Summer Garden: Shifting Focus

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“The beauty of that June day was almost staggering.

After the wet spring, everything that could turn green

had outdone itself in greenness

and everything that could even dream of blooming

or blossoming was in bloom and blossom.

The sunlight was a benediction.”

.

Dan Simmons

~

Allium

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“And so with the sunshine

and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees,

just as things grow in fast movies,

I had that familiar conviction

that life was beginning over again

with the summer.”

.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

~

~

“There’s this magical sense of possibility

that stretches like a bridge

between June and August.

A sense that anything can happen.”

.

Aimee Friedman

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Carrot flower and Coreopsis

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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Clematis

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“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

.

Oscar Wilde

* * *

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Focus

Sunday Dinner: Community

~
“No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were:
any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind,
and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls;
it tolls for thee.”
.
John Donne
~
~
“If man is to survive,
he will have learned to take a delight
in the essential differences between men
and between cultures.
He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes
are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety,
not something to fear.”
.
Gene Roddenberry
~
~
“What should young people do with their lives today?
Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing
is to create stable communities
in which the terrible disease of loneliness
can be cured.”
.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr
~
~
“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches
is that our relationship to the planet
need not be zero-sum,
and that as long as the sun still shines
and people still can plan and plant,
think and do, we can, if we bother to try,
find ways to provide for ourselves
without diminishing the world. ”
.
Michael Pollan
~
~
“Remember that the happiest people
are not those getting more,
but those giving more.”
.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.
~
~
In Memory of Special Agent Michael Walter,
who was lost in the line of duty May 26-27, 2017
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
~
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“But many of us seek community
solely to escape the fear of being alone.
Knowing how to be solitary
is central to the art of loving.
When we can be alone,
we can be with others without using them
as a means of escape.”
.
bell hooks
~

Wednesday Vignette: Vision

~

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed.

“It is a beautiful and terrible thing,

and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

  .

J.K. Rowling

~

~

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved.

So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons.

It all exists, even if it’s in your mind.

Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares

aren’t as real as the here and now?”

.

John Lennon

~

~

“Facts do not cease to exist

because they are ignored.”

.

Aldous Huxley

~

~

“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”

.

Pablo Picasso

~

~

“In a time of deceit

telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

.

George Orwell

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

*

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

.

Oscar Wilde

~

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Reflecting

Garden Magic

~

“They were full of mysteries and secrets,

like… like poems turned into landscapes.”

.

Jaclyn Dolamore

~

~

“Gardens are made of darkness and light entwined.”

.

F.T. McKinstry

~

~

“Entering a garden like Bomarzo

was like succumbing to a dream.

Every detail was intended

to produce a specific effect on the mind and body,

to excite and soothe the senses like a drug.

To awaken the unconscious self.”

.

Linda Lappin

~

~

“Gardens and chocolate

both have mystical qualities.”

.

Edward Flaherty

~

~

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it,

when there are rainbows and wildflowers,

the music of the wind

and the silence of the stars?

Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic.

It is such a simple

and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”

.

Nora Roberts

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“The older a wizard grows, the more silent he becomes,

like a woody vine growing over time

to choke a garden path, deep

and full of moss and snakes,

running everywhere, impenetrable.”

.

F.T. McKinstry,

WPC: Surprise

Athyrium niponicum ‘Joy Ride’

~

The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge this week invites us to explore the often overlooked details in form.  A ‘macro-lens view’ opens up new worlds of beauty.

Often, in the hurry of our daily lives, we glance around us and take the world into consciousness in chunks of meaning.  We register the traffic moving around us, the child moving towards us, the inventory of our fridge. Even in the garden, we register our landscape in chunks of form and color.

~

~

It takes undistracted time to focus the lens of our mind on the tiniest of details, like the uncurling fronds opening on our ferns this week.  This annual springtime show might otherwise be overlooked as the garden explodes in color and fragrance.

~

Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’

~

Who can pass a fragrant Iris to contemplate a tiny fern?  Only the child or the gardener!  Our eyes train on those tiniest of details as we pace the paths of our garden each day, documenting what changes have unfolded since our last visit.

~

Fiddlehead of Brilliance autumn fern

~

I had a few minutes to wander this morning, camera in hand, as I waited for a friend’s arrival.  And although I couldn’t pass the Iris without capturing another shot or two, I also spent time with several of our ferns.

Jen kindly crafted a challenge this week especially for us craven gardeners, who must photograph our flowers in minute detail.  But because that was the model she set, I decided to leave flowers to others this time, (well, almost….) and instead focus on the elegant and fascinating details found only in the leaves of ferns.

~

~

The Japanese Painted ferns, Athyrium niponicum, have just emerged from their winter dormancy.  Their fragile fronds disappear after a heavy frost each autumn, to reappear quite suddenly and surprisingly some warm spring day.

They are one of the most beautiful surprises our garden offers us each spring.  I realized today, in sharing our garden with friends, that we have something of a collection now of Athyrium niponicum cultivars.

~

Athyrium ‘Branford Beauty’

~

Not that I intended to make a collection of them, I simply like them and wanted to watch some of the different varieties grow out.  I have ordered a few, like A. ‘Joy Ride’, A. ‘Branford Beauty,’ and A. ‘Burgundy Lace’ from Plant Delights Nursery near Raleigh, NC, in years past.  They carry a staggering and surprisingly wonderful variety of ferns and other unusual perennials which do well in our Zone 7 climate.

~

~

I am still lusting after A. ‘Lemon Cream,’ A. ‘Godzilla’ and A. ‘Thrill Seeker.’  And that lust will go unrequited for the foreseeable future, it seems, as their shipping charges just keep climbing each year.  Now that the minimum shipping charge is nearly $30, I am seeking out these wonderful cultivars locally, and asking our nearby nurseries to consider stocking these beautiful new varieties.

I was absolutely thrilled to find a beautiful pot of A. ‘Ghost’ at Green Planters, Inc., in Gloucester earlier this week.  I will be returning, as they carry a satisfying selection of native ferns in addition to their various Japanese Painted ferns and other cultivars.

~

~

The best ferns in our garden, year round, are our Autumn Brilliance, Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’.  Their tough, but graceful fronds weather sun, rain, drought wind and winter.  Who could ask for more?

~

~

These sturdy clumps expand a bit each year, and each new year’s fronds seem a few inches taller than the last.  We’re not talking tree ferns, of course, but the older ferns make a substantial presence.  What I admire in these ferns is their wonderful bronze color as  new fronds emerge each spring.

~

~

As each frond unfolds, the hairy brown fiddleheads relax into soft, shiny fresh rose-gold leaves.  It is quite a show and goes on for several weeks.  By mid-summer, each leaf will have relaxed further into a soft medium green.  It’s not until winter that the same fiddlehead brown begins to frost the edges of the mature fronds once again.

~

~

It is the surprising beauty of leaves which carries our garden through the seasons.  Flowers come and go all too quickly.  They may delight with a bold color or enticing scent.  But flowers prove ephemeral by nature.

They are only there long enough to lure a bee, butterfly or hummingbird to pollinate them. so they can get down to their real business of seed production.  Even the hybrids seem confused on this point, and fade far too quickly despite their sterility.  Like kids gone off to college, what is left behind is none too pleasant to look at, oftentimes….

~

~

But leaves prove their worth and loyalty; offering sum and substance, color, drama and incredible detail.

*

Woodland Gnome 2017

~

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Surprise!

 

Wednesday Vignette: Meditations

Columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris

~

“The soul becomes dyed

with the colour of its thoughts.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“Accept the things to which fate binds you,

and love the people with whom fate

brings you together,

but do so with all your heart.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority,

but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face

and know them for what they are.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“Very little is needed to make a happy life;

it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“Do not act

as if you were going to live ten thousand years.

Death hangs over you.

While you live, while it is in your power,

be good.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

quotations from The Meditations

 

Sunday Dinner: Details

~

“Everything made by human hands

looks terrible under magnification-

-crude, rough, and asymmetrical.

But in nature every bit of life is lovely.

And the more magnification we use,

the more details are brought out,

perfectly formed,

like endless sets of boxes within boxes.”

.

Roman Vishniac

~

~

…  pay attention to the world and all that dwells therein

and thereby learn at last to pay attention to yourself

and all that dwells therein.”

.

Frederick Buechner

~

~

It is imperative, whether consciously or not,

that one observe the vast

as well as the infinitesimal

in order to create the image

or choose accurate words that ring true.”

.

Elizabeth Winder

~

~

“Tiny details imperceptible to us decide everything!”

.

W.G. Sebald

~

~

“To pay attention,

this is our endless and proper work.”

.

Mary Oliver

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.

If you are attentive, you will see it.”

.

Thich Nhat Hanh

~

~

“Miracles… seem to me to rest not so much upon

… healing power coming suddenly near us from afar

but upon our perceptions being made finer,

so that, for a moment, our eyes can see

and our ears can hear

what is there around us always.”

.

Willa Cather

~

Sunday Dinner: Determination

~

“Achieving your goals depends more

on the way you manage to push through

the bad days, than shine on the good ones.”

.

Lorri Faye

~

~

“An invincible determination

can accomplish almost anything,

and in this lies the great distinction

between great man and little man.

.

Thomas Fuller

~

~

“The foolish man seeks happiness

in the distance.

The wise grows it under his feet.”

  .

James Oppenheim

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

Sunday Dinner: Time

february-25-2017-daffodils-in-february-032

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“How did it get so late so soon?”

.

Theodor Seuss Geisel

~

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

~

“You can’t stop time.

You can’t capture light.

You can only turn your face up

and let it rain down.”


.

Kim Edwards

~

february-25-2017-daffodils-in-february-031

~

“They say I’m old-fashioned,

and live in the past,

but sometimes I think progress

progresses too fast!”


.

Theodor Seuss Geisel

~

Clematis

Clematis

~

“You may delay, but time will not.”


.

Benjamin Franklin

~

february-25-2017-daffodils-in-february-027

~

“It’s being here now that’s important.

There’s no past and there’s no future.

Time is a very misleading thing.

All there is ever, is the now.

We can gain experience from the past,

but we can’t relive it;

and we can hope for the future,

but we don’t know if there is one.”


.

George Harrison

~

Narcissus

Narcissus

~

“I’m wishing he could see that music lives.

Forever. That it’s stronger than death.

Stronger than time.

And that its strength holds you together

when nothing else can.”

.

Jennifer Donnelly

~

Magnolia liliflora

Magnolia liliflora

~

“The years teach much the days never know.”


.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

~

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

~

“Don’t waste your time with explanations:

people only hear what they want to hear.”


.

Paulo Coelho

~

february-25-2017-daffodils-in-february-030

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Photos by Woodland Gnome Today in 2017

~

february-25-2017-daffodils-in-february-025

To Be One Drop of Water….

february-23-2017-daffodils-003

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But water always goes where it wants to go,

and nothing in the end can stand against it.

Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.

Remember that, my child. Remember

you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle,

go around it.     Water does.”

.

Margaret Atwood

~

february-23-2017-daffodils-006

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“Wisdom cannot be imparted.

Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart

always sounds like foolishness to someone else …

Knowledge can be communicated,

but not wisdom. One can find it, live it,

do wonders through it,

but one cannot communicate and teach it.”

.

Hermann Hesse

~

february-23-2017-daffodils-008

~

“One kernel is felt in a hogshead;

one drop of water helps to swell the ocean;

a spark of fire helps to give light to the world.

None are too small, too feeble,

too poor to be of service.

Think of this and act.”

.

Hannah More

~

february-23-2017-daffodils-021

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

february-23-2017-daffodils-023

 

 

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