Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

A mossy ledge invites the camera’s capture.

Mossy Ledge

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I am saving the crayon colors of summer

for the show is bound to end soon

in favor of Fall’s great performers

en route with a harvest moon.

Zinnias + (640x480)








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Our Rhododendron is 26 years old.

When Bill and I first moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia the little “Rhodie” was a house warming gift from our friends, Terry and Barbara.  An avid gardener, Barbara actually planted it in a corner of the front yard.  “It will be protected there,” she said.

Barbie was right because the Rhododendron eventually grew and bloomed and surprised us with some amazing displays.  And then she burgeoned into a giant beauty, almost touching the eaves of the house and spreading wide and well beyond her expected corner boundaries.

“Time to cut things back,” I thought,  “Maybe with a trim she will thrive and be renewed.”  And though I really hated the idea, I clipped away to slim her down.

Rhodie’s big displays promptly stopped.

We were lucky to see one or two flowers in a season.

She must not have liked my pruning because season after season there were only one or two flowers on display.

She was on strike, so I decided to leave her alone – no more pruning, only watering and mulch.

Years later and Rhodie has grown to enormous proportions once again.  She is reaching for the eves and spreading beyond her rightful place, and she is big and fat and happy!  And just look at all the gorgeous flowers!  But is there such a thing as too big?

Rhodie Top Good one

Help!  So many of you,  my blogger friends, are extraordinary gardeners.

To prune or not to prune.  That is the question.

Rhodie Close Up

Rhodie 2


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2015 Bouquet

Here came a beautiful glorious floral bouquet

to help me celebrate Mother’s Day.

Am I the only one who can see

everything this means to me?

Thank you!

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Red Bud Road HomeCloseup Forsythia

It’s SPRING everyone!  It’s SPRING!

Even the birds are singing.

And look at all the pictures of a picture perfect world!


But what about the itchy eyes,

the filled up nose, and

the constant urge to sleep?

It’s SPRING everyone!  It’s SPRING!


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Morning Glory 2Good Morning Glory

I must have taken these pictures during our trip to San Diego.

 Isn’t it too early for Morning Glories here in Virginia?

But I love their happy faces greeting the sun.


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Polka Dot Plant

I am sitting by a wide-open window now. I thought it would be a sun filled, air warmed day.  The breeze is calculated to delight but still casting a little chill.  I should close the window but never mind.  It is springtime.  Isn’t it?

The Sunshine Season

Yesterday I noticed the beautiful Lungwort/Pulmonaria is blooming once again in my front yard.  A friend came by and said, “I love that plant,” so I gave her a cutting.  I didn’t realize that Pulmonaria should  be divided every few years anyway or it gets leggy.  The sunshine reminds me to read up again on gardening.

Company is coming.  The house is tidy and the redbuds are beginning to show their pastel pinks.   Virginia redbuds form corridors of beauty all over our county.  Maybe the corridors will be in full bloom by the time my friend arrives on Monday.  What a greeting she will have!

Beauty and the Fence


I pruned the crepe myrtle yesterday.  I tried to follow the advice of a fellow blogger on how not to scalp the poor thing.  Actually, my crepe myrtle is taller than I am, so I managed to do some circumspect pruning among the lower branches.

I still have to put the umbrella back on the deck and tie the cushions to the wrought iron chairs and chaise.  My friend will want to read out there.

I am moving winter woolens aside in favor of linen.   Those suede boots look big and cumbersome and useless now.  Bring in the sandals.

How quickly I forget comforters and gloves, scarves and hats, hot chocolate and cozy fires.

For now, for this brief moment in time, only the sunshine is the light of my life and I am getting ready.


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Feather Weed

  The weeds looked bedraggled in a solemn winter landscape,

beaten down by voracious winds,

sapped of energy by caustic cold

until the sun shone for an instant long enough,

and I bent with lens to get a little closer

and zoomed to erase her weed-companions.

And from the chaos of that weedy patch emerged 

a dramatic apparition waving in a sunny breeze,

 staunchly standing  in a blanched terrain,

made beautiful by its singular independence.

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Mystery Flower "Fights the Cancer."

Mystery Flower “Fights the Cancer.”

I could hardly believe that overnight, the Mystery Flower that “fights the cancer” was identified – and by two very special friends!

Friend #1 said:

“Oh, how I love Google!! I’m not sure, but I think it might be Carissa Macrocarpa, also called Natal Plum. It’s from Africa, but it can now be found in southern Florida and southern California.”

That was from Cindy, of Photos from the Loony Bin.  Cindy is Canadian!  Would you believe she immediately identified that tropical-style flower?  Cindy is a great photographer and a fun-loving, obviously brilliant person.  She also has the distinction of being the only blogger friend I ever met in person.  Cindy also does “Mystery Photos” and gets the most hilarious responses.  Check out her blog if you haven’t done so already.

Friend #2 is Ted.  He was my very first boyfriend before we ever reached the teen years.  He walked me to school every morning and brought me a gardenia most mornings (from his Mom’s garden). No wonder he knows his flowers!  He is also obviously brilliant and always has been.  Here is what he said about the Mystery Flower:

“Google on ‘natal plum.’ You will find both medicinal and toxic references. Horticulturally, it is used as an attractive trespass barrier because it is both visually attractive and horrendously thorny at preventing unwelcome incursions. Ted”

I also looked around Google for a site that talked about the nutritional benefits of the Natal Plum (sometimes called the Num Num).  This link is interesting and also talks about the potentially poisonous leaves of this very interesting plant:   http://genuineaid.com/2010/10/08/natal-plum-nutrients-health-benefits/ .

Probably, by the time I get this follow-up post going, others will have identified the mystery flower.  Isn’t it amazing the things you can find now in cyberspace?

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