Gather ye rosebuds while ye may:
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.
---Robert Herrick, "To the Virgins to Make Much of Time"
Take a picture! Quick! These beauties aren't going to last long.
On Thursday my flowering crabapples that I showed earlier last week were absolutely gorgeous. All the buds had burst into full bloom, the branches covered in a mass of pink or red. I wanted to try to take a picture that showed just how lush they were, but it was so windy that I thought I'd wait another day. Big mistake.
After two days of strong wind, my driveway looked like a pink carpet. When I woke to a calm Sunday morning, I discovered the trees were becoming more green than pink or red. Sigh.
Nature reminds us of the whole cycle of life and death with the changing seasons. Spring is the favorite time of year for so many because it is a rebirth and renewal, a reminder that life goes on. Yet even in spring, beauty can be ephemeral: flowers bloom, then they die. But the beauty of spring is that while one bloom may die, another will soon replace it. Just as my lovely pink crabapples dropped their flowers, another variety suddenly burst into bloom.
I think this is another flowering crabapple; it is a different shape than the others with branches that almost weep. But it does have small berries later, and it seems to fit the characteristics of the crabapple.
After oohing and aahing over the pink and red, I think the white blossoms are a refreshing change.
After weeks of worrying whether the lilacs would make it this year, they are finally coming out. Thankfully, we didn't have a hard freeze like last year.
The birds have been enjoying all the new growth, and I have been enjoying watching them. Yesterday a male and female cardinal were perched on the white crab branches, looking like newlyweds--the perfect photo opportunity. Unfortunately, my skills at taking pictures of moving objects, let alone flying objects, are pretty bad. By the time I punched in all the appropriate settings on my camera, they had flown away. The goldfinches, to my delight, have found the new feeder I have temporarily set up in a nearby tree. To my amazement, they really do eat upside down! This photo is not very good, and even then it is the result of stealth and close cropping.
Walking around the yard and garden this time of year brings all kinds of wondrous surprises. This bush near the garage is not particularly attractive. It's ungainly, but no matter how much you try to prune it into shape, it just grows even more, with lots of little shoots spreading at its base as well.
Although it's low priority on my to-do list, I've been seriously thinking of cutting it down. This is the way it looked today (above), but last Friday it was blooming profusely, more than I had ever seen it.
In the shade garden I had a few other surprises. I planted some bulbs last fall, including daffodils, or so I thought.
I'm wondering, though, if this is really a narcissus? It has a very slender stalk, with two or three blooms at the top. I've never really understood the difference between a daffodil and a narcissus.
The hostas have really shot up in the last week, and I just had to take a picture of this one. This is one of my Sum and Substance hostas, which is about four years old. I know you can't tell from this picture, but the leaf is at least six inches wide--amazing! I've had good luck with hostas, so I am hoping this one grows into the giant it can become.
My tulips have been in full bloom for a week or more, and they always provide some surprises. I like to plant mid to late spring tulips to avoid the chance of snow, but by spring I never remember what I planted. Do I write down the varieties I purchased? No, I can't even remember what color I planted! I was happy to read in one of Carol's posts that she often forgets what she's planted, too. That made me feel better; like Carol, I'm often planting these on a cold, blustery November day, and after awhile I just look for an empty space to plant the few remaining bulbs. So spring always brings a pleasant anticipation as I wait for the tulips to bloom to see just what I did buy last year.
There were a few unusual ones like these with shades of pink and yellow.
And there were a few double pale yellow ones. (This is one of the mystery plants I showed back in early April.)
In the roadside bed I have double tulips also that open up to reveal pale pink petals on a background of white. Angelique? Angelina? I really need to write down what I plant this fall.
On the other hand, I do remember the tulips that I planted in the front of this bed. I ordered these from a mail-order company that often doesn't give the botanical names of plants; they called this pink and mauve mixture the "Monet Collection."
It's not exactly the Giverny Garden, but I'm happy with it. Although this picture doesn't do the grouping justice (it was windy again, and the middle of the day, so the tulips are fully opened), it provides a bright spot of color for passers-by and and anyone who enters my driveway. I know they won't last much longer, so I am admiring them while I can.