Upbeat Plantings Grow along Upland Road

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.

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.

Irises Recall Presence of Birch from Past

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.

Bare Trees Work with Winter Skies

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.

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.

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.

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.