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.
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.
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.
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.
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.