Friday, April 17, 2009
Spring Photo Journal
Popping outside to check the yard, I was thrilled to see things blooming (and living) after our recent torrential rains and gale force winds. I love rain. The gold berried Byer's Gold possumhaw has a few tiny blossoms but will soon be filled with them...and the wasps and bees that help with pollination.
The gold berried possumhaw is a delightful vision and it literally buzzes with life all day long. My other possumhaw, the Ilex Decidua, may actually live, I think. She took several hits from severe weather and last year was very stressed, as evidenced by blooming and berrying at the same time. Many branches died, and her trunk now leans due to wind damage. She needs some help this year - some gentle time to heal. She's leafing out again, and I'm hopeful.
The variegated weigela is simply stunning this year. A neighbor gave me this plant several years ago. It was just a sprig at the time, and rather sickly. He'd ordered two and one wasn't doing well so he thought he'd give the second one to me to see if I could save it. To this day, he covets my weigela. It is huge and gorgeous and stops traffic when it's in full bloom - one of my favorite shrubs.
This weigela is located in my east side bed next to the garage. This bed came together without a plan, but is one of my favorites. The colors, sizes and textures just work perfectly here. The photo below is looking at it from the street toward the lake, which you can barely make out in the lower left above the grass. The doublefile viburnum is in the back. This huge, 8'x8' shrub filled with solid leaves and bright white flowers is the perfect backdrop for the two other plants. The variegated weigela is in the middle a little closer to the garage, with long drooping limbs that dance in the winds that funnel through this opening. In the front is a Japanese red maple which was a seedling from my mother's yard. I just love this combination.
After enjoying the east side yesterday morning I walked around the sidewalk heading inside to download the photos. The winterberry was blazing in the early morning sunlight, and it's new leaves were poking up between the bright red berries.
These photos don't quite do it justice, but the sight just took my breath away. You just had to be there. Birds are flocking to these shrubs now, eating the berries and enjoying the safety of their location.
Soon, the Cedar Waxwings will be here, and the Tree Swallows will come through on their usual migratory path. Monarchs are already heading north, and more and more butterflies are being seen. I've heard the hummingbirds are beginning to show up. The big questions are 1) will the Baltimore Oriole build a nest in my tree again, and 2) will the Great Crested Flycatchers nest in the dead branch once more? We've been watching the Mockingbirds frolic, the red-headed woodpeckers wooing, the finches building nests, the killdeer protect their nests, the doves flit and fly, chasing each other, and bluebirds call to each other. I love Spring!