Friday, April 23, 2010

Oleander? ... Don't know my tropical flowers very well!

tropical flower blossom
This is blooming right outside the door to our villa in St. Croix. We also have bougainvillea, lantana (I think) and numerous other tropical plants on the grounds of our villa. We're here for a nephew's wedding and spending some time with family.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tiny flowers of False Forget-Me-Not... Spring, 2010

If I remember to cut the first blooms back when they are nearly finished, this plant will continue to bloom into June. It spreads more slowly and is less invasive than true Forget-Me-Not and adds a lovely spot of blue color in a shady garden. Mine gets morning sun but not much after that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Elimediums... delicately beautiful and TINY blossoms... Spring, 2010

I don't very often post two images in one day... but am making an exception today so you will be able to see both varieties of Epimedium currently blooming in my garden. I first saw this plant while touring a public garden several years ago and was amazed by the tiny blooms. But there was no marker to tell me what the plant was. Then, a year or two later, I hired a garden designer to draw up a plan for my garden which had quite a few shady areas that needed attention after I killed off all the grass in favor of having flowers and shrubs. Imagine how happy I was to find out that the mystery plant that had fascinated me a few years previously was one she recommended for my garden.

The first of the two species I have shown below is Epimedium x rubrum, which is commonly known as Bishop's Mitre (or Hat) from the shape of the flowers, or red barrenwort. The second, shown below Bishops Mitre, is Epimedium grandiflorum which is also known by several other names: Longspur Epimedium, Barrenwort 'Orangekonigin' or Horny Goat Weed (Wikipedia will tell you why it's known as Horny Goat Weed) to name a few. Both of these plants are low growing and spread somewhat slowly... both require cutting back in February before the new growth starts and both bloom profusely in spring before the weather gets too hot. Filtered sunlight is fine early in the growing season but full shade is best during the heat of summer which makes them perfect under my dogwood trees in the front garden!

Epimedium 'Bishops Hat'

Longspur Epimedium blossom

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blue Violet... Spring 2010

blue violet
As best as I'm able to determine, this is a Viola sororia blossom, also known as the Common Blue Violet. Wikipedia mentions that it is frequently considered a weed and grows freely in gardens once it gets a foothold. The tiny flower certainly is pretty... but I do try to keep them from spreading everywhere in my garden!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Perfection in miniature... Magenta Creeping Phlox... Spring 2010

phlox blossom and buds
Our April weather has been quite strange... I feel lucky to have captured this tiny beauty just as the first blossom opened. If the heat hasn't destroyed it, maybe tomorrow I'll get a chance to capture an image of what by now should be a carpet of blossoms on my Phlox plant. Fortunately, the heat left us a few days ago and we are now experiencing more normal spring weather.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tulip splendor... Spring 2010

This is the second of the three new tulip varieties planted in my garden this past fall. Today, it is blowing SO HARD outdoors that I won't be able to photograph the third one which is now blooming as well. I just love the gorgeous dark red-orange petals kissed by bright yellow on the edges. Have a lovely weekend wherever you are!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Narcissus... lovely flower... fragrant scent... Spring 2010

unfolding narcissus blossoms
As mentioned in yesterday's post, we've had some unseasonably warm days, approaching 90° F (32° C), which is very unusual for early April. It is supposed to cool down again to more normal spring weather... but I made sure I captured a few images of my narcissus (now starting to open) in case they don't last long because of the heat! This is straight out of the camera with no retouching or cropping... sometimes I'm happy with a capture and feel it needs no enhancement, although this might benefit from a tiny boost in exposure.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Forsythia... delicate yellow blossoms... Spring 2010

forsythia blossoms
I'm falling behind with posting... been having a back problem... this time of year... so much is happening after our snow filled winter... just cannot keep up! Spring is bursting into bloom everywhere and the unseasonably warm weather we've had for the past couple of days is already causing some of the cooler weather blooms to fade in a hurry! And of course the forsythia is done now but here's a lovely reminder of this early blooming beauty.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What a difference a week makes... Spring tulips 2010!

pale orange tulips
It's hard to believe... but these are the same tulips as the previous post... just one week later! I had no idea that these tulips would start out a pale, creamy yellow with delicate tracery of green veins and then explode into glorious pale orange a week later. The bulbs were purchased last spring at a tulip farm in Oregon... I have a record of the variety of tulip this is somewhere in the mess of paperwork (not filed yet) in this house!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Creamy tulip... delicate details... Spring, 2010...

creamy bi-color tulip
Check back tomorrow or the next day to see a later image of this same tulip. I had no idea when this blossom appeared that it would darken as it aged... this is the first day the blossom began opening. I love the delicate tracery of green markers on the petals and the soft orange parts.