Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

May 7, 2013

Springtime, Lovely Springtime!

I love this time of year. This part of the world is coming alive with green grass and leaves and the bloomers of spring. We’ve had a string of 17 days in a row with no rain, and while I know we need the rain (coming soon according to the local forecast), I’ve even thoroughly been enjoying my rides to work in the morning: the sunshine at that time of day is gentle and beautiful and lights the flowering trees and greening lawns in a way that makes me remember to breathe deep and appreciate the moment.

When I walk out to my car, the air is perfumed with these:
lilac
Lilacs – mmmmm, is there a better spring time smell? And I’m going to have an abundant amount of blooms this year. The tops of my trees all look like this:
abundant lilac
They haven’t quite opened yet, that’s why the dark color, but they are beginning.

During all this lovely weather, I’ve been outside when time allows (mostly weekends) working on my yard. I did a lot of cleaning up and pruning during the April break from school. In addition to all the usual work, I made a decision to rip out a perennial bed that had not been looking overly healthy for the past few years:
periennial bed -before
I kept only what remains of my bearded irises, – they are yet to bloom this year and I don’t know how many blooms I will get – the bleeding heart
bleeding heart and my “crazy poppy”- click here for the story of that moniker.

On Saturday morning, I made a visit to my favorite local garden center, 16 Acres Gardens. (They are called that because they are in a part of Springfield known as “16 Acres” not because there are 16 acres of gardens)
garden center 1

garden center 2

It is still just a little too early around here for planting tender annuals and vegetables (unless you’re a bit of a daredevil and willing to watch the weather each night for frost warnings!) but I was more than ready to go spend the generous gift card I received from my dad for my birthday to replant that perennial bed. I came home with 9 new perennials of varying sizes and heights ranging in colors from pinks to purple to purplish-blue and planted them that afternoon:
perrenial bed - after
(I’m rather proud of myself for installing that new border around the bed too, even if it is a less than perfect circle!)

My latest-to-bloom-in-the-neighborhood daffodils are in full bloom now:
daffodil

daffodils

daffodil

as well as the giant rhodo-azalea:
full bloom rhodo-azaleas

I’ve seen two butterflies in the past few days – can the hummingbirds be far behind? I’m excited to hang up two new, unique hummingbird feeders I received for my birthday – I haven’t taken pictures of those yet but I’m sure I will do that soon.

I finally cleaned the vegetable garden patch of last year’s debris and removed the decrepit fence surrounding it. Next outdoor projects: put up a new fence and mulch my perennial bed. I’m also trying to grow some new grass in an area the dogs have ruined. There’s so much going on in the yard! But I do love this time of year!

May 7, 2012

Hearts ‘n’ Flowers

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I was working outside this past weekend, trying to get caught up on some of my outdoor “spring cleaning” chores that have been neglected this year.  You might remember a little adventure I mentioned a time or two that caused me not to be at home during our spring break from school – the time that I normally take care of these things.

I worked on cleaning the flower bed in my front yard, and felt satisfied with that work for the day.  There was much bending, pulling, pushing and such, and rather than have my back go out from trying to do too much, I decided one flower bed spruce-up was enough for one day.  The sun was out and at a lovely angle for taking photos, so I decided to grab my camera and spend some well deserved time behind the lens instead of the wheelbarrow.

Problem was when I tried to take a picture of those white bleeding hearts.  I noticed all sorts of leftover winter debris invading my pictures.  “I’ll just move a twig or two out of the way,” I said to myself.  It wasn’t working.  But I was determined for pictures of the cute little hearts.
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Rip, prune, yank, rake, pile, push.  Those were my next actions.  You see, my butterfly bushes surround this particular bleeding heart plant.  Once I started, I couldn’t stop until it was done.  That ever happen to you?  You make the decision to do one thing, and then find yourself completely involved in a task you hadn’t planned on?  I suppose it is a bit similar to my HCDD, that I’ve mentioned before.

Now the butterfly bushes lean up against my deck and they unfortunately littered their leavings all over, so not only did I find I need to clean up that whole bed, I then found it necessary to sweep up the deck too.  **SIGH**

I did, however, eventually get around to taking pictures of what I found in bloom in the yard.
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Many of my blooms seem less bountiful this year.  I’m thinking it has to do with that crazy streak of crazy-warm weather we had in March that started everything growing and budding ahead of time.  That was followed by cooler, more “normal” temps and everything seemed to stall out a bit.

These azaleas are an exception to that observation, however:
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I don’t think I’ve ever seen this particular shrub looking so full and lush.

The “true” rhododendrons (as opposed to my early-blooming “rhodo-azaleas”) are starting to bloom now.  I found this one nestled away in the shadows:
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Now that I’ve confessed my YWDD (yard work distraction disorder), I have one more comment on this spring that I feel the need to express.  I wish Mama Nature could get us a little more regularly into the 70° range.  We’ve been hovering with highs in the 60’s, but the mornings are still chilly and I’m getting really tired of my current wardrobe!  Anyone else having this problem getting ready for work?  I only have so many “transitional season” outfits, and I’ve worn them to death over the last month or so!

I realize that last paragraph was extremely random.  I apologize if you are still reading at this point.  Welcome to my train-of-thought.  Sometimes it is a bumpy ride!

March 31, 2012

Bereft of Daffs

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 9:43 am
Tags: , , , ,

The daffodils have been busting out all over due to the crazy warm weather we had for the previous few weeks, except for here in my yard.  My daffodils are planted on the north side of my house, in the shadow of the house for most of the day, therefore they are the last daffodils in all of agricultural zone 5 to bloom I believe!
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These are not my  daffodils.  In a “normal” spring, most folks’ daffies in this region begin to bloom in the beginning of April.  Mine are literal “late bloomers” generally popping out mid-to-late April.  I’ve been longing to photograph and share them – although at this point, they will seem  rather boring, I’m sure, since you’ve all been seeing them for a while now.  I couldn’t help myself, however, when I was at the Cape last weekend visiting my mother.
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After we had lunch at Captain Parker’s Pub ,(I had some of their famous, award-winning clam chowder -mmmm!) I couldn’t help but take pictures of the flowers surrounding the restaurant.  My mom, daughters and sister waited patiently in the car while I grabbed a few shots.  There was even hyacinth:
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Back at home, I’m still waiting for my daffies.  I had hyacinths too, but some underground critter helped itself to a meal of the bulbs a few years ago.

The forsythias in the neighborhood are blooming like crazy and I’ve really been wanting to photograph some, but I don’t have any on my property.  Same goes for dogwood and magnolia trees.  I’ve been trying to decide if there’s a place that I could take pictures of someone else’s and not look too creepy doing it, LOL.

My hybrid rhododendron azaleas have traditionally been early bloomers as far as rhododendrons go, but to have them budding in March I think is a record for them.  The buds on it are in various stages right now.
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Some of the buds that were a little further ahead aren’t faring so well in the return to more normal March temps.  We had some nights this past week that went down to the 20’s.  I’m sure that was a bit of a shock to flowers that had experienced 70’s and 80’s just a short time ago.

I looked back in my archives, and found this photo from April 30th last year:
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That makes these blooms almost a month ahead this year.

Hubby and I are headed to a wedding later today.  I can’t help but feel a little sorry for the bride.  After almost two weeks of above normal temperatures and sunny skies, today’s forecast is for a high of 48° and on and off drizzling rain and wet snow.  I guess that’s the chance one takes planning a March 31st wedding.

I’m hoping to get April’s photo hunt list posted tomorrow.  I’m still trying to come up with ideas for the list.  If you  have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

May 12, 2011

Full o’Flowers

Thank goodness April showers do indeed bring May flowers.  It really feels like spring here today and my yard is fully perfumed with the scent of what seems to be a prodigious amount of lilac blooms this year.  I have lilac trees lining my driveway and on two corners of my house.  The trees seems to have outdone themselves this year.  I take a deep breath every time I step out my front door:

lots o' lilacs

lilacs

lilacs

My actual azalea (as opposed to my “rhodo-azalea”) is now blooming…

azaelea

…as well as the very beginning of lilies of the valley:
Lily of the valley

While I scoured the yard investigating what might be in bloom, I found these along the edge of my neighbor’s and my property, along with a fat, fuzzy, bumble bee:
bumble bee

Anyone know what these tiny blooms could be ?

The bleeding hearts continue growing and blooming steadily, and I couldn’t resist the pretty light on this stem:
bleeding hearts

Coming soon….
peony bud

peonies!  Love me some peonies.

Hope spring is busting out where you are too!

May 8, 2010

What’s Blooming – Early May Edition

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 4:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Here in Western Massachusetts at the end of the first week of May, the greenery is ahead of its usual pace due to some early, very warm weather in April.  Normally, I mow my lawn for the first time during the first week of May; I’ll be doing it for the third time this year sometime this weekend if the thunderstorms we’ve been having end soon.  The trees in my backyard that usually leaf out and block the view of the neighbors this week, have been fully green for a few weeks already.  And here at the end of the first week of May, some of my favorite flowers are almost gone already.  Luckily I took their picture earlier in the week:
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If any flower ever needed “smell-o-net” it’s definitely lilacs.

A brief shower earlier this week provided an opportunity to take some pretty shots with rain droplets on them:
azalea

Pink Azalea (did I spell that right? I always feel like I spell that wrong.)

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I liked the way this shot came out.  I thought the tiny droplets on this delicate lily of the valley gave it a nice touch – similar to Tracy’s “sprinkles” a few days ago.

While we are looking at a pretty white flower, here’s another:
white bleeding heart

I find the shape of bleeding hearts charming.

Continuing the white theme, this next shot is not so much a “traditional” bloom.  I actually got the idea to take this picture from Michaela.  Hers were blackberry blooms, and this raspberry bud is far less spectacular looking, but I still wanted to show this picture.  I liked the star shape.
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This next picture comes with a question: does anyone have any idea what this is?
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There are hundreds of these in my lawn, near the back of my yard where its a bit shadier.  They are only as tall as blades of grass and I run them over with the lawnmower.  They don’t bother me, so I don’t try to get rid of them.

In the last edition of What’s Blooming, I promised to share a shot of the full-sized red bleeding heart plant.  I can’t remember now if this is as big as it gets for the year, but this is what I’ve got so far:
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The promise of another of my favorite flowers appears in this shot as well.  Toward the back you see irises.  I have some bearded irises that I really love which are usually in bloom later in May.  Happily, there are many buds visible out there, so be sure to come back for the next edition of What’s Blooming!