Friday, March 31, 2017

Hyacinth Parade

There are enough green shoots and fattened buds on the trees as March ends to know that it won't be long before there will be too many spring flowers blooming to count them all. I'm looking forward to the 2017 bulb show like this little parade of Hyacinths.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Magnolia Season Begins

Today, March 30th marks the beginning of Magnolia Season 2017 for me with the first of the earliest bloomers spotted.

And it was just three weeks ago that I was admiring those beautiful buds in the morning light and wondering just how close they were to popping.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Little Blue Stem: The Perfect Compliment for that Horse Sculpture

Let's say you happen to have something like 1000 old horseshoes lying around, maybe you have some mad welding skills too and you create a horse sculpture for your yard. What are you going to plant all around it so it looks like your horse might be in some natural surroundings? Why some Little Blue Stem grass, of course. It works well with this sculpture at Hofstra, I think.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Early Spring Late March Meditation

On this early spring morning the sky is bright, but a wintry wind blows and most trees in the New York skyline are bare. Still, already this march there are and were the subtle signs that it's all about to change. It really won't be long now before the entire landscape will be almost completely transformed, just as it is every year. Right now though, there are buds biding their time on the ends of branches everywhere, some color and new growth to see. And all you have to do to catch the show is keep your eyes open and pay attention for a moment.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Outside Now(ruz) It's Spring and Another New Year Beginning to Celebrate

In the end it probably doesn't matter what you call today's celebration. Be it the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox or the Persian New Year (which I just learned is called Nowruz). The winter and the spring meet today. The sun rises straight out of the East and sets due West. The day and the night are said to be equal.

There is still snow on the ground and the remnants of last year's blooms but there are also new buds up high and some green nearby. In New York the sky is clear and the day is bright and crisp. I celebrated with a little photo safari at Hofstra, which I hear doubles as a university. For me it's just this lovely public garden and arboretum though.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Picture Yourself Outside Now, Naked, With the Snow

Instead of these sweet and beautiful things, picture yourself outside now, naked, with the snow at your feet, and then try to tell me some delicate-looking flowers aren't Fierce, with a capital F. Spring may be just around the bend, but March is still roaring like a lion not like a lamb. And these earliest of bloomers? They are the best show in town.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

'Cornell Pink' Korean Rhododenron Buds Before the Storm

Monday afternoon before the Nor'Easter these early blooming Korean rhododendrons at Hofstra were showing some colorful buds. I guess I will find out how they fared in the storm and this freezing weather that followed it soon enough. The Missouri Botanic Garden has the following to say about these Rhododendrons, but it also notes that because it is so early blooming it is susceptible to frost damage to flowers, buds and emerging leaves:

"Rhododendron mucronulatum, commonly called Korean rhododendron is noted for its unusual (for rhododendrons) deciduous habit and for its early spring flowering period. It is native to Korea, Japan and northern China. It is a dense, upright, deciduous shrub which typically grows to a mature height of 4-8' tall and as wide. Flowers bloom in clusters at the branch tips in early spring (late March to early April in St. Louis) before the foliage emerges. This is perhaps the earliest blooming of the many species of cultivated rhododendrons. Elliptic, medium green leaves (to 3" long) are, as the species name suggests, mucronate (have sharp, pointed tips). Leaves turn interesting shades of yellow and red in fall."

Monday, March 13, 2017

Birch Catkins, Like Bird Footprints, in The Sky

Maybe it's because I have been bumping into so many crows this winter that these Birch Catkins blowing in yesterday's wind and blue sky reminded me a bit of some bird footprints in the snow at my feet?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I Wonder Exactly How Long the Season of Witch Hazel Lasts?

This week I caught some more witchhazel blooming. A truly spectacular hybrid, with intense bright yellow blooms just filling up almost the whole of the branches it seemed of these two shrubs, planted like bookmarks at either end of this small bridge-covered walkway at Hofstra. I have probably seen some bit of witch hazel blooming, though not always the same shrub or color or variety, for perhaps a month now I'd say this year. I bet, between our native species blooming in fall and these Asian hybrids of winter, I might have pictures or a memory of witch hazel blooming or showing some spectacular bright color in different years in every month between October and March.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Where Yesterday There Were Magnolia Buds and Bright Sun

Today brought snow covering the Callery Pear buds just outside my window. We are having some whiplash winter weather here, this year, for sure.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Today It's All About These Buds and That Bark

Sure there were crocuses blooming too and they were sweet, but the sun's rays catching those fat Magnolia buds was outta sight and the bark on that Monkey Puzzle Tree was enough to knock any guy or gal out.

                                                                    No?  I'm wrong?

                                                              Well,  I think I'm right.

Monday, March 6, 2017

One Early Bloomer this Early Spring and a Late Winter Past

Above, a picture taken at Hofstra recently on an unseasonably warm afternoon and below google reminding me of this late winter day March 6th five years ago. This time of year is the perfect time to pay attention to trees and plants and blooms and buds and what's still hanging on stunningly from last year. There is always so much happening to see.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Crow Tree Blooms

Oh no wait. There's no such thing as a crow tree. But the maple tree the crow show was in earlier this week was blooming. The flowers may not be as showy as those on the Viburnum below, (and even the those flowers are quite small) but even from street level they are visible.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Comes in Like a Lamb in Pink and Grey

On this warm grey morning, after spotting this blooming Daphne all I can think is... pink. For me this March has come in like a lamb in pink and grey.