Random springiness on the First Day of Spring

So, it’s the First Day of Spring, they say. To me, it  seems half way over – I haven’t written a single post about the garden marvels I’ve come across this year. Oh well, better late than never. Here are a few – in no particular order…

The first few months of 2016 have had me stumped by a hitherto unprecedented tech abundance , along with the corresponding tech challenge. New laptop (with Photos, which honestly seems quite a bit different from I-photo), iPad, my most beloved camera, and two phones (one mine, the other for work).  Those of you who know me, know that I would rather clean the bathroom with a Q-tip than spend an afternoon learning to maneuver software. Good grief – can anyone please give me some pointers on how to manage photos? From a sunny perspective, I suppose that I should be thrilled that there is almost constant access to some kind of device with which to snap a photo or two, when an opportunity arises. The humbling reality surrounding this abundance though, is that I often forget which device I took which photo with. There are way too many options for my simple mind, I get lost in the complications of it all, and time keeps moving on without me. Enough whining – here are some photos!

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NOID Hellebore

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Corsican Hellebore – love the green little bell-shaped, half-open buds.

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This is what the Edgeworthia looked like when I came back from Sweden. Dang – felt almost cheated. It truly felt as if I had missed the first half of spring!

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Close-up of the Edgeworthia flower. Isn’t it interesting how some of the little flowers are white, whereas the others are yellow?

 

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The perfect little ball-shaped buds of Clematis armandii ‘Appleblossom’. Even though the open version is stunning, I do admit to missing the buds when they are gone.

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C. ‘Appleblossom’ in  full bloom at dusk.

Clematis armandii 'Appleblossom'

Crazy abundance, wouldn’t you agree?

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Here it is showing its true colors – it is eating our garage!

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Pretty sure I have the tag somewhere, but for now, it’s just a NOID Hellebore.

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The open flower of a Star Magnolia.

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A bud about to open on the aforementioned Magnolia.

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Iris japonica ‘Afrodite’ unraveling its buds. Planted last year, this is the first time I will see blooms. For some reason, I seem to remember they will be a light violet, but I secretly hope they will open up to be white…

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Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ – such marvelous colors! This is my favorite stage of this plant – before the flower unfurls.

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A Tulipa viridiflora I had forgotten I planted. Love the white edges on the leaf.

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The hairy little bud of a Pulsatilla, or Pasque flower, perfectly in time for Easter.

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Seeing these made me so happy! The fuzzy little buds of Syneilesis aconitifolia or Shredded Umbrella Plant. I love this plant!

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Dicentra ‘Valentine’ – a red variety of the good ol’ Bleeding heart.

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The loopy flowers of Grevillea ‘Scarlet Sprite’.

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It will be quite a sight when all the flowers open! It blooms for a long, long time.

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The  mahogany red new growth of Berberis replicata.

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I love the bumpy, fish bone stems of miniature Elm  Ulmus parvifolia ‘Seiju’. Check out the little green pearls along the branches.

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Seiju again – here the pearls have unfolded to reveal tiny little serrated mouse ear leaves. So adorable!

Mouse plant

Speaking of mouse ears – this is a Mouse plant (Arisarum proboscideum).

Senecio

I love the silvery white edges of this Senecio…

Melianthus

… and Melianthus is always a favorite. I can’t get enough of those leaves, both as they unravel, and as they collect water when fully opened. Such a superb plant!

Clematis 'Blue Dancer'

As the Appleblossom clematis is starting to wane, C. ‘Blue Dancer’ is coming to the fore. Those buds are so elegant!

Hellebore

One of my favorite parts about certain Hellebores, is that they turn green with age.

Hellebore with seeds

This one is blowing me away with those developing seed heads.

Podophyllum pleianthum

Some of the best the world of foliage has to offer (at least in my garden) – Podophyllum pleianthum, or Chinese Mayapple. One of my faves, for sure!

Rhododendron 'Everred' and double Hellebore

Last but not least, an experimentation in color. A recent challenge is to make a pink dogwood in a client’s garden appear as un-pink as possible. (He is not a fan of pink, but the tree is original to the house, and he doesn’t want to take it out.) I’m thinking if I give it a supporting cast of plants that pull it more toward reds and burgundies, it might become – if not invisible – at least more tolerable to him. Distraction is a powerful tool. Should the experiment fail (heavens forbid), the dogwood’s bloom time is not disturbingly long. Honestly, I don’t think it will fail, but more on that later. First, I have to talk him into it, so for now, I’m playing with optical tricks and metamerism. Seen here is a double pink Hellebore, the fine-textured Asparagus setaceus, and the dark Rhododendron ‘Everred’. Not the best example of the effects of my experimentation, as the Hellebore still appears fabulously and flamboyantly pink, but it is a combination that I found myself really liking, so it gets to wrap up this post. 🙂

 

 

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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18 Responses to Random springiness on the First Day of Spring

  1. Lovely photos. Photos does offer more control in editing; but I discovered by accident, that all my photographs taken before the change were automatically transferred from iPhoto to Photos. But that wasn’t a new iMac – it was when updating to current operating system. Hopefully this won’t concern you. I’d rather clean the loo, too

  2. rusty duck says:

    Oh my, you’re well ahead of us. The edgeworthia is truly splendid, the scent must be incredible. But I’m smitten by the clematis too. It’s gone on my Pinterest must have list!

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s a beauty, for sure. The Edgeworthia was in full glory by the time I got back from Sweden. It faded soon thereafter, so I’m glad I got a decent shot of it. And yes – the fragrance…! The Clematis too, has a wonderful scent. Hope you can find it over there, Jessica!

  3. FlowerAlley says:

    i was overwhelmed by all the great plants in this post. i will look at it several more times with pen in hand. C. appleblossom…Oh my!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks! I just wish I could remember the names of all the Hellebores – too many…! The Clematis took a couple of years before it did much, and suddenly it took off. Now, it’s completely monstrous. A nice monster though, mind you…

  4. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening! says:

    Some lovely stuff happening in your garden right now Anna! Love the clematises, especially ‘Appleblossom’ engulfing the garage. 🙂

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, it’s a ‘stand back and watch’ kind of thing right now – a powerful force of nature. It will be re-directed after it’s done blooming. It’s sending a major tendril up the nearby Japanese Snowbell tree. I’ll let it have its fun for now, but it will need to be reigned in after blooming.

  5. Alison says:

    Spring almost passed me by too, while I was out of commission recently. Thanks for sharing so many photos of your lovely plants. I prefer the pre-blooming stage of Ascot Rainbow too.

    • annamadeit says:

      Truthfully, most but not all are mine. Some of them, I came across while out and about, and they were irresistible in their springiness! Like the Star Magnolia. Hope you are doing better, Alison!

  6. rickii says:

    Were all of these marvelous photos taken with an assortment of devices? You may have trouble keeping track, but the taking of them you have down. I hate it when there’s an “upgrade” and something I’ve grown used to changes. Oh, well…I guess it keeps our brains sharper, figuring things out.

    • annamadeit says:

      Sad to say – yes. It was a pain in the a** to assemble them all into one post. I really need to figure this out… But thank you for the compliment – you are too kind. There is this little thing called a cropping tool I make liberal use of. 😉 Yeah, I hate the upgrades too. During the last one, I lost the entire Microsoft Office Suite. Crap!

  7. Kris P says:

    It’s a beautiful collection of images to celebrate spring! I love those clematis (even if the one wants to swallow your garage) and the precious blooms of the mouse plants. Spring is even farther along here – a little rain (and I do mean little) and some warm days and the garden exploded.

  8. Gorgeous, especially the Edgeworthia and Clematis!

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