Sunday, April 25, 2010

Here comes the Sun! OK, 5 minutes of Sunshine

Just a quick note to change the top image in this blog, and to acknowledge the coming of Sol. The sun is awakening everything in our gardens, and right now, once again, we are commencing to search for those Euro SawFly larvae that should be appearing in a couple of weeks, now that our Mugos have put on their candles and needles are just about to grow. Our ornamental grass is happily attempting to cover everything in sight, soon to get a haircut. Everything is happy and growing well, except for the lavenders. They are still brown and look dead. Maybe they are.
Our Acer Japonica nishiki (above) is also coming alive and now starting to stretch her arms out, and will probably get a much needed beautification trimming in the coming weeks. I noticed yesterday, that her span has doubled since last year, though she hasn't grown too much in height, which is perfect for her tissue-y species. The image above, shows her with her pale leaf bracts still attached, a tinge of color to remind me of the red blood that courses through her veins, not to appear on the outside until Fall comes along. This image was taken 4/15/2010, and now 4/25/2010 she is in full leaf spread wearing bright lime green, and stretching about 5 feet from right to left, and only 20 or so inches in height, as she stands there proudly on her little hill.

Our red japanese maple has now set its leaves and is in full bloom. When one walks by, the sounds coming from the tree are amazing. It can sound as if there is an electrical line cut and flailing freely within the branches, ready to jolt anyone or any 'thing' that happens to get too close. Of course, this is all honeybee action while they busily grab their pollen from the red flowers that are almost invisible to see with the naked eye. Even the bees are hard to see unless one sits back to relax and contemplates things, because peace is what is needed for one to hear the action, and then to see it all come to life right in front of their eyes. This tree is so bright with the sun burning through it and the dark red contrasting impressions, it is hard to see anything else, including the bees that are having a ball here. At first I thought we were in the midst of a swarm, but that's not the case, it seems. These bees have places to go, they are employed. Literally.

Our Crape Myrtle is also in the midst of waking, soon to have lush green leaves, though it is currently still woody and chlorophyll doesn't seem to be as present in these first few baby leaf bract shoots.
Our lime green Porch bamboo (an unknown species) which at first glance appears to be a golden, but has long leaves that gracefully hang in downward arches, appears to be faking death here, but it is not dead...yet. It will be back very soon, as it is prolific in growth. When we used to live in the hills under the Douglas Fir canopy, this bamboo sat up on a handrail, its aerial roots (ok they're not really aerial roots, this plant tries to run a but, but we won't let it, so, to pay us back it sends out roots from every drainage hole. These roots one year wrapped around our deck handrails and started to grow leaves. However during the winter, being up on that handrail, the cold could reach places that normally would never be reached, and the complete bamboo would withdraw, receding into itself for preservation and protection from the cold, only to emerge the following spring. This is its state right now, new green shoots are starting to come out, so these brown leaves are going to have to go, very soon. Our goldens can be seen in the background, now about 12feet tall and still green from last year, weathering the winter's cold much better than this bamboo.

Ok, well that's it from our front yard, for now. I'll be shooting the Iris collection next. Our first 'one' is open now, bright sunny yellow in color. The remaining yellows which border the 2nd driveway, should be opening today or tomorrow if it stays sunny, the others are in various states of growth, and it will be fun to see which ones bloom, and what color combinations they show this year.