Thursday, March 31, 2016

Driving Miss Ava 0330

Spring, with all it's blooms, has me wanting to get out and about and capture all the gorgeousness.

Yesterday Miss Ava and I went over to Vienna and stopped often to linger and admire the scenery. Would you like to see what caught our eye?

The delicate pink wreath was a lovely pop of color against the patina of the oft painted Vienna Presbyterian church.

Turning round I spied a  burst of color from the large planting of tulips in front of the old Freeman Store and Original Library.

The redbud tree, full of bloom, echoed the vertical siding...

while here it echoed the roof peak over the main entrance to the church complex.

Wolftrap Run had a certain charm to it although lots of dangling vines make it a little on the wild side.

But, oh, the sight of this field of buttercups just hollered at me to stop and look. While I was in the midst of trying to find the best angle the Mail Carrier stopped her van and implored me to stay safe "they drive like the crazies down around here". Mindful of my safety I thought I better cut short my shoot.

Arriving back home we discovered the lawn had had the first cut of the season. The cherry trees look like a huge pile of  cotton candy on the front lawn.

Out back the periwinkle groundcover has burst forth with it's blue display.

Every morning when I come downstairs I am enjoying the beautiful perfume of the Easter Lilies.

And I will leave you to start composing the Tale of Peter Rabbit and the Unruly Pink Tulips.

Stop back soon to see what else Miss Ava and I have been up to.

Friday, March 25, 2016

In the Spring Garden 0325

Spring, there's just so much to love about it! This year the combination of blooms and Easter has been very serendipitous.

Late in the day on Wednesday there was a handful of blooms out on the cherry trees in the front yards of our neighborhood.

Down at the Mill the forsythia was at peak bloom.

And I went shopping to buy some plants to brighten up my day. This spring I decided on a blue pansy focus.

Thursday, the day was magnificent. An errand to the paint shop was my excuse to go over to Vienna and see the flowers along the way. Maybe you recall seeing this church in a moody, foggy winter white photo earlier in the year. Just look at it now! Jet pilots were having fun creating patterns in the sky.

Out front this morning the daffodils and the cherry blossoms have synchronized their bloom time to perfection.

The Easter Bunny is sniffing the early morning air.

I "see" a bunch of ballerinas in their white tutus sitting in a row while number two son "sees" a host of butterflies. What do you imagine these cherry blossoms to be?

In a neighborhood front garden nature has been tossing confetti all over.

The daffodils compete with the cherry blossoms for front of the line status.

The door is open for you Spring...come on in!

Sundown was so pretty this evening.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Winter White 0320 Swan Song

Thankfully, I woke up this morning and found the forecast for snow was not correct. Here we are at the equinox and no last big winter white. However, I do have a few photos to share with you.

This post might have a subtitle of "name that tree". Yep, I'm having a "senior moment" and coming up blank on a couple of tree identifications.

Thanks Linda and Annabel for confirming to me that this is a Star Magnolia.

Here's a more distant shot of the tree. It is growing in the neighbor's garden and they just had the early spring cleanup. Everything is neatly trimmed back and freshly mulched.

Fingers (aka buds) crossed, someone will be able to identify the tree!

Each morning, sitting at the breakfast table, I gaze out at this sight of spring peeking through from another neighbor's yard.

Not such a great photo but in the front left is a hellebore plant. This one I think is an older variety and there were several individual ones in this garden plot at a nearby historic mill property. The forsythia and daffodils are beginning their spring show.

Here is the up-close view of that hellebore plant.

Now, here is my own hellebore plant which did at last open up the buds that have been there since mid December. This plant was gifted to me from a friend's garden. She has given me three but this is the only surviving one and this is about the best showing it has given me in the several years I have had it. It seems to me there should be many more leaves and it should, by now, be a much more robust looking plant than this. Maybe I need to mulch it with some compost and see if I can get it to be a better plant during the months ahead and before the garden goes into hibernation again at years end.

Part two of "name that tree". Again, it is from a neighbor's garden. Fortunately I have several friends in the neighborhood who have told me to feel free to roam round taking photos in their yards. This closeup shot is from a row of trees that we thought were redbuds but...??

I was down at the Mill recently taking some shots for a specific purpose. This one did not work out to fit the purpose but I still like it anyways.

This is from the opposite direction and is looking along the top of the water race to direct the water down over the big water wheel.

Back in my own garden we had begun the spring cleanup a week ago when we had a run of fine warm days. All the birdbaths got a good scrub down and then re-installed on a level base to begin the season.

I'm going to close out with another shot of that rose from a few days back. I'm still not entirely sure what color to call it because it seems to vary depending on the light.

Moving on now from winter white I will leave you to wonder what comes next.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Color Green in Winter

This is planned to be my final color post for the " winter" series. Last week I truly hoped winter was behind us but alas, the forecast for this Sunday, the equinox and the expected conclusion to the winter season, includes the dreaded S word. As they say, watch this space as you may yet be "treated" to another winter white post. sigh.

But in the meantime I had schemed all along for green to be my closeout color because, basically, it is my favorite color. Now since today is also St Patrick's Day it brings added oomph to the subject.

Despite spending quite a time searching, alas, no four leafed clover was found.

This bird has arrived for the season and settled quite happily in the green grass.

A white window blind and a green carnation, we're all dressed up for the season.

When I found this bunch of roses at the store I thought they had a green tinge to them. Once I got them home I was not so sure.

Some years back we were doing a small DIY project in the garage. The plywood used was not of the highest quality and had a couple of ugly knotholes right where we would see them every time we went into the garage. To make my world just a little nicer I went searching for a way to improve the situation and found these great green frogs.

Signs of spring.

"Riverdance" one of my all time favorite quilts that I have made, was based on a pattern by Jo Morton. My very talented friend Cheryl Kotecki quilted it so very beautifully.

What a great backdrop to this spring vignette - the reverse side of Riverdance.

Up in the village the revelers were having a grand day celebrating St Patrick at The Old Brogue. Artists were also taking advantage of the day!

For dinner on this day we go for the US tradition. Home made soda bread...

Corned beef, cabbage (strictly speaking this is kale and onions but it still fits the bill) and carrots.

For dessert, we indulge in a chocolate cupcake.

Closing out now with more clover. We did try!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Winter White 0313 NOT!

Yeah, I do believe we have seen the last sign for the season of winter white. So today I bring you examples that clearly show we are so over that!

The plum tree is out in bloom and by 5pm on Wednesday March 9 the sun is still pretty bright and making great shadows.

The season is such that wonderful artists might be found out and about painting en pleine aire. Here is my great artist friend Jill Banks working at her easel outside The Atelier in Great Falls village.

On a day that was bursting with the promise of great weather it was a foregone conclusion that I needed to be outside working in my garden. Here is a before and after with the liriope along the front walk.

The day previous I had worked out of sight in the back garden cutting back the caryopteris. All except for this branch stem where I found an intriguing cocoon.

A few flower stalks remained from last year on the caryopteris and I gave this one a last chance of glory before I snipped it off with the pruning shears.

Getting back to the front walk garden the nandina is in good company with my wheelbarrow. All the seedheads from the echinacea are now cut down and ready for dispatch to the compost heap out back. I leave selected seedheads up through the winter months so the birds have something to feast on.

If you have been following my many blog posts for a while now and trying to figure out what attracts me you may have noticed I see patterns. During the week I stopped by at a shopping area where the landscaping crew had clearly just visited and cut back, with almost military precision, the ornamental grasses along the bank.

The big view.

Back in my own garden the plum tree is really so pretty this spring.

A few rogue blossoms show up sprouting directly from the trunk of the tree.

And to close I will show you what Jill was painting. A fine way to spend a glorious, early almost-spring day!
Go look and see if Jill will post an update on this painting

I am so ready to be done with Winter White. But wait, there is just one more color post for the winter. My aim is to bring you that color on Thursday March 17. No prizes for guessing the color. The color in winter series will conclude on the equinox which, this year, is on Palm Sunday, March 20.