's are fabulous! ...and I'm with you, I can't write with my thumbs either!

    We still are in the frigid grips of winter here on the west coast as well. My garden is in, but not happy!

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  17. Hi Jodi,
    You photos are fabulous. LOVED the Lilifee Epimedium and the Hummingbird. Isn't spring fabulously magical?
    Glad your computer is working. I'm rather attached at the hip to mine, that's for sure.
    Blessings, Cindee

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  18. I hate to rain on your Epimedium parade, but 'Lilafee' is a very slow spreader. It's taken years for mine to fill in enough to touch each other. It's a good groundcovers for those with a phobia of rampant groundcovers. I loved spring, while it lasted, but the party's over for me. It hit 90F yesterday & it's over 90 today.

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  19. Nice garden and blog! I love birds, we have a few birdhouses and wildbird feeder in the garden. Have a lovely day!

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  20. Oh, Jodi I do hope your puter runs smoothly from here out! I love that yellow tree peony and have one almost like it ... maybe the same but, alas, I do not know the name either. Love the Epimediums too and Solomon's Seal... I am grieving the disappearance of mine. I have just had my first captures of our Rose-breasted Grosbeak and hummer too. Lovely light in your Shadbush and SS.

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  21. I agree some of the smallest blooms are the best - I love my epimedium. Great shots!

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  22. Hey there Jodi girl ! Long time no read ? LOL .. Sorry .. too much sun and too much gardening has fried my brain ? .. can I use that excuse over and over again ;-)
    You have what I just planted not long ago and fingers crossed it will take and run like ganbusters too ? Liafee epimedium .. my very first so I am excited .. and I planted my very first pulmonaria Moonshine ! I am no longer a pulmonaria/epimedium virgin ! ;-)
    Joy

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  23. Hi Jodi! I don't remember seeing a yellow tree peony before. What a beauty! Actually, there are so many beauties in your garden. I just planted my first Solomon's seal and hope they will spread. I'm glad you are done with your computer issue.

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  24. I am enjoying your spring as much as you are -- most of these plants are new to me, and of course the birds too.

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  25. I almost welcome my computer service being interrupted~'almost' being the operative word! I love Liafee... it bloomed here a few weeks ago, but it's my favorite little flower...So delicate and a very fine color. You've made me rethink where it's planted...I want to be able to see it better when it blooms~Thank you for that~ gail

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  26. Hi Jodi~~ I'm glad your computer is up and running again. My teenagers can text a mile a minute and love to scorn me for my ineptitude. It's definitely an esoteric gen-y or maybe even gen-z thing...

    Love all your happy plants. Wasn't it just snowing at your place, like three days ago or something? It's just amazing to me how quickly plants perk up when the sun comes out!

    I'm probably revealing my ignorance here but could the mystery paeonia be Barry's coveted 'Molly the Witch'?

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  27. I am familiar with cushion spurges but have never seen the Bonfire one before, its lovely.

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  28. I'm a gen xer at teh front of the pack and I have no dexterity when it comes to texting. My teenagers, gen z ers, are right on top of it:) Great photos of your garden Jodi.

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