Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Host of Golden Daffodils - Spring '08

On April 16th - the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - our daffodils began to open in profusion! They gracefully gave me three open blooms for Bloom Day, but waited until the next day to begin their big "Welcome Spring" show. Since then they've wowed us with their sheer exuberance!
You can well imagine how clogged my poor hard drive is with hundreds of daffodil photos, after a long, color-starved winter.

I took photos in the morning light......

.....and in the warm glow of the afternoon sun. Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa
Always with a kitty helper.....

......or three. That's Cleo (on the left), Jasmine and Kaspurr, being just a little too helpful.

There's a lone pink hyacinth in the rose and clematis garden, and more blooming gaily in other gardens, but I'll show you those next time.

Here's a cheerful white clump growing over by the vegetable garden, where once a compost pile sat. I tossed them on the pile years ago, thinking they were beyond saving, but the hardy little bulbs grew and bloomed, continuing to delight us each spring.

And in the front yard, golden yellow against an azure sky.

We've had summer-like weather for the past week, with temperatures in the mid 80's ( approximately 29ÂșC). I've been out working in the gardens whenever possible, and soaking up that wonderful, warm sunshine. Posted by Picasa

The small blue blooms of Scilla blend well with the bright yellow daffs.

I couldn't leave out the last of the crocus.

These lovely pale beauties have finished blooming now.....

.....but they certainly deserve to be included, after putting on such a pretty show! Posted by Picasa

Down by the road the fence garden is doing its share.....

.....providing plenty of bright yellow bouquets for the house, and church on Sunday.

I love the mix of white with the yellows. The large yellow daffs are King Alfred, but I don't know the names of the others. I planted them years ago and don't remember the names now. Posted by Picasa

There are a couple of clumps of these old fashioned doubles.

And here you can see the iris are growing nicely, getting ready for their turn to shine.

And the Cutleaf Maple is beginning to leaf out.

This poem was a favorite of my father, and has always been one of mine too. Posted by Picasa

William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company
I gazed -and gazed -but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

Friday, April 18, 2008

BBG - Banzai Museum & Japanese Garden

Continuing with our tour of the Brooklyn Botanic we are in the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, which is the oldest collection of dwarfed, potted trees in the United States.

These miniature trees and shrubs are amazing.

Some of the trees in the collection are well over a century old.

Text panels introduce the history of bonsai and explain culture and care. It's a little too labor intensive for me to want to try, but it would certainly be a fascinating hobby.

Now we've left the Conservatory behind and are strolling around the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. These Higan and Weeping Higan cherry trees are in full bloom now, but we were a couple of weeks too early to see them casting the reflections of their beautiful blooms in the pond.

This link shows a map of which cherries are now in bloom.


Here's a link to a site on Flickr where people are collectively posting photos of the cherry blossoms at BBG. It's well worth a look. Posted by Picasa

On the hill above the bridge, hidden behind the trees to the left of the photo, is a Shinto Shrine which I neglected to take a photo of (hard to believe, I know), but if you'd like to see it you can take a peek at Flatbush Gardener's photos of it here.

Several turtles were enjoying a bask in the warm sunshine. The morning's brisk wind calmed half way through the day, and gave us a lovely, mild afternoon. Posted by Picasa

This lovely shrub is Japanese Pieris. Posted by Picasa

'White Cascade'..... Posted by Picasa

......and 'Dorothy Wyckoff'

The Yoshino Cherry was one of the few that were in bloom.

It has a slight fragrance.

The bright vermilion Torii signifies the presence of the shrine tucked away in the pine grove up on the hill. Posted by Picasa

We enjoyed watching the mallard ducks having a grand time on the pond.....

......and the colorful koi,

.........which were as big as the ducks! Posted by Picasa

.....and such vibrant colors!

All in all it was a wonderful day, spent in a glorious setting, with delightful company. Who could ask for anything more? Posted by Picasa
Thanks to all who helped name plants in the other 2 BBG posts. It's amazing what one can find out in Blogland, where there are so many willing helpers :)