Our first hellebores just couldn’t wait for spring. I placed my iPhone on the ground and shot upward to the sky to get this image. There is no possible way to get my regular camera in this position. Every day, I take a stroll around the garden to see what is emerging. Something new is happening every day!
“First Crocus and Chief Joseph” Heatherwood Spring
Last autumn we planted around 3,000 bulbs. I gave my gardening partner the assignment to go plant bulbs scattered around the garden. She took me for my word and now we are seeing little surprises popping up all over. This is one of the first blooms of the season.
Our Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine in its winter color gracefully watches over the baby crocus. It is like a guardian watching over its flock.
I view this spent rose every time I look out our family room window. At times, I become fixated with it and imagine how I can best photograph it to convey what I see and feel. Waking up from a late afternoon nap, I looked out and saw the rose side lit by the late afternoon sunlight. The wind was still and I was able to grab my camera with a 400mm lens and isolate the hip through the family room window. In post-processing, I simplified the image converting it to black and white and added a simple vignette blur.
Our forsythia is getting ready to bloom. As the saying goes, when the forsythia blooms, it is time to prune the roses. Next week my winter attraction will be cut down to prepare for new spring growth. So long my friend …
As I have commented several times before, every time I walk through our garden I see something from a different perspective. Many of the views through Heatherwood have been planned as part of the design. The one above is an unplanned gift, looking through the lower rock garden northwest to the surrounding hills and our neighbor’s cherry orchard.
We have several such views since our newly planted trees are relatively small. Over the years, the tree canopies will grow and block many of these “peek” views. In turn, they will frame and highlight other views. The garden will continuously change bringing new surprises. Exciting!
Last spring we planted six small witch hazels, 3 red (Diane) and 3 orange (Jelena). The Jelena (shown in my 9 Feb posting) was the first to bloom. The Diane started to bloom about a week earlier. The blooms on both are now faded. The plants are small, only 12 to 18 inches tall. They are forming the start of an understory of shrubs for one of our planting areas in the lower Heatherwood garden. We are searching to add a yellow species to fill out the witch hazel color template: red, orange, and yellow.
As the witch hazels mature, they will provide a beautiful burst of mid-winter color in the garden. The will act as the harbinger of the coming spring.
Nothing is perfect … nothing is permanent … nothing is complete. Wabi-sabi is a characteristic concept of our Heatherwood garden. I find beauty in every aspect of imperfection throughout our garden. This spent rose was a beautiful red flower in its prime. The summer flower’s fleeting beauty transitioned to these stems and rose hips in the fall and winter. In nature the hips would release the seeds to the ground. Its life is incomplete as the seeds create new plants.
I admire the beauty of this rose stalk and hips every day as I sit and read and look out our family room window. They fascinate me. I do not have the heart or desire to prune the winter roses to make them look neat. I just simply enjoy them as they are. There is plenty of time to prune the roses before the spring growth.
On a crisp winter’s morning, I gaze out over the Heatherwood landscape. I look over our immediate landscape to the hills surrounding our grounds. My eyes stop and become fixated on our neighbor’s beautiful cherry tree. It is the last standing memory of a bygone cherry orchard of the past.
We frequently walk by the tree on the way to pick up the mail. We stop and admire the tree throughout the year. Zelda, our neighbor’s Black Labrador, frequently greets us yearning for a pet.
I don’t know which I enjoy the most: the snow-covered panicle hydrangeas in winter or the profuse white blooms in the summer. Each conveys a different feeling: one a quiet, peaceful, solemn feeling, the other a robust splurge of brightness. The more I think about it, the easier the answer is. I like both for the enjoyment they bring.
We continue to get a little more snow. It is light enough not to incur any real inconvenience. Even though I anxiously anticipate the spring bloom, I appreciate the beauty of the winter season, especially with a blanket of fresh snow. Each season has its unique beauty. All I have to do is to look out our windows to discover little vignettes that highlight our garden.
Hearts and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. Our Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra) symbolize the Holiday. May your Valentine’s Day be a beautiful one filled with love and happiness.
A Little Trivia on the “Romantic” Valentine’s Day
The romantic Valentine’s Day was first brought to the public’s attention by Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules.” Valentine’s greetings were introduced in the Middle Ages. Written greetings came after 1400. The oldest existing greeting is from 1415 in a poem by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Valentine’s Day celebrations began in the 1600’s. The next century small tokens and handwritten notes were popular. Printed cards started to replace handwritten notes by 1900. Printed cards along with lower postal rates contributed to sending Valentine’s cards by mail. Ester A. Holland introduced mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards in 1840. Today an estimated 145 million Valentine’s cards are sent each year.