Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Warm Colors of Morocco

I'm still waiting for spring, but a friend recently traveled to Morocco. She took some wonderful photos at Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, which I put into a little slide show for you.

I'm very envious of her trip, of course, but it's the next best thing to being there! Enjoy.

P.S. Can you tell Picasa is my new best friend?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Botanical Glass

Today my intrepid garden explorer friend, Amy, and I headed off to Planterra in West Bloomfield for a Botanical Glass exhibit. I invited Joey to meet us, but didn't think she'd be able to make it, so it was a wonderful surprise when she and Mr. Ho Hum showed up!

I really liked the glass artwork, which was created by artists from Furnace Design Studio in Dearborn, and how it was displayed among colorful flowers and striking foliage. But I couldn't help but noticed how many pieces were strikingly similar to Dale Chihuly's work. I mean, really similar.

This is a wonderful collage Joey made, and her post about the event is here!

And I made you two slide shows:

Have fun!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Signs of Spring

Note: Rumors of the death of this blog have been highly exaggerated.

I've been walking around the garden for a about a week, rejoicing daily in new signs of green!

The first green foliage to pop up for me each year isn't from spring bulbs, but from tiger lilies, up close to my foundation.

Maybe my hellebore will bloom this year.

Hyacinths like it wet over winter and dry in summer--they're perfect under my roof overhang.

Bearded irises are emerging.

My first clump of daffodils, near the foundation and under a chair, boasts my tallest bulb folaige so far.

I wonder how long these tulips (at least I think they're tulips, but I don't remember planting them) will last, given the real sign of spring in my garden...

{bum bum bum}... the groundhog has awoken from hibernation! For some of my previous encounters with groundhogs, see this and this.

I got this very small azalea from a friend a few years ago and look at its nice bud--the first flowers it's had! So looking forward to it blooming.

Speaking of buds, I love viburnums. This one will bloom in pink. And I would tell you its cultivar name if I knew where its tag was.

The ice has melted on the little vernal pond behind my house, where American toads sing and breed later in the year. (Like all vernal ponds, this dries up by early summer.)

I love love-in-a-mist foliage.These didn't actually pop up recently; they've been evergreen since last fall, surviving under snow and ice. In fact, if you ever need to know for a quiz show, love-in-a-mist is the only annual I know of that can come up in fall, overwinter in Michigan, and bloom in spring.

But note they spread! You can barely see the prickly pear cactus in the middle of all the love-in-a-mist seedlings.

Squirrels digging in the "lawn" is also a sure sign of spring around here.

Notably missing are witch hazel (which was blooming this time last year), snowdrops (which come up first for everyone else and almost last for me), and crocuses (no foliage up yet, but it seems to grow overnight).

And, finally, a sure sign of spring is that the snow has melted from my winter-sowing containers! (Snow on the ground has melted now, too.) I have one last flat to sow today; we're definitely at the end of the winter-sowing season here in zone 5b/6a.

Edited to add: After a day of temps in the mid 60s and sunshine, look what I found: crocus buds and leaves, which came up together! Shamrock shakes and kisses all around!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chicago Flower and Garden Show

Last weekend I traveled to my adopted and honorary city, Chicago, to attend the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier. The show continues through this Sunday, March 13.

It was raining when I left Ann Arbor and snowing when I arrived in Chicago. No matter. I met up with many gardening friends and enjoyed their company. I usually pay fairly close attention to every aspect of all displays, but I admit I was a little distracted (in a good way) by all the fun people around me.

The official theme of this year's show was "the sport of gardening," but judging from my photos, it seems the theme was leafless trees, flowers used to represent water, and cool & unusual animals.

Enjoy the slide show!