Blossom

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“Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours;

let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.”
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Kahlil Gibran

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Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
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Blossom VIII
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WPC: Summer Lovin’

Buddleia davidii, “Harlequin” coming into bloom near perennial Hibiscus

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“Your work is to discover your work

and then with all your heart

to give yourself to it.”

A Buddha

 

For one who has accepted the work of a gardener, one of the greatest joys comes from the annual fruition of all of the year’s planning and work. 

 

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Each carefully chosen and tended plant unfolds itself in beauty, and our love for the garden multiplies.

 

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There are seasons to every love in our life. 

 

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We touch each again and again as we spiral through all the experiences our lives bring. 

 

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And summer remains the sweetest. 

Summer;  filled with color, vitality, growth, and accomplishment. 

 

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It is always a summer of love when the gardener is at home in her garden.

 

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Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Summer Lovin’

 

 

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A “Dirty Hands” Garden Club

Colocasia, "Blue Hawaii"

Colocasia, “Blue Hawaii”

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I would love to join  a “Dirty Hands” Garden Club;
One whose members know more about fertilizers
Than they do about wines…

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A gift of Glads, from a sister gardener…

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I’d want our meetings spent wandering through nurseries,
Learning from  expert gardeners,
Or building community gardens…

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Bumblebee on Lantana

Bumblebee on Lantana

 

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Not frittered away in chit chat over hors d’oeuvres .

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Bumblebee on Basil

Bumblebee on Basil

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And all of us would be at least a little expert in something,
Glad to share what we’ve learned;

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Tiger Swallowtail on Echinacea

Tiger Swallowtail on Echinacea

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And we all would love putting our hands in the dirt
To help something grow.

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Eastern Redbud Tree seedpods

Eastern Redbud Tree seedpods

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My club would collect species, not dues;
Re-build ecosystems rather than plant ivy and  box.

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Blue dragonfly on Lantana

Blue dragonfly on Lantana

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We “dirty hands” gardeners can band together
In spirit, if not in four walls.
We can share plants and insights,
Instigate, propagate, and appreciate;

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Rooted Begonia cutting

Rooted Begonia cutting resting on a bowl of Pitcherplants

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Perhaps we can even help rehabilitate 
Some sterile lawn somewhere
Into something which nurtures beauty
And feeds souls….

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A gift of Siberian Iris, from Barbara, growing in a new section of the garden.

A gift of Siberian Iris, from Barbara, growing in a new section of the garden.

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Others can judge flowers,
Decorate homes at Christmas
And organize tours.
These things are needed, too.

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Native Hibiscus

Native Hibiscus

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(But I would rather be out in the garden;
Where cardinals preside over the morning meeting,
And  hummingbirds are our special guests for the day.
The daily agenda ranges from watering to transplanting;
From pruning to watching for turtles and dragonflies.)

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We  wear our muddy shoes and well worn gloves with pride,
Our spades and pruners always close at hand.

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We converse with Nature,
And re-build the web strand by strand,
Plant by plant.

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If this invitation speaks to you,
Perhaps we can work together,
From wherever we might find ourselves
Around the globe.
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We can each put our hands in the dirt
and create a garden,

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Nurture Beauty,
And restore health and vitality to our Earth, together.

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Does a “Dirty Hands” Garden Club
Appeal to you?

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Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014
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Canna

Canna

What I Learned From Our Hummingbird

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As more and more flowers continue to bloom, hummingbirds become more frequent visitors to our garden.

They dart around so quickly from flower to flower, and are normally so shy, that I’ve had no photos to share with you; though we see them daily now.

We’ve identified at least four different hummingbirds who frequent the garden.

But one was kind enough to visit with me at the Stump Garden late on Sunday afternoon .

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Returning from a walk to a friend’s home, I stopped to take photos of the newly blooming Gladiolus.

And while I was busy snapping away from various angles, I heard the whirring buzz of a hummingbird zooming into the garden to sample the Glad’s nectar.

The hummingbird is drinking from the lowest flower on the left.

The hummingbird is drinking from the lowest flower on the left.

He was so comfortable hovering inside the huge Glad blossom, that he ignored me and my clicking, chiming camera entirely.

The Hummingbird zoomed from blossom to blossom, and then paused to rest on a leaf.

All the while I’m happily taking his portrait.

Now the hummingbird has turned to drink from the catnip on the right.  Can you see his curved beak?

Now the hummingbird has turned to drink from the catnip on the right. Can you see his curved beak?

And by observing, I learned.

Conventional wisdom holds that hummingbirds prefer red flowers.

Supposedly, that is why the plastic hummingbird kits come with gaudy red and yellow feeders and bright red Kool-Aid like mix with which to fill them.

But our little guy was sipping  first from blue Glads, then white catnip flowers, and finally from the tiny purple flowers of our Coleus, growing in the pot on the stump.

Did you know Hummingbirds would drink from Coleus flowers?  I normally break those off as a part of “grooming” the Coleus for more leaf production!

But there he was, hovering beautifully high up in the air, drinking as happily from the Coleus as from the reddest Canna, Salvia,  or Fuschia.

Hummingbirds need to consume half their weight in sugar, daily, just to survive.   They prefer flowers which offer nectar of 25%-35% sugar content.

They can starve in a matter of hours when food isn’t available. 

“Feed them and they will come.” 

Good advice, especially in the world of wildlife gardening.  And it always amazes me to see how many different species will show up for the feast, once the garden blooms each summer.

 

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

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A Beautiful Birthday Gift

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

A very special friend brought me a very special birthday gift  earlier this year.

She brought me a sack of Gladiolus bulbs.

We share bits and pieces from our gardens with one another all of the time.  In fact, we hardly ever get together without sharing cuttings and discussing our gardens.

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Yet this was a special gift. 

Although our friend loves and grows Gladiolus  in her own garden, these were bulbs she had selected especially as a gift for me.  She brought two colors; a blue and a violet.

But this gift was also a challenge, because I haven’t grown Glads in the past.  She was inviting me to explore a new genus not yet in the garden.

The weather was still cold and wet when she brought them, and I had no idea where they would best grow.

I also had to do a little research before feeling confident enough to plant them.

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I just took the time to enjoy them for a little while, and consider all of the possibilities before the day came to plant them in the garden.

In retrospect, there was only one proper place to enjoy these beautiful glads:  The new stump garden. 

It receives full sun, and the plants already growing are lush and large enough to help provide support to these very tall flowers.

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And now they are coming into glorious bloom.

What a wonderful gift of love and beauty!

As the blossoms open, it is  a new gift  to enjoy each day!

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And a reminder of our very special friend….

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

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