Saturday, March 29, 2014

More March Flowers In Northern California and a Little Rain!

 Happily, these last days of March have brought us some rain in the Redwood Empire. I watched these clouds float over the neighbors' trees and off to the east after one of our showers and was sorry to see them go, but we've had more rain since then and the ground is soaking it up.

This is a young New Zealand Tea Tree that I planted in the front  garden a few months ago.  Its blooms  are smaller than a dime.

 My next door neighbor of many years moved back to Montana while we were living down in  Carmel. She left a row of Iris on the edge of the street in front of her house. Here are two of her  blooms. 
My iris  haven't quite opened...but soon.


 Some of the  neighborhood oak trees reminded me that not just brightly colored soft petals are beautiful...and I agreed.

California Wild Lilac ...Ceanothus 

Yellow Lady Banks Rose
This is thornless and will climb a tree, drape a roof or trimmed up, behave itself and simply grace the neighbor's white picket fence.

               The yellow glow beyond the field of green is wild mustard which is blooming all over the county.

                                            Some of the trees are just beginning to leaf...

See how the tiny, but oh so many, mustard flowers glow from afar?

Purple  Vetch  of which there are many varieties.

A sampling of Sonoma County March flowers wouldn't be complete, especially in west county, without some apple blossoms.

                               On an unpaved alley in town, backed into a tangle of last year's black berries and vines of green ivy, sits this rusty truck.  I had just tucked my camera back into my pocket and almost didn't see old Tom napping.  He, like the bark of the oak trees, reminded me that beauty isn't all about the first blush of blooming.  And I agreed, but I sure am enjoying the flowers that have popped out this March.

                Some bulbs I brought home from Carmel have finally made their name known to me and are multiplying and blooming in a pot on my deck. They are Wand Flowers ( and yes there are other flowers also called this..hence my confusion...) botanical name Sparaxis.  I can see them from the kitchen table and they look so bright on the grey rainy days we have so badly needed.

So...spring is gets to some corners sooner than others, 
but I suspect it can't be too far away for any of the continent now.
After all, a few more days and it will be April.

Happy springtime.


Monday, March 24, 2014

March Flowers in Northern California

I spent the morning  watering and hoeing around our fruit trees.  Resting for a bit I found a few pictures I took March 18th of blossoms that got me to stop with my camera.

Freesia  a bulb originally from South Africa

Across the street  from us this tree leans out across the road...
I will have to check on it this summer and  see if it makes any fruit.
It is something that sprang up in our absence.

The blossoms are very white.

Many neighbors have planted fruitless blooms,
but  I am looking forward to our trees doing some bearing.
I will have to ask next time the neighbor is out what this showy tree is.
( I learned it is crab apple and it does bear with heavier crops every other year.)

My wisteria has begun to open and the bees are happy about that.

Lilacs are also blooming and the Dutch Iris are fat and ready to furl open.
Roses are budded up and the little green aphids are willing to devour them.

It has been such an early warm spring that winter veggies, like broccoli, are going to seed rather than heading up.  For now, no more sitting down for me.  Maybe in this last week of March I'll get a few more pictures.  In the meantime, back to pulling and  hoeing those weeds.
Happy springtime!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

February's Flowers in Northern California

In January I think the violet's were already blooming but where are my pictures of them? Perhaps in the cold I only took shaky shots. I was glad to find that both white and purple violets still grow randomly all over the back garden. Their blooms are tiny and I only really began to appreciate them when I was down on my knees. 

 In February these crocus sprang forth.  At night they close up and then with the light they smile again.
Every time I walked by these I was delighted and often thought of returning up the stairs for my camera.  My daughter took this snapshot with her phone.

On February 2,  a much appreciated rainy day, 
I hung out the bathroom window 
to capture this photo of the first  camellia blooms.

And then the magnolia trees started in...this one is at my next door neighbors.

Magnolias really are amazing...
you can see why it is tempting to mistakenly call them Tulip Trees

I planted the redwoods in the background  about 25 years ago.

The back garden is getting bloomy...the fruit trees are budding.  Mark made a gazebo for the climbing roses to lean on.  This photo is from Konstantin's artistic perspective. 

 So, making myself at home again in Sonoma County,  I have been outside ...a lot.  March has already been as warm here as it ever was on the central coast.  
Come this summer I'll probably be reading books and writing in some cool cave of a room.

Not that I haven't been reading too, but I'll save that for another time, this was just to share a few of February's flowers.

best wishes,

Friday, March 7, 2014

Early Birds...Busy People...

Do people still send greeting cards in the USPS?  They do! 

Early bird cards have come to wish me a happy birthday.  They delight me in specific and unique ways, 
because of the giver and the way they managed to convey special connections... 

                                 "goldfinches" (c) Nick Wroblewski an artiststowatch card                                      
                                "watercolor" by artist Jane Suess                                                                                                              "teatime" by my friend Debi  printed on her own computer...

 and notice what healthy dainties Debi wants to serve me ( her teas are legend and have been known to have more than almonds and apples...) 

And I marvel they remembered knowing that all three of these women are rather busy, especially right now...but cards have arrived to remind me of friendship over the years through happy days and hard ones...and I am blessed.

Can you read the Swedish Proverb?
* Those who wish to sing will always find a song.*

That thought alone seemed worth sharing.

best wishes!