All the bright new things

 I thought I would start the new gardening year, this fine spring morning, with a review of what’s going on in my yard. This is to honor all the beauty I see right around me, and to anticipate a wonderful year of outdoor adventure.
First, this Grand Mullein is a sole survivor of last year. The warm weather did not complete kill out this Grand Mullein. It has clung to a crack in the wall for months. It tried to grow a stalk but was too late; I wonder if it will do this this year. While technically a roadside weed, it is a reminder of the time when not all of us were connected to a grid of power, sewer, water, etc.
Here is my front yard. Pieris Japonica is the star right now, with cascading white flowers. This plant took a few years to establish, now it’s right at home between some junipers and azaleas, who are waiting their turn to flourish.
Who loves the smell of wet sock??? This Photinia has been covering the corner of our front yard for years. She only requires a trim before flowering, and maybe once if some “rabbit ears” occur. But, being us, we let her go right on to the big white flowers which grace the noses of anyone who passes by. My neighbor on the other side of her must hate this. But then, that’s what neighbors do best, anyway. A wonderful, colorful, interesting, if smelly, evergreen plant.
A new member of my yard is this Bloody Dock, bought last year on a whim. We placed it in a shallow part of our pond, and this year it took an early start to grow very large. I will be waiting to see what type of flowering mechanism it utilizes, and that will determine ifit should be divided or just left alone. The Dock family is sort of invasive; I’ll keep a wait and see attitude on this one. Meanwhile, it does take some interesting pictures.
Speaking of my pond, following is a picture of the whole pond, seen earlier this spring. We do have goldfish, which are in another picture. The pond is surrounded by spring bulbs – daffodils, tulips, many types of ferns and native wildflowers. One of the most interesting is the Solomon’s Seal, which seems to be spreading through the entire area behind the pond. The other prominent dwellers there are Virginia Bluebells and May Apples.

Here is a picture of our fish!
My garden would not be complete without some fragrance, aside from our lovely Photinia.
Near our pond, I have many shrubs. I became interested in the Viburnum family while taking a horticulture course at Brookdale Community College several years ago. Since then, I’ve explored the possibilities of these wonderful, brilliant plants. The best thing about them is that they remain a prominent presence in the yard at all times, either because of the bark, or the leaves, which are substantial. Here is the Carlesii in bloom, accompanied by nearby tulips. Her fragrance reaches all the way across the yard, and it is a joy to sit near the pond and simply inhale her presence. I wish I could bottle this some way and preserve it beyond the memory of the scent.

 

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