Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Magic Moment

When is the best time to make photos in the garden? Not  the time of day -- the best time of day is when it is possible to get out there among them. Experts give early morning, late evening, cloudy days.  But when is the best time as far as when the garden hits that perfect moment for a particular plant or blossom? I want to get out there and record every first little blossom of its kind, like the tiny maroon poppies that have ventured a bloom.

I did record it for my pleasure, but you will not view the pitiful thing. Soon there will be big sumptious poppy heads vying for attention. California poppies are popping up fast, too.

I could hardly wait for the first orange poppy.
Soon there were more than a dozen, and pinks, and azaleas.

Azaleas are starting to open. I can hardly wait for the various colors as they open. 
It is hard to wait for the full glory of colorful shrubs when a little color shows up.

The only ones even partly open are the whites, falling down the slope.
They are not fully open and soon I'll make more pics and wonder why
I didn't wait until they were a solid mass of white.

This baby Pink Pearl azalea fell under the mower one day. I stuck metal posts around it and butterfly flags so it could recover, which it is doing. I could hardly wait to record its progress.

Wisteria is in its glory. I wanted to ride up to the 'big road' and make pics of the wisteria in the woods across the state highway. At one time, it was all bulldozed away, revealing a log cabin underneath all that purple. Pine trees were planted and now wisteria is again taking the area. When we went for a ride, the owners had burned under the pines and the woods were a smoky mess. Wisteria survived.

I made pics of my own wisteria instead. We cleared out all the wisteria/nandina/catbrier/spirea tangle  in late winter and left only the wisteria that grows up through a boxwood hedge. I prune it throughout the year to make sure runners do not sneak across the lawn to the fence or house and long vines do not leap upward to climb nearby trees. The fragrance is overpowering and drunken bees swarm it. I saw a dark swallowtail butterfly but he was too shy to be photographed and dashed away when I came close.

I photographed the last of the blooming daffodils and then more bloomed. They looked so much like the previous ones I didn't do it over. Even yesterday, he-who-mows commented on the pretty yellow and white flowers blooming outside. I wanted to rush out and make more daffodil pics.
I did let daffodils sneak into the pics of the wisteria and dogwood, just a bit.

Tom mentioned this morning that crape myrtles were opening in his garden. Hey, so are mine! Only the lavenders. White, pink and watermelon have no leaves yet.
A little bird sat in the crape myrtle I was trying to capture.
Oh, look, there are two California poppies!


  1. Lots of magic moments indeed! What a fantastic way to grow wisteria - you can enjoy it and it won't eat your house!

  2. So many magic moments ... the white azalea is already quite stunning as is that gorgeous baby Pink Pearl azalea. It's a fabulous collection of azaleas.
    But the wisteria is just drop dead gorgeous ... such a beauty.

  3. I know I know. I'm waiting on the magic moments myself. I spend more time walking around with a camera these days than I do gardening. And I have a lot more gardening to do before it gets really hot.

    And I noticed today in Cheraw, the pecan trees are starting to bud. They're not leafing out just yet, but the tips of the branches are swelling. Could it be?

    It almost seems to me that we're catching up to your zone fast here in NC. All along the highway to Hartsville and on to Lydia, there's wysteria in full bloom. I lost count of all the azaleas in bloom. The one forsythia bush I saw had hardly any yellow left. I suppose the rest are just green again.

    No poppies yet in my yard, the but the foliage is growing rapidly. I should have larkspur blooming in about a week, if we get the rain promised on Thursday.

    I love this time of year. The only thing that compares is when the first maple leaves turn brilliant red.

  4. I will be as excited as you if I can walk around the garden like yours and spot all those glories! Love all those azaleas, and that wisteria just made me speechless!

  5. Neil Jean,

    Wow the wisteria there is so full! Lovely gardens to be in right now.

    I know of an island on Jordan Lake that the entire 150 ft x 50 ft covers completely in wisteria. Seen from the causeway it is breath taking.

  6. Hello Nell,

    You know, I never realized how many beautiful colors that azaleas came in. Yours are so beautiful.

  7. What a wonderful colours of spring.
    Truly they all look so marvelous.
    Happy Easter!

  8. Looks like Jack Frost and his good friend Ole' Man Winter maybe gone for good now!!

  9. You have such a lot of spring beauty to enjoy.

    I noticed that unique birth bath! Did you do the tile? I have never noticed it before and deserves a place of honor.

  10. You're really leaping into the lush abandon of full spring, aren't you Nell Jean? What a splendid wisteria--something that doesn't flower here until June, or even early July. Mine is tiny yet; a piece off the massive one that my dear late friend Captain Steele had growing at his farm. Hubby doesn't know where I plan to train it. ;-)
    Glad to see some daffs still with you. I hope to have them blooming this week, if this weather holds.

  11. Oh Nell ~ How absolutely delightful and wonderful it is to visit your gardens. I just love your wisteria. Since I cannot grow it down here I am looking for alternatives and have found a couple that I'm watching grow.

    My main pink crapes are starting to show new growth but I'm still waiting on the Queen Crape to do so.

    Enjoy the wonderful beauty that surrounds you in scents, color and forms.


  12. I always admire wisteria in bloom. This one is not an exception! But I just didn’t decide yet to get one. The reason is, as you have mentioned already, that they just grow and grow and there is no stopping them...

  13. I can almost imagine you dashing from one emerging beauty with your camera to the next Nell Jean! I long for some wisteria, but am a little scared to plant it, so I will happily enjoy your photos instead. The one with the drift of daffies who have tiptoed into the foreground is just delightful!

  14. You have so much spring color!

    It is so hot here (will be 88 today and 90 tomorrow) that the Kwansan cherry tree bloomed yesterday and is growing leaves today. Last year, it bloomed on April 20.

  15. aloha,

    wow alot of magic moments, i love the white flowers against the wisteria blooms - its'll be taking lot of amazing photos soon morning, late evening and cloudy days!

  16. Just lovely! I'm in desperate need of some magical moments in my garden. Until the snow melts I guess I'll live vicariously through you. :)

  17. I find myself taking photos of the same plants and garden scenes over and over, in all the different stages. I have to remind myself what I have already posted, so I don't repeat myself too much! Your photos are truly lovely. I love the wisteria. It is so romantic, voluptuous and enticing, but don't let it get carried away!

  18. I love the joyful celebration of your garden I can hear in every word you've written! That's the spirit and it's so much better then my wondering if a visitor would ind the mess! You are an inspiration! gail ps The best ever wisteria I can imagine it's sweet scent!

  19. Gosh, Nell Jean, you have taken some lovely spring photos. It's the essence of spring in fact. Thank you so much for sharing.~~Dee

  20. I have been enjoying all the beautiful flowers around Lake Eufaula where we spend our winters. I have tried to take pictures to remember the spring as we head home to Washington state to our main home where we spend summers.

    I am still learning the names of all the southern plants, so your site is very interesting and informative.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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