On neighborhood walks this spring and summer I began to notice tended gardens in the narrow strips of earth between sidewalk and street. For instance, I felt the sense of shelter from traffic as I climbed the slope of Upland Road lined with clusters of flowers or grasses around saplings or established trees.
Category Archives: gardens
Wonder at the Range of Hydrangeas
Last week a surprise gift bouquet with botanical notes about hydrangeas got me to start noticing their variety in my neighborhood. I marveled at the many different forms of delicate clustered blossoms among their handsome hardy leaves. Wikipedia affirmed that worldwide there are more than seventy species of hydrangea, including shrubs, vines and truly tall trees.
Magnolias, Magnificent and Magnified, April 2021
A few magnolia trees in my neighborhood began to blossom tentatively in late March, followed by a full surge in early April with three bright mild days. Cold winds and rain soon sent many petals to settle, discoloring on the ground after the brief but spectacular displays of distinctly different magnolias. No wet spring snowstorms to weigh them down this year, so they can gracefully give way to other predictably brilliant showings of the season.
Clematis in Cambridge
Clematis vines, leaves and beginning buds are graceful in themselves, while signaling the promise of slightly translucent flower petals unfurling, emerging from the subtle green overlapping leaves. Not sure my words or photos (from streets in my neighborhood) will convey the significance of clematis in my life, but here’s a chance to try.
Mandevilla in Cambridge 2018 and 2020
Bright red abundant Mandevilla* adorned the fence and walls of one home on nearby Kirkland Street throughout the summer of 2020. Not until mid July did I properly identify those vines and begin trying to document their captivating qualities over the next few months. I hope to give them more careful attention this coming spring.
Community Garden, Sacramento Street, Cambridge, June 2015
In 2015, years before I had an iPhone, I took most photos with a Canon Powershot and edited them with Picture Manager on my PC. I was trying to capture the fleeting perfection of peonies, poppies, and irises to send to friends and family far from Cambridge or to save such moments for myself. Though even the few selected here fall short of the experiences of being there, they remind me of those invigorating visits.
Community Garden, Sacramento Street, Cambridge, 2020
More than any year before, I was taken by the abundance of colors, styles, variations in this community garden two blocks from my home. Ever plotless, luckily I was still welcome to wander the paths among distinctly different plots that enhanced each other. Ever clueless, I enjoyed absorbing random clues to the way people managed their parts and the whole of this shared space.
Community Garden, Northampton Street, Boston, 2018 and 2019
To follow my own blog rules, I’ve somehow selected seven photos from so many I’ve taken during years of visiting this wonderful community garden, where my family members tend a productive lot. I keep marveling at the dense collection of splendors and and surprises surrounded by city buildings.
Germany Midsummer 2014
This post is guided by my goal to focus on plants (trees, flowers, fruits, bushes, berries) that have nurtured connections to key people in my life (in this example, three generations of my sister’s family).
Why, When, How
I signed up for this slot last year when it showed as a fleeting bonus to my basic blog, Art Outdoors, on WordPress. It promised a solution to my urges to post pictures of plants that did not fit within my own constraints on what to include as art, which ruled out “the art that nature makes” no matter how amazing. Just knowing that the spot awaited was reassurance enough until this November, as the last leaves fell and faded while the prospect of renewed pandemic restrictions rose.