My mom spoke of a smoke bush she knew of as a child. I never saw one till I was well into adulthood. Now there are a few I look for every summer, on lawns of my home town.
I discovered a collection of them this year at a horticultural research facility. It was a lovely day and I was in need of a walk to stretch my muscles and de-stress my mind.
I was grateful for the refreshing summer breezes on the moderately hot day and the billowy blooms of these unique shrubs. The rounded pink, puffy clumps seemed appropriate to the spirit of the weather and of my mood as I strolled the paths of the well planned, nature focused gardens.
My brief scan of information about them tells me they are related to the sumacs. Now that I know, I can recognize the relationship, but I likely wouldn’t have guessed.
A friend and I have a running joke. She seems amazed by my fascination with leaves. When we worked together on a communal art program, I was determined to choose the project which included real leaves in the design.
I guess I do have a bit of a fetish with them. I love the way they make tree branches sway on hot summer days. Like the tide of the ocean, the swaying reminds us we’re all connected to something bigger than we are.
The above geranium is of a different variety than I’ve grown previously. I’ve never had one with leaves quite like this.
Following is a tiny collection of the myriad of leaf designs featured by mother nature.
What plants do you think have the prettiest leaves?
I almost forgot to look for them this season. They surprised me when I walked outside this morning. They’re one of my favorite flowers, I suppose because I’m so in need of blossoms after winter’s gray skies and snowstorms.
Wouldn’t earrings made in their image be incredibly cute?!
Didn’t visit the beach roses at my favorite beach in Maine this year, but a great beach recently discovered on the North Coast features a lovely rose garden in the expansive park that surrounds the shore.
It’s one of the most lovely rose gardens I”ve seen, so well laid out, wonderful mix of pink, red, yellow, and variegated varieties.
Everything still blooming two weeks ago when I was there, before our big freeze. Probably have to wait until next year for the color, but hope to return to the lakeside site soon.
I wasn’t introduced to this gorgeous plant until I was in my twenties. It seemed to become very popular in the 1980’s, appearing in gardens all over town, including my own.
I haven’t seen as many new plantations of the lovely “carefree if placed in a proper spot” plant, but these I found in the little garden at our county fairgrounds, as I took a break from strolling through the exhibits, relaxing on a bench amid the blooms.
The lovely flower with the pinked petals – frills formed around the edges. Which came first I wonder? There must be a connection between dianthus, commonly known as “pinks”, and pinking shears used by seamstresses to finish edges without stitching.
This particular plant’s blossoms peep demurely from a pot near my back door. Some years the pinks stop pushing out blooms by this late in summer. This year, they’re still growing strong.
I’ve always wanted a cottage with a picket fence lined with a row of tall hollyhocks, fronted by dianthus. To sit at home all summer in such a site, drinking tea, reading Jane Austen novels and creating my own stories would be a dream come true.
I never heard of resurrection lilies until I was almost twenty. A lady I worked with told me about them and gave me a start.
I don’t have them at my present home, but whenever we go for a drive I see them everywhere. Thankfully people planted them in the past, and they are very hardy, as I’ve only seen them at one nursery in recent years.
The little sphere of foliage appears in spring, only to disappear soon after. In August, the blossoms rise like magic on long, slender, graceful stems.
Several summers ago, the flowers became extra special to me, as I saw them everywhere the first time I could go for a long drive after being bedridden for some time.
Nature often gives us just what we need to sustain us.