Snowballs in the Rain on Earth Day

Happy Earth Day.  It’s a day to celebrate the Earth and all that she gives us, like this gentle, soaking rain we so need here in the magical Mid-Atlantic.  Everything is so green! The trees are smiling.

I showed an earlier photo of the Chinese Snowballs, Viburnum macrocephalum, in their green stage, before they whitened up.  Here they are in full, glorious bloom, and the rain enhances the effect.  They’ve been in bloom now for many days.

Posted under Holidays, Spring Flowers, The Spring Garden

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on April 22, 2012

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The Lady Banks is Abloom

She is stopping traffic right now, literally…people are jumping out of their cars with their IPhones and snapping pics.  I don’t blame them.

Here she is, climbing an arbor in my yard, and the adjacent plants.

Ain’t she pretty.

She is the Lady Banks Rose, Rosa banksiae.  Also known as the Lady Banksia Rose, depending on from where you hail in the South.

In my experience, it is the earliest blooming Rose in my area of the magical Mid-Atlantic.  I think it’s the northern limit for her, as well, in terms of hardiness.

Look closely and you’ll see a red/orange Honeysuckle vine mixed in with her butter-yellow flowers.

My dear neighbor, Mr. Jimmy, gets to see this view from his kitchen window:

He’s originally from the Deep South, and he says it brings back memories.  I like that.

Here’s The Lady climbing my Weeping Yaupon Holly:

Oh, isn’t this a Spring to end all Springs?  Ain’t life grand…

Posted under Southern Gardens, Spring Flowers, The Spring Garden

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on April 16, 2012

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Spring Continues to Dazzle

As in all gardens, each Spring day brings something new.  Here at Woodland Cottage, we are passing from early to mid-Spring.  Soon, we’ll be in what I like to call “full Spring”–when the Azaleas and Dogwoods are really kicking.  It occurs usually when the mid-season Azaleas come into bloom.  That will be soon.

We landscape designers have been hopping double-time this Spring!  I haven’t had much time to sit down and write to you–I apologize.  I hope these photos will make amends for my slacking off!

Happy the Buddha is glad it's Spring!

Happy the Buddha is glad it's Spring!

Epimedium rubrum next to the waterfall

Epimedium rubrum next to the waterfall

I love the new growth on Fatsia japonica.  I have several.

I love the new growth on Fatsia japonica. I have several.

This is my favorite Camellia japonica.  I’m not sure of the variety.  Does anyone know?  It is one of my latest blooming varieties…just finishing up now.

Camellia japonica, unknown variety

Camellia japonica, unknown variety

An old-fashioned favorite, Calycanthus floridus, is a native here.  I call it Sweetshrub; some call it Carolina Allspice.  My dear friend, Catherine, has it encircling her screened porch–heaven.  She calls it Spicebush.  Here it is, the dark brown/maroon flower in the foreground.  It has a sharp, spicy scent.

Calycanthus floridus, foreground

Calycanthus floridus, foreground

Chinese Snowball, Viburnum macrocephalum, just coming into bloom.

Chinese Snowball, Viburnum macrocephalum, just coming into bloom.

I have an unknown Variegated Pieris, Pieris japonica, with spectacular red growth in the Spring.  It fades to the variegated, green leaves over time.  With a background of Bloodgood Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’, the pair is a real show-stopper.

Wow! Variegated Pieris, foreground, with Japanese Bloodgood Maple in the background.

Wow! Variegated Pieris, foreground, with Bloodgood Japanese Maple in the background.

Spring bursts forth on the back hillside...

Spring bursts forth on the back hillside...

...as Ralph, my wise old gnome, oversees it all with happiness.

...as Ralph, my wise old gnome, oversees it all with happiness.

Posted under Spring Flowers, The Spring Garden