From the start of Pleasures of Plants, my intention was to share plant photos by friends and family, not only by me. For a few months I was trying to get comfortable with new features in the format I had selected. I hesitated to involve anyone else during that phase. Though still learning the basics of this blog, I’ve begun asking people to send photos of plants they value. I’m very grateful for their responses,* support, and patience as I try to present those photos in a worthy way.
One of my first posts ( January 2021) focused on photos I took as an enthusiastic but infrequent visitor* to Northampton Street Community Garden. This sequel adds views of an insider, someone who has worked the soil there for several years with attention to significant events in her surroundings. As I requested, she has selected from her own photos and provided her own words to identify or explain them.
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.
Some ways I’ve share roses of Sharon in recent years:
• dig up and transplant selected saplings that grow up below the original bush…
• sweep and scrape loose shriveled remains fallen on the sidewalk .
• take photos of successive stages of a blossom…
• take short videos of blossoms lifting/shifting in warm winds …
• cut branches with buds and blossoms ( a source of tiny active ants) to fill a vase… .
Until two years ago this tall graceful birch was a welcome landmark of a nearby park, reliable in my routines. When I became aware the birch was gone, I missed it and wondered why it was cut down, but I never sought out answers to that recurring question.
As buds begin on branches, I recall that blossoms, leaves and fruits will reduce the chances for sky and sun to interact with the structure of bare trees. While eyes and iPhones focus on compelling colors and layers of growing green, I’ll lose sight of dramatic or intricate patterns of tree trunks, bark, limbs and branches for the next three seasons. This post presents reminders of what winter trees will offer again as autumn ends.
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.
An old apple tree and a relatively young cherry in my yard have almost always blossomed simultaneously. These photos are from one day in May almost seven years ago when I tried to record their sudden abundance and interplay.
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.
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.