Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blooming Friday ~ Prunus mume

We've gotten a reprieve from the cold temperatures in the last couple of weeks: a lot of rain, but also some warm beautiful sunny days. Good thing, since we're expecting a winter storm tomorrow.

The warmth drew out the Prunus mume blooms. These will likely be stricken by temps in the middle teens in a couple of days, but that happens to winter bloomers. There may still be buds left to continue the show into February. This is the tree in the big perennial bed

and this is my favorite P. mume, near the mailbox.

The weather was so warm it even drew out the Honeybees. It's not unusual to see them foraging in the middle of the winter if we get some warm days.

I love this tree. The flowers are lovely in every stage -- there are flowers in many shades of pink on the tree at once -- and the fragrance is so sweet.

Thank you to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Rebecca of In the Garden, in need of some color, put together a delightful post about rainbow colors. Most of us are starved for color this time of year, whether we're looking at pristine white-and-charcoal landscapes, muddy snow, or just plain mud. The winter landscape can be very beautiful but isn't big on color. Especially with the lack of exposure to sunlight that goes along with winter, I think the human eye needs color. No wonder some people in Arctic zones paint their houses every color of the rainbow.

This beautiful rainbow appeared above our neighbor's pasture in August.

I think the best kind of red is velvety.

I love orange but find it a little difficult to place in the garden. But not impossible. :)

My favorite oranges are velvety too.

American Lady

Or sparkly (I'm addicted.)

Or both.

Nothing quite glows like the beautiful golden hues of Rudbeckia and Helianthus.

Pure lemon yellow is nice too. This is 'Hyperion'

and a beautiful noid.

Summer is green.

Sweet pepperbush and swamp cyrilla

along with a green tree frog.

Onto my favorite colors, blue and violet.

Wouldn't it be nice if winter trees were this colorful?

Brazilian blue sage is such an intense shade of blue.

Indigo Buntings can look almost black, a rich shade of
indigo blue, or even turquoise, depending on the light.

Great blue lobelia

Clematis 'HF Young'


Buddleia 'Petit Indigo', which looks more violet than indigo.

Seedling spiderwort

Hibiscus syriacus

Japanese iris

Penstemon 'Midnight'

I hope this post has provided a little bit of a color fix!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blooming Friday ~ Sisters' Garden

There is a garden in a neighborhood just across the street from UNC-Chapel Hill that I have admired for many years. The caretakers of this garden are twin sisters; one moved there with her husband in the 1940's, and when the husband of the resident sister became ill over 20 years ago the second sister moved there too. You can read more about the sisters here. They are now 94 years old.

I took these pictures when we visited this garden last April. Chapel Hill is about an hour away from our farm and we visit four or five times a year. I grew up near Chapel Hill, my dad is a professor at the university, and my husband and I went to college there so we have a lot of ties to Chapel Hill.

Isn't the house charming? It's so elegant and simple in its lines. Perhaps I haven't seen much architecture but I've never seen anything quite like it. Even the green shingle roof is perfect.

To me their garden is the quintessential Southern garden: *lots* of azaleas and camellias. It reminds me of a beautiful Charleston garden, except that it's roomier and backed by the expansive Battle Woods, which is owned by the university. On each side of the lawn are curvilinear beds planted with tulips (which are replanted every year), iris and perennials, which merges with a huge bank of azaleas at the sides and back of the house.

Isn't this a gorgeous azalea?

It looks like a cross between a freesia and an apple blossom.

At the back of the house the garden is beautiful too: a large tree underplanted with iris and tulips in the center, a huge bank of azaleas and camellias on the side (a continuation of the bank of azaleas that began in the front yard), and then a terraced garden with more iris, azaleas and perennials that slopes down to an alley that backs the property. I love alleys like those. They were also in the small town in Indiana that my grandparents lived in.

A row of azaleas at the bottom of the terrace.

Visitors then ascend a narrow stone staircase, beneath this beautiful camellia and azalea

to an amazing expanse of azaleas at the other side of the house.

A view from the front of the house.

And standing next to the sidewalk. So many tulips!

There are other gardens in the neighborhood as well; I think the neighbors
have been inspired by the two sisters. :) I love this lavender-flowered azalea

and the low stone walls that are surround the yards of many of houses and buildings in Chapel Hill.

Thank you to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday.

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