If there is one thing that most enthusiastic gardeners agree upon is that our gardens can often be a soul-revivifying haven. A piece of paradise 'hidden' in the everyday world that surrounds. It doesn't really matter what type of garden one has, or how big, it can be a peaceful respite in which one can nurture one's inner self, as well as a place to feel that tactile contact with Mother Earth. Please pardon the bad pun but 'Can you dig it?' Indeed. It's also nice to know that our gardens provide a safe haven for pollinators and friendly bugs. They show their appreciation by visiting us as often as they can. And that's another reason for planting a diverse garden, especially one that provides flowers in all four seasons.
Okay, now for the pudding (the invisible segue here is that the 'proof' is in the pudding and that's the photos). The big news in my garden is the beginning of the bloom season for my Magnolias. The first are almost always the M. stellatas (Star magnolias), the ones with the 'finger' flowers. But my M. Butterflies has jumped in with its first flowers, just open this morning. My trees are still very young so the flower show is still a low key affair.
Babiana framesii. The markings on this flower remind me a bit of an unusual S. African bulb, Lapeirousia oreogena (google it). Very pretty and showcasing an especially lovely purple.
I found this engraved stone at a shop in Nelson B.C. and it speaks for itself. It's 'mate' says "Weed it and reap!"
Carolina jasmine (Gelsemium) isn't as well known as it should be. With very cheery lemon flowers and a bit of fragrance it's the ideal plant for putting along one's walkway (where mine is).
The wine colored violas have finally got to rock-n-rolling, finally complementing the Kalanchoe in this ginger pot.
Two foliage plants. That's Stylomecon heterophylla (Wind poppy) on the left and Oxalis 'Sunset Velvet' on the right. Eventually the Stylomecon will produce pale orange flowers, picking up on the orange in the oxalis.
Magnolia 'Butterflies.' The flowers are just now opening and at this stage the base of the flowers still offer up peach tones. The flowers will open to a butter yellow color.
Magnolia stellata. I love the flowers on these 'finger' magnolias. Such a glorious white and then the double fingers. Like most tulip trees, the flowers appear before the leaves.
Melianthus pectinatus. One last shot of my 'phoenix' plant (in the sense of coming back from the dead). I swear I was but months away from digging it out and tossing it. Maybe it heard me. Now it's gone crazy in the flowering department, though the flowers are tiny compared to those on the more familiar M. major.
You want indestructible (and who doesn't)? My Hebe speciosa just goes and goes and goes. Love the bi-colored flowers. So do the bees. If there were ever a plant that tries to please this is it.
Kalanchoe 'Flapjacks and Euphorbia polycantha (Fishtail cactus). Talk about mismatched lovers ...
Camellia 'Black Magic.' I love the textured, almost leathery look and feel of these flowers. Plus there's that color!
Here's a somewhat dramatic shot of a single flower on my Spirea prunifolia, otherwise known as Bridalwreath spirea. The tiny flowers are like perfect little roses. It's just starting, a bit early, but another plant fooled by the unusually early warm weather.
Sedum 'Sea Urchin.' I don't yet have a good photo of my specimen, in part because I cut it back, but here's a photo from the web showing how pretty it is when it spreads out.
Setaria palmifolia or Palm grass as it's known. This photo is also taken from the web, as it gives a much better view of the striations in each leaf. Not well known but perhaps it should be, given its unique beauty.