During frigid February days in Massachusetts, I was happily transported by photos Julie Shaw texted during her brief family vacation in Arizona. Inspired by those radiant images from that distinctly different landscape, I asked her to share some in a post on Pleasures of Plants. Fortunately for all viewers, she responded with the following images, including well-researched enlightening captions and notes.
After chipping away at ice layers on the city sidewalk in early February, I told Nancy Arons how I craved images from summer gardens outside her house in Pelham, MA. She soon responded with truly gratifying photos, including dates, plant names, and intriguing notes. Almost all her photos here are from late July, between 2015 and 2021, except for an irresistible October scene.
Earlier in January, when I asked friends for photos of indoor plants, Sandra Millikin sent three from her home in England. All were roses in vases, each bouquet distinct and inviting. Her titles and evocative captions added context. The words and images suggested significant stories behind the roses’ arrivals and arrangements.
Selecting from seventy or so photos of plants inside my home from recent years, I tried to pare down to seven for this post. So I grasped for goals to guide me. The pandemic here and now in January of 2022 has made me go for photos that show the living space where few people are free to visit.
Here are labeled photos by Tina Gram from this summer in her spectacular garden in Somerville. She selected, described and sent them in response to my recent request to friends to share their photos of plants they value. My goal is to present the photos and words in ways that convey the alluring qualities of the plants from the photographer’s perspective. While still facing technical challenges in the process, I’m thrilled to explore new possibilities for sharing the pleasures of plants.
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.
I invented this mid-April post to allow at least two more magnolias, both with yellow tones, that started blooming after my post about those captivating trees.
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.