Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring's Beautiful Beginning

Spring has certainly arrived here in Athens, Georgia. After a slow start the garden has practically exploded into bloom. The difference from last weekend to today is just amazing.

Deciding on the winners for best in bloom awards was hard because there is so much from which to choose. I finally selected my favorite four pictures from hundreds taken over the last few days. How did we survive before digital cameras?

The Helleborus orientalis described here nearly a month ago are even more beautiful now. This is old news so no new picture. Sorry. Four pictures is about the maximum for a post.

Nothing says spring like bulbs. Daffodils, wonderfully fragrant hyacinths (pink), and dainty grape hyacinths bloom along a pine straw path through the garden. The red berries in the background are Nandina domestica. You can see white Helleborus flowers on the other side of the concrete table.
A southern garden isn't complete without camellias. I have half a dozen varieties and keep adding more of these beautiful winter-blooming evergreens. Three varieties are blooming right now, the best being Camellia japonica 'Victory White', pictured below.
Because it's usually the first deciduous shrub in my garden to bloom, Magnolia stellata is another favorite. They are also lightly fragrant, depending on the time of day and the wind. The ten-year old specimen pictured below stands a good 8 or 9 feet tall.
Another early bloomer making a late appearance this year is Pieris japonica 'Temple Bells'. The one pictured below is about 12 years old. For some reason it tends to skip blooming in odd-numbered years. Beneath it is Anemone blanda, also known as windflowers and another of my favorite bulbs.
That's the view from the garden this week. Enjoy, and stay tuned. Given all the rain we've had in the last six months and the way things are starting out, it should be a spectacular spring.

1 comment:

CathyB said...

Gorgeous! The only thing blooming in my yard is something I've heard called "snow drops". or "moon drops", maybe it is. I didn't plant them, so I don't know what they are. Maybe next year I'll have time to get some work done in the yard. Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy yours. Hope the pups are enjoying the springtime. cathyb

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