Monday, April 25, 2016

Anzac Day in my Spring Garden

April 25 is an important day for New Zealanders and Australians as it is the day on which, in 1915, the landing of the Anzac troops began in Gallipoli in WWI in Europe. Ever since it has been the day on which those who remain remember all those who gave their lives in wartime to serve and protect those at home.

In honor of the day I try to remember to fly the New Zealand flag. Another time I might remember to photograph it from the front side...oh well.

and to remember my Grandpop who was one of the many who landed at Gallipoli on that fateful day. Remarkably, he survived and in 2015 I made a quilt to remember his service.

This is what sunrise looks like in my back garden around now. That's a new birdhouse for the season. We have three that I worked hard to paint so they might look more appealing in the landscape.

It is a great source of pleasure to us to watch the birdlife out back. This pileated woodpecker visited a few days back and did not quite understand that the rules here are to wait and pose nicely with a pretty background. Oh well, at least I got something before it flew off. In the upper right you may notice the bluebells.

When the pollen outside gets too much I bring some of the garden inside and content myself with trying to capture the beauty of the blooms.

The dogwood trees are currently the feature blooms.

In the garage today I was busy painting a couple of small trellises to go into pots with a climbing plant. These two paint colors are what I used on the aforementioned birdhouses.

This clematis has been amazingly resilient in a small black plastic pot on the driveway now since 2014. It is the main reason I am getting the trellises ready. I purchased two of these plants late in the summer of 2014: the better of the two got planted in the garden (and did not survive the winter) but this one has hung on remarkably well so I figure it deserves a new and better location.

Out front this was one of the clematis plants that I feared would be adversely affected by the two night below freezing cold snap we had around April 8. Old bedsheets were deployed overnight to ward off the worst off the cold and thankfully the buds were not harmed. The flowers began to bloom a couple of days ago.

More blooms posing on a high pollen day.

And more of the dogwood tree. In fact, you might need to humor me with the word "more" as I have exceeded the upper limit on the number of photos I usually include in a post.

The blue muscari looked good against the bright green of the spirea bush and just begged to be photographed.

Inside I decided that today was the day this plant basket just had to be pruned back. One of the trailing stems I cut off was 18' long. I think that was the longest but there were several others almost as long.

The viburnum is about ready to eclipse the dogwood as being the "star" of the garden right now.

Getting back to the significance of today I'm thinking of both my Grandpop, a returned veteran of WWI and my Dad, a returned veteran of WWII. They and their comrades did so much to honor and protect those at home and we should remember them often.

At the going down of the sun, we will remember them.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Driving Miss Ava

Miss Ava and I have been on several drives recently down to the river because it is bluebell season.

We had lived here for several years before I ventured down to see this. I was totally amazed at the sheer number of bluebell plants. It is a feast for the eyes of wildflower lovers.

Up close and personal.

Least you think there might only be bluebells kindly allow me to show you what else there is. Now not being a native born Virginian I do encourage you to correct me if I am wrong about the identity of any of the wildflowers. At the base of the tree I believe these are Carolina Spring Beauties.

Dutchmen's Breeches...

Star Chickweed (white) and Little Sweet Betsy from the trillium family.

Yep, that's a bluebell...

but not all bluebells are blue. Pink ones are to be found...

and very pale blue ones as well.

H'mm, these look like wild phlox. Please do correct me if need be.

More of the phlox (?) and the chickweed.

It's not only about the wildflowers. Now and then the birds get in on the show like this Canada Goose who wanted to pose for my camera.

And to close with another shot of the wild phlox.

I give thanks to my friends Pat and Doreen who were kind enough to research some of the flowers here. I surely hope they have also taken several walks along the river to admire the wildflowers this season. Pat, who has lived here for many years more than I have, tells me that there are more wildflowers to be seen now than in previous years. She has heard that they attribute this to a decline in the deer population in the park.

It has been such a pretty spring here on the riverbank despite a couple of below freezing temperatures a week or so ago.