The Pink Dancer

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Two-toned curving whorls,

The floral dancer swishes

In pink flourishes.

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Walking by an enclosed garden near my friend’s house in Augsburg-Inningen, Germany last week, I couldn’t help but notice this shrub that was bursting with clusters of pink magnolia flowers.

It was the first time I’d ever seen magnolia flowers beyond gazing at them in illustrated horticultural books. ¬†ūüôā

 

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Cheery Faces!

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Daffodil duo;

In among the brown and green,

They smile – springtime cheer!

 

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A week ago I went exploring in the front garden.  I found a few yellow daffodil buds popping up and a couple of flowers opened in full, like these two.

Something about their sunny yellow¬†colour that has me singing inside. ¬†ūüôā

I also noticed how some daffodil’s leaves and buds were so determined to show themselves, that they broke their way through last year’s leaves, taking them upwards with them!

Leafy collars are the new fashion. ¬†ūüôā

 

 

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First Flowers of Spring!

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Popped up from the ground,

Tiny green stems holding up

White flower greetings!

 

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The start of every new spring season I always keenly await those first brave little bulb flowers who cheerily greet me with their delicate white faces.

Such a joyful sight to behold amid the backdrop of last year’s brown and dried vegetation.

Just now I went outside to capture some of their beauty to share with you.

I hope you like them!

The flower in the photo above is a snowdrop.

 

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These next ones are called “Glory in the Snow” and also “Striped Squill.”

(….the names I found as I was googling….. ¬†ūüôā¬†)

 

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For me it’s an endless pleasure to gaze at these tiny white spring flowers.

Here are more snowdrops…..

 

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Surprise in my Compost Bin!

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Solitary plant —

A stray seed took root this spring

In my compost bin.

 

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As I’d go visiting my compost bin over the summer, I noticed at one point that a plant had taken root and was seemingly doing quite well. ¬†It had its share of sun, and I checked that it had enough moisture ie. water.

The leaves and look of the plant puzzled me, so I didn’t know for a while what it would turn into, although I suspected perhaps a flowering plant?

A few days ago, when I went to look again and saw that leaves were starting to wilt with the cooler autumn temperatures, I looked more closely and realized that what I had thought might be that Chinese lantern plant with its papery “flowers”¬†was actually….a ground cherry plant!!

I am relatively new to ground cherries, although ever since I first bought them via a farmer’s market a couple of years ago, I have become an avid eater of them! ¬† Whenever I find some, I will get a pint. ¬†They are usually sold with their delicately light, “papery” covers enveloping them (you can see some in the photo above). ¬†And the ground cherries quickly disappear on my drive back home. ¬†Yes, they are just SO good!! ¬†For nibbling! ¬†Tart and bursting with juice.

I suppose that a stray seed from one ground cherry last year found its way into my compost bin and germinated this season…..?

What a lovely surprise!

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This modest-looking plant produced a good two dozen yummy ground cherries – that clearly was a gift from Mother Nature!

Note:  I just did some quick research.  Ground cherries are classified under the name Physalis plant (in the nightshade family).  And I have learned that there are some connections to the Chinese Lantern (aha!), the tomatillo, and the native gooseberry.  That explains a lot!  I have bought tomatillos from a local organic farmer as well, and just recently I came across another farmstand selling the gooseberries.  Gooseberries share a tartness to the ground cherry but have a little bit more sweetness in them.

 

The Mallow

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A deepest of reds,

Lovely when fully opened;

The Mallow flower.

 

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When I was visiting my parents two weeks ago, I spent some time walking about in their backyard garden, to gaze upon and admire all the various flowers and plants that my Dad lovingly tends.

This was the first time for me to see one of their favourites Рthe mallow.  The flowers are huge and enthralling to look at.

Here is a close-up of its center….

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The beauty of nature in its finest of details and design….

I had meant to take a photo of the flower with my hand beside it to show perspective, but in the excitement I forgot to do that, so my parents kindly sent me one from their collection.

In this final photo, you can see the comparative size of one of the mallow flowers with my Mom’s hand next to it.

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Mystery Insect

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You hear the buzzing,

Fast wing beats; it seeks nectar.

And look — it’s orange!

 

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There are two of us working in the garden….weeding and hoeing and trimming. ¬†At one point we stopped to take a breather and admire the flowers that were blooming.

We could see the busy butterflies, delicately perching on purple or blue flowers here and there in the search for delicious nectar.

We could hear the hum of sound created by several bumble bees, moving along purposefully from flower to flower for their share of nectar and, of course, pollen.

Then Ryan, my gardening partner, spied something¬†unusual. ¬†At first he thought it was a really tiny hummingbird, as it seemed to fly and hover similar in that style. ¬†It was hard to get a really good glimpse of it, so I pulled out my phone to snap some shots to help us with identification. ¬†As we observed its movements, it eventually became clear that it WASN’T a hummingbird but another type of insect. ¬†And the photos seem to support that idea.

As both Ryan and I have never seen such an insect before, I decided to post some photos of it on my blog and see if any of my readers might be familiar with it and could enlighten me as to its identity.

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Any ideas???

 

 

Garden Resident

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Sits ever so still;

But on approaching too close,

Whoop!  Leaping surprise!

 

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It was one of those days when a lot of wildlife showed up in the garden as I was hoeing and weeding.

First, a more beige-coloured frog surprised me, when it jumped from beneath some leaves, as I must have been getting closer with the hoe.

Then a little later, this little green, spotted fellow crossed my path and soon sat in the cool shade and let me take oodles of photos. Such a cutie!

AND THEN! As I continued hoeing, all of a sudden there was a slithering going on! Startled me a bit until I realized it was a garter snake РI guess I disturbed her rest.  And I watched her do her slithery circle thing through the grass and back into the flower bed.  As she disappeared underneath some protective leaves, another frog suddenly leaped from that same area and crossed the path to the other side!!

And among some blue-ish flower spikes, there was a constant buzzing and wing flapping going on – both bumble bees and butterflies dining busily on all the nectar.

Lots of action happening!

 

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