Jan 31, 2009

Beating the winter blues

The seedlings are still going strong in the nursery, though this one seems to be struggling to break free. The rains came, briefly, and was enough to help green the garden up with grasses and some wildflowers. It is quite a difference from arriving at the end of summer when alot of the undergrowth was dormant. It is said that this has been one of the driest winters in a long time. But where there is no rain, there is irrigation, and the annuals are enjoying the warm sun with the cooler temperatures. One morning I was greeted by Papaver nudicaule, Iceland Poppy, that had their blooms so open and wide facing the bright sun.Finally, the wild lupines, Lupinus pilosus, have started to bloom, as it is here amongst Calendula officinalis.I saw this wonderful combination while pruning all of the roses back in the garden. Sometimes the best angles are found from inside the planting bed, which is a shame, but those of us who work in gardens get to enjoy all the benefits... It is Lupinus pilosus, Rosemary, Calendula officinalis, Aloe vera, and Cynarea carbunculosis.The short bit of rain has helped some of the bulbs to awaken from dormancy. In some rock crevices in the garden there was Cyclamen persicum and Muscari sp.I never thought there would be a moment where Hedera helix would stop me in my tracks, but on a shortcut from work to home it did. But then again, I have always been a sucker for a good blue.

Or this blue fence with the yellow blooms. It's always fun to be a peeping tom, within reason of course, and see what other people are doing, especially in their gardens. Here is a nice garden with a nice range of cacti and succulents. Here is the side view,
and the front.

At the market in the German Colony, I saw this arrangement of plants on the wall. The contrast of the wall is what caught me eye.

And Hardenbergia spp.



Happy Spring....... well, at least here in Jerusalem.

Jan 20, 2009

And we're off.....

So, a New Year and new beginnings have already started, everywhere you look, in the garden and in politics, in all places of the world. But let's stick with the plants. Now that the rains have come, and gone, and come again, the garden is secretly waking up, in it''s wondrous ways. The tiny Lupinus pilosus, one of Israel's native splendors, it pushing it's sleepy way up through some fallen Oak foliage. You can almost hear it stretching upon awakening from a long nap. The winter garden seems to have alot more life here now than it does at home during this time of year. The days have fluctuated from around 50degrees to 65degrees, not bad for a January day, especially with all of the snow everyone else has been getting..

And on the Fourth Day, Forsythia was created...
A quiet morning around the lake, made mystical by the fluffy seedheads of Arundo donax.The gardens are a stopover to many birds, but sometimes they enjoy so much they stay awhile.This is the resident Cormorant, which is a sea bird that dives under the water to catch fish. It will dive under in one spot and come up a good distance away, gulping the fish down upon surfacing. This bird then stands on a rock with wings outstretched, slowly flapping them back and forth, to let the warmth of the sun dry him off.
The paths of the garden are most visible in their crossing pattern.In the South African section you have the Aloe species all starting to bloom and erupt with organge spikes.

The red hued Sedum x rubrotinctum, due to the winter temperature, against the silver Gazania nivea, and the purple gray Plectranthus sp.
Another wonderful native plant is the Crown anemone, Anemone coronaria, which is protected and is not allowed to picked in the wild. Here in all her glory, a brilliant red screaming out to any passerby to be looked at.

And here are the cultivated flowers for sale on the streets here, in a handmade vase from a Jerusalem potter.

Even though it has been warm in Jerusalem, I still need the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv once in a while, and the warmer weather here is an added bonus. While walking through the neighborhoods, I came across this Poinsettia tree/shrub. So large, it had to be admired.

Bauhaus architecture and ornamental trunks.
Work has been so hard, a little relaxing time on the beach was needed. Ok, relaxing on the beach is always needed, one can't help it.

I hope that this year is as sunny and beautiful is it has been for me so far........