Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bees and their Blooms

Overnight we jumped right into spring. The temperatures soared to 78 degrees today with sunshine and big puffy white clouds against a bright blue sky. It made me rather euphoric. The pollinators were eager too. Happily visiting all the blooms in my garden.

It was almost perfect except for the gusts of wind which temporarily blew the bees in swarms out of the tree. Only to quickly return and get back to the business at hand...pollination.

It made it difficult for them to hang on to their blooms but somehow they found a way. I had an even more difficult time photographing them with so much constant movement from the bees and the wind. Mere seconds of opportunity to take the shots before they were swooped away.

The bees really made the most of the day. Working those blooms and packing on the pollen.

What a perfectly, wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

W4W: Time

"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once." 
~ John Archibald Wheeler

It is transition time in the garden. The winter blooms still abound while the spring blooms are just beginning to open. This past weekend we were at the farm enjoying some much needed family time. 

Here is a look at the farm's zone 8b garden. 

A few late winter blooms still flowering

Cabbage was ready for harvest and we ate the most delicious coleslaw.

The azaleas were just beginning to put on a show.

Some dainty daffodils cheered up the garden with their delicate faces.

While others were decidedly taking their time.

Some trees were beginning to bloom showing signs of life, vigor and opulence.

Nectarine tree 

unknown tree but it sure did have pretty blooms

Red maple seeds

While some do not have much time left. This one will go out with a flair for the dramatic.

Two blooms from the cutting garden held their own like two lone soldiers taking a stance.

Time sure does fly when you are having fun and the long weekend whizzed by. Of course time is never on your side when you are on a schedule. With the cars packed and ready to hit the road our dog Biscuit decided it was a good idea to go and roll in cow dung.

I threatened to leave him behind but he had such a smile on his face and was so happy I quickly got over it. He had a bath and was allowed to return home with us.

Six hours later and back at my zone 8a garden time is moving slightly more slowly. Some of the winter blooms such as the camellia are just now peaking.

The first daffodils are bursting open.

And the Euphorbia are taking their sweet time.

Time seems to stand still when you gaze at the water droplets lingering in these rosettes.

And a sure sign that winter is winding down and spring is just around the corner is the end of the cherry blossom gala.

"Things of quality have no fear of time"

I am linking to Garden Walk Garden Talk who hosts Word for Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Orchid Daze

A great way to escape the doldrums of winter is to visit the hanging gardens at the Fuqua Orchid Center at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. This is exactly what my husband and I did when we attended their Valentine's night in the garden. Here is a little taste of the beautiful blooms we enjoyed as our backdrop to an enchanting evening of desserts, wine and entertainment.

Happy Valentine's Day! xo!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

If you sit quietly they will come...

When I look out the windows of my home I see a flurry of activity in my garden as the birds flutter around at all the feeders. But as soon as I step outside they retreat to the trees at the perimeter of the garden. Watching and waiting...

 Cardinal (female) and Hairy Woodpecker (female)

Cardinal (female)

Cardinal (male)

Downy Woodpecker (female)

But if I sit quietly they soon decide that the intruder (me) won't cause them any harm and they soon return to foraging.
Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Downy Woodpecker (male)

American Goldfinch (female)

An unusual sighting was this yellow-bellied sapsucker (male). The photo isn't sharp as I was a good 40 feet away but I wanted to show it since it is highly migratory and not one of the birds I see regularly.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is next weekend, February 17-20. Click here to get your tally sheet with a list of birds you are most likely to see in your garden in February. You can observe birds at any location for as little as 15 minutes for one day. Or all day, each day. Be sure to submit your findings on line at the GBBC website.