Blossom XXIII: Iris

~

“…Every day I discover even more beautiful things.

It is intoxicating me, and I want to paint it all –

my head is bursting…”

.

Claude Monet

~

~

“The priceless lesson in the New Year

is that endings birth beginnings and beginnings birth endings.

And in this elegantly choreographed dance of life,

neither ever find an end in the other.”

.

Craig D. Lounsbrough

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“The best is yet to be.”
.

Robert Browning

Blossom XXII:  ” …and Spring After Winter…”

Blossom XXII: “…and Spring After Winter.”

Redbud

~

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth

find reserves of strength

that will endure as long as life lasts.

There is something infinitely healing

in the repeated refrains of nature –

– the assurance that dawn comes after night,

and spring after winter.”

.

Rachel Carson

~

~

“Live in each season as it passes;

breathe the air, drink the drink,

taste the fruit,

and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

.

Henry David Thoreau

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“I only went out for a walk

and finally concluded to stay out

till sundown,

for going out, I found, was really going in.”

.

John Muir

~

~

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XVIII
Blossom XIX
Blossom XX
Blossom XXI

Wednesday Vignette: Living Geometry

~

“The geometry of the things around

us creates coincidences, intersections.”


.

Erri De Luca

~

~

“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book

which ever is before our eyes –

– I mean the universe –

– but we cannot understand it

if we do not first learn the language

and grasp the symbols in which it is written.

The book is written in mathematical language,

and the symbols are triangles, circles

and other geometrical figures,

without whose help it is impossible

to comprehend a single word of it;

without which one wanders in vain

through a dark labyrinth.”

.

Galileo Galilei

~

~

“You don’t see something

until you have the right metaphor

to let you perceive it”

.

James Gleick

~

~

“The harmony of the world is made manifest

in Form and Number,

and the heart and soul

and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy

are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty.”

.

D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson

~

~

“Number rules the universe.”

.

Pythagoras

~

~

“Maths is at only one remove from magic.”

.

Neel Burton

~

~

“A circle has no end.”

.

Isaac Asimov

~

“Seed of Life” Mandala designed and stitched in cotton thread by the Woodland Gnome 2016.  Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

More on Geometry:

Sacred Geometry, Flower of Life…. (additional links at the end of the post)

 

Wednesday Vignettes: Confidence

february-28-2017-magnolia-033

~

“We either make ourselves miserable,

or we make ourselves strong.

The amount of work is the same.”

.

Carlos Castaneda

~

february-28-2017-magnolia-007

~

“I am only one, but I am one.

I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

And because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse

to do the something that I can do.”

.

Edward Everett Hale

~

february-28-2017-magnolia-022

~

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment;

that if one advances confidently

in the direction of his dreams,

and endeavors to live the life

which he has imagined,

he will meet with a success

unexpected in common hours..”

.

Henry David Thoreau

~

february-28-2017-magnolia-025

~

“Human spirit is the ability to face

the uncertainty of the future

with curiosity and optimism.

It is the belief that problems can be solved,

differences resolved.

It is a type of confidence.

And it is fragile.

It can be blackened by fear, and superstition. ”

.

Bernard Beckett

~

february-28-2017-magnolia-029

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

Magnolia liliiflora

Magnolia liliiflora

~

“The deep roots never doubt spring will come.”
.

Marty Rubin

~

march-1-2017-in-bloom-016

Blossom XX : February Iris

february-17-2017-first-iris-003

~

Imagine our surprise to find this vibrant miniature Iris reticulata blooming in the garden this afternoon.

We’ve had a sunny day today.  Once the wind died down, the temperature crept over 50F.  And so late this afternoon the warm February sun coaxed this bud to open.  What a joy to find it as I cleaned up from planting the carrots!

~

february-17-2017-first-iris-004

~

“Isn’t that the only way to curate a life?

To live among things that make you gasp with delight?”

.

Maira Kalman

~

february-17-2017-first-iris-001

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

 

“Being here to witness the beauty,

to learn, to be astonished, to love –

is enough. Being able to create

in addition

is a delightful honour.”

.

Jay Woodman

~

february-15-2017-violas-001

~

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XVIII
Blossom XVIX

Blossom XIX: First Snowdrops

The first Snowdrops of spring.

The first Snowdrops of spring.

~

We were delighted, and a bit surprised, to discover these pretty snowdrops blooming on the bank behind our house today.  Sheltered, and facing the afternoon sun, these tiny Galanthus emerged to brighten our day with their pristine flowers.

Our bulbs have been popping up all over the garden during the last fortnight.  But these are the first bulbs to bloom in our yard this year.  The premier act, we expect others soon to follow.  Galanthus nivalis lead the season, closely followed by the Crocus and early Daffodils.  I’m happy to see a little clump forming here where the original bulbs have matured and multiplied.  One of the nicest things about many spring bulbs is that they naturalize over time, making spreading patches of  color to delight my gardener’s heart.

~

february-6-2017-flowers-013~

We enjoyed a sunny afternoon in the mid 60s today, and used it productively.  I made the tour and spread a bag of Milorganite around the perimeter of our garden, watching for signs of spring.  I”m still pruning, cutting back spent perennials, replenishing mulch and noticing buds swelling on many shrubs and trees.

We can’t get overly confident just yet.   We expect wintery weather to return by the end of this week.   Williamsburg often endures winter storms right through March or even early April.

~

february-6-2017-flowers-011

~

But with that said, we feel spring in the air.  The Heaths opened their  Bulb Shop up for the season at their Gloucester gardens last week.  I find it satisfying somehow that the first of our spring bulbs has blossomed within a week of their spring opening!  We will make a trip later this month to enjoy their display gardens, see what is new, and perhaps pick up a bag or two of something nice for this summer’s display.

~

These lovely evergreen Arum italicum are from Brent and Becky's bulbs. This clump in its second season, growing with Violas.

These lovely evergreen Arum italicum are from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. This clump in its second season, growing with Violas.

~

So for my gardening friends snowed under this week, please let these little snowdrops cheer you with their promise of spring to come!  It won’t be long now until your gardens will also burst into the beauties of springtime!

~

Camellia japonica opened its first blooms of the season this weekend. These are our 'winter roses.'

Camellia japonica opened its first blooms of the season this weekend. These are our ‘winter roses.’

~

Woodland Gnome 2017

 

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XVIII
Blossom XX

 

Blossom XVIII: Tough

january-20-2017-garden-014

~

“We have not journeyed all this way

because we are made of sugar candy.”

.

Winston S. Churchill

~

january-20-2017-garden-009

~

 

“Anyone can be tough for a season.

It takes a special kind of human

to rise to life’s challenges for a lifetime.”


.

Chris Matakas

~

january-20-2017-garden-011

~

“If you’re looking for the easy challenge,

you’re not cut out for success.”


.

T Jay Taylor

~

january-20-2017-garden-012

~

“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face

conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”

.

Greta Garbo

~

Helleborus argutifolius 'Snow Fever'

Helleborus argutifolius ‘Snow Fever’

~

Do you often think of flowers as ‘tough’ ?  Likely not.

And yet look at these beautiful Hellebores blooming in our garden today.  So fragile looking, but tough enough to bloom in January.  These sheltered under the deep  snowfall when temperatures here dipped into the single digits two weeks ago.  That is extremely cold for coastal Virginia, but the Hellebores kept  on growing and even blooming despite their environment.

There is a lesson there for gardeners; perhaps for all of us.  Such beauty is an expression of itself.  It fulfills its own plan and promise.

Hellebores fill a special niche in our garden.  They are one of the toughest perennials we grow.  Their graceful evergreen leaves maintain a presence year round, through summer’s heat and drought as easily as through frigid winter days.  Their delicate veins and subtle shading express the same sort of athletic beauty as a ballerina.   And just when it looks like the garden has suffered defeat at winter’s hand, these wondrous flowers emerge from the frozen Earth.

And they last.  The cut flowers last a long time whether left growing out of doors or cut for a vase.  These plants will still be blooming when the garden has filled with Daffodils and Azalea next April.

A new neighbor and I were chatting today, and she asked me what perennial I would recommend for her front garden.  She has a wide sheltered bed near the street; an inviting  bed and breakfast for every rabbit and deer in the neighborhood.  It is shaded with a thick growth of native hollies and young hardwood trees.

I’ll be you know what advice I offered…. Hellebores.

~

january-20-2017-garden-010

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

 

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XX

 

Blossom XV

september-6-2016-morning-garden-006

~

“Generosity has little to do with giving gifts,

and everything to do with giving space to others

to be who they are.”

.

Patti Digh

~september-6-2016-morning-garden-025

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

~

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
BlossomXVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom VXIII

 

 

Blossom XIV

August 26, 2016 spider 003

~

“Patience is the calm acceptance

that things can happen in a different order

than the one you have in mind.”

.

David G. Allen

~

August 17, 2016 garden 004

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

 

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIV
Blossom V
BlossomVI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: August

August 13, 2016 morning garden 075
~

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
.

Lady Bird Johnson

Butterflies drift on the summer breeze from flower to flower in search of nectar; I find an earthbound path of my own, camera in hand, to drink in their beauty.

~

August 13, 2016 morning garden 044

~

August finds our garden filled with flowers.  Some, like the roses, struggle with this late summer heat to pump out a few small flowers here and there.  But others, like our spider lily are just getting started with their annual show.  Our fall flowers have begun to fill the garden with fierce, stubborn color.

~

Lycoris radiata, or Red Spider Lily, blooms in late summer.

Lycoris radiata, or Red Spider Lily, blooms in late summer.

~

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”

.

Claude Monet

~

Basil attracts many pollinators

Basil attracts many pollinators

~

Butterflies have their favorites, just as I have mine.  Lantana flowers always draw butterflies, and hummingbirds sometimes, too.  Many of the flowers in our garden are selected especially for their appeal to butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and interesting nectar-loving insects.

~

~

Our Cannas and Salvias delight the hummingbirds.  But I plant many herbs, and let them flower, for the nectar they provide.  They may not be the showiest of flowers, but they are good for the wildlife we hope to attract.

~

When allowed to bloom, Coleus provides abundant nectar and attracts many pollinators.

When allowed to bloom, Coleus provides abundant nectar and attracts many pollinators.

~

“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it,

it’s your world for a moment.”

.

Georgia O’Keeffe

~

Begonia 'Flamingo'

Begonia ‘Flamingo’

~

Some of the Begonias, too, have finally covered themselves in flowers.  Simple and delicate, Begonia flowers come only when the mother plant is happy.  Ours have finally recovered from their winter indoors with vigorous new growth.

~

 

August 13, 2016 morning garden 077

~

We grow several different sorts of Begonias, each with its own unique leaf and flower.

~

August 13, 2016 morning garden 059

~

They all grow in pots or baskets so we can keep them from one year to the next, and most root very easily from stem cuttings.

~

August 13, 2016 morning garden 060

~

It is good to cut back the cane Begonias, especially, as the stems will grow many feet long.  Prunings go into a vase of water to soon begin life again in a new pot either in our garden, or as a gift to a friend.

~

Also a Begonia, this grows from a tuber and produces flowers like tiny roses.

Also a Begonia, this one grows from a tuber and produces flowers like tiny roses. Oxalis blooms beside it.

~

“It is only by selection, by elimination,

and by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things.”

.

Georgia O’Keeffe

~

Begonia 'Richmondensis' with Caladium

Begonia ‘Richmondensis’ with Caladium

~

Late summer brings its own ‘woody’ flowers, too.  Rose of Sharon, butterfly bush, Crepe Myrtle, and Hydrangea all cover themselves in flowers each August.

~

~

So does a very odd plant, Aralia spinosa, also known as ‘The Devil’s Walking Stick’ for its exceptionally thorny stem.

~

Aralia spinosa in bloom

Aralia spinosa in bloom

~

This small tree crowns itself with a cloud of tiny, greenish-yellow flowers which soon swell into a cloud of dark inky purple berries.  Another plant to delight wildlife, this one is not so delightful in the garden.  It spreads by seeds and underground runners.

But my gardening philosophy tends towards, ‘The more, the merrier!’  It is a very laissez-faire approach, admittedly.  But it serves us well, in this forest garden.

~

Echinacea 'Green Jewel'

Echinacea ‘Green Jewel’

~

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

.

Oscar Wilde

Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.  When last I looked, Carol had nearly 50 other gardeners sharing links to their posts this August.  Just looking through these virtual garden tours is a fun way to see what others are doing and to find fresh inspiration.

I hope you will visit Carol’s post, and as many of the other links as time allows.

~

August 13, 2016 morning garden 073

~

If  ‘A flower blossoms for its own joy,’ we photograph and admire them for our own. 

~

August 13, 2016 morning garden 078

~

I have created a series of flower portraits this summer, simply called ‘Blossom.’  This simple posting format has brought me a great deal of joy and comfort over the last few weeks.  It has allowed me to post when no words would come.

Flowers, no matter their size or color,  delight.  Perhaps it is their very fragility which begs us to appreciate them in the moment.  If we procrastinate, they may be gone.

Certainly, they each have their season, as do we.

~

August 13, 2016 morning garden 002

~

Two dear members of our family have passed from this Earthly life over the past few weeks.  We still miss them keenly.  Their passing has reminded each of us who loved them to share our love, our joy, and our appreciation with those we care for, as often as we can.

We can not afford to put off to tomorrow that which we may enjoy today.  Our lives prove as ephemeral as the flowers which fascinate us.

We are all creatures in time, and so must make the time to share the beauty and wonders of this life; and to share it with those we love.

Woodland Gnome 2016
~

August 13, 2016 morning garden 007

~

In Loving Memory of

Rachel Mae Downs-Lewis  1975-2016

In Loving Memory of

Patty Jo “Tinker’  Rishworth  1961-2016

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 507 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest