Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I love spring

Gardening is one of my favorite things and this time of year is wonderful. Something new is blooming almost every day. I wish I had this camera while I was studying Botany, but I'm making up for lost time with the macro function. I try to take pictures once per week or so, so I can keep track of what blooms when. We're a couple weeks behind this year, but I don't mind and the plants don't seem to either.

(Click each photo to see a larger version)

Korean Dwarf Lilac:

This is so fragrant right now, it's almost overpowering. One waist-high bush is enough to scent the entire front yard.


I love the bright blue anthers. You have to be really close to notice, but it's such a fun surprise. The leaves and roots can actually be used as a soap when crushed.

Spirea "Walburna":

This is a stunner in the front garden. It's up against plants with burgundy foliage and the chartreuse leaves with red tipping stand out like a beacon. I have one on each side and the pink flowers are just getting ready to open.

My only peony bud:

The ants are very excited about this peony. They've been all over the bud since it was smaller than a pea. I moved this from a shadier spot last fall and it's rewarding me with a flower this spring. It never flowered before now so the color is going to be a surprise.


It has foliage like a columbine, but it has these wonderful pink puffs for flowers. Looking closely, the pink isn't petals - it's a large cluster of stamens with little anthers at the tips. The flowers only have simple green sepals and no petals. Right now it's hiding my white irises that are much the worse for wear after our storms. It's an underrated plant, but one of my favorites.

Prairie Smoke seedheads:

They're similar to Pasque flower seedheads, but more delicate. Pasque flowers look more like troll dolls when they go to seed. This is a delicate wisp that is so light, you almost miss it if you're not paying attention. The flowers are nothing much - little dusty rose bells - but these bits of "smoke" make it all worth it.

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