Naples Botanical Garden Flowers

Today I’m happy to be sending you all some lovely flowers to brighten your day! On our way back from Sanibel, we stopped at the Naples Botanical Garden. This lovely garden features plants from the tropics and subtropics between the latitudes of 26 degrees North and 26 degrees South that you can see highlighted on the map:

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The 170 acres include Florida, Asian, Brazilian and Caribbean Gardens, as well as an orchid garden, water garden, children’s garden and butterfly house. The paths are exceptionally ADA friendly and they have the most comfortable scooters I’ve ever tried available for a small rental fee. Ok, it’s time to grab a cuppa, sit back and let your imagination take flight with these floral pieces of eye candy…

Let’s start with some of my favorite flowers – orchids!

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If you’ve been here before you know I have a fondness for these flowers and how they often strike up the imagination’s pareidolia…

Pareidolia  the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness.

… like the big ‘noses’ of the Cattleya orchids:

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– that sometimes look like puppies!

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… or the amazing Oncidium orchids, also known as ‘dancing ladies’.:

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For my cat loving friends… do you see what I saw in these next two?

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Another of my favorite flowers is the water lily and there were tons of them.

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I was especially delighted to see the amazing Victoria Regia (Victoria amazona) water lilies in the Brazilian Garden. It reminded me of the ones I saw in the South America.These are the largest waterlilies on earth and can only be found in the wild in the Amazon rain forest. The leaves can grow to some 8′ across and are so buoyant they can support the weight of a small child or an evenly distributed load of nearly 100 lbs!

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The butterfly garden was aflutter with these winged ‘flowers’ and I was happy to see several monarch butterflies.

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Have you ever seen a monarch chrysalis? The little pearls of gold amaze me… Looks like they got a hold of some of my crafting supplies and added some bling!

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Speaking of crafting… we’re always looking for fun and lovely color combinations and there is plenty of inspiration in the Creator’s color palette:

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This one had a sign: Aechmea “Blue Tango”:

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I may have to bookmark this post to use for color inspiration on those days when the brain fog rolls in thick and heavy. lol

Ok, lets close with some interesting and unusual plants and flowers – like this fruit from the Toad Tree (Tabernaemontana elegans Apocynaceae) from Zimbabwe. If you do a Google Search on Toad Tree, you can see a picture of when the fruit bursts open and really looks like a wide mouthed toad!

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I hope you enjoyed the pics! If you did, I highly recommend including this beautiful garden on your next trip to the southwest coast of Florida!

Hopefully I’ll be back to crafting again real soon. Thank you for stopping by today. Ya’ll take care and stay warm!

– D. Ann

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A Visit to Florida’s Flamingo Gardens

Since some of you are stuck inside with the winter storm, I thought I’d send you some colorful sunny warmth to brighten your day! There is even a puzzle and you might find a few good laughs along the way. So grab a hot cuppa and sit back and enjoy your visit….

We had a delightful time visiting Flamingo Gardens yesterday. The gardens were established 90 years ago (2017).

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They are also on the Reciprocal Admissions Program with the American Horticultural Society.

Hint: If you plan on visiting two or more botanical gardens in the US in a year, it is worth checking to see if they are one of the 300 in the Reciprocal Admissions Program, as  AHS membership gets you in free.

Of course the parks’ namesakes are a huge attraction…

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Here’s a video of my favorite part of the flamingo section… getting to feed them!  (Just click on the ‘play’ arrow in the middle.)

What a delightful experience to get to hand feed these beautiful birds! They’re very careful not to bite the hand that feeds them.

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Another favorite section for cat lovers like me is getting to see the Endangered Florida Panther. The National Wildlife Society estimates there are less than 100 left in the wild.

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I wish my camera would do better on long distance photos. I am glad to see she has a nice large area to roam with plenty of green (unlike one of the nearby zoos). A distant cousin playing nearby was happy to let me pet her and get my ‘fur therapy’ in for the day.

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Also for cat lovers are these cool T-shirts in the gift shop… Other than the three cats and the background pair of eyes, can you find the hidden cat images? The manufacturer says there are 10 cougars on this shirt. You can click on the picture to be taken to their answer page.

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Another prominent feature of the gardens are the many peacocks roaming free.

Here’s an artsy shot of those gorgeous colors for you…

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Here’s one of those gorgeous guys resting among the banana trees.

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Speaking of banana trees… Their blooms are gorgeous!

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Each one of those flowers inside the main pod can eventually become a banana. as each petal unfolds, it releases a new bunch.

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BANANA!!

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(If you want to do an instaminions pic, just click the photo)

There is also an amazing aviary where you can walk around with the injured and recuperating birds taken under Flamingo Gardens’ wing. (See what I did there?!) It’s so neat to get up close and personal with some of of my favorite waterfowl, like the spoonbill:

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And pelicans:

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One of these birds is not like the others. Can you guess which one? lol!

One could walk around the aviary for a long time looking for just the right shot of a beautiful bird…

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And THEN you come across this sign:

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Bwah-hahahaha! (Now go back and look at the previous picture… on the branch below the bird he’s trying to picture. Yep…. it happens!!! Hahahaha!)

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Ok, so this barred owl is not impressed. There is a whole section in the park with a variety of birds of prey. There are also several displays of exotic birds, too..

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And, of course, there are plenty of plants and flowers. I only wish there were more name tags… I don’t know what this plant was.

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But the flowers at its base were pretty nifty:

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The shrimp plant is aptly named… (If you don’t know why, say, “Okay, Google, find “shrimp in the ocean.”)…

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Sometimes a little bit of sunlight can make all the difference in what you see:

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Visiting parks can be great for meeting people. I came across a really fun guy at the park:

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(Note: This blog claims no responsibility for bad puns!!)

Some plants just make for cool photographs…

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Beautiful ground orchids:

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Cattleya orchid:

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Well, I hope you had a fun visit to Flamingo Gardens! I sure did!! Hopefully, we’ll get to go again while the temperatures are more moderate. I won’t tell you it was pretty chilly at first in the low 60’s, but it warmed up quickly and was a lovely day… That’d just be cruel. : )

Stay warm, my friends, and have a lovely day!

~D.Ann

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A Visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Florida

It’s been a while since I’ve taken you on a garden tour. A couple of weeks ago we had a lovely stroll through the McKee Botanical Gardens in Vero Beach, Florida and I thought those of you stuck with gray skies and snow might enjoy some flowers to lift your spirits.

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It’s a beautiful park with Monet-esque scenery. There are lots of canals with oodles of water lilies, including the lotus flowers and Victoria Regis Waterlilies. Here are just a few:

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They often have art exhibits scattered throughout the grounds. Right now, they’re exhibiting Nature Connects, Art with Lego Bricks by sculpture artist Sean Kenney. Here are a couple of my favs:

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This one took 60,549 Lego bricks to build. Fun Fact: A Monarch butterfly can travel some 265 miles per day!

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This one took 31,565 Lego pieces to build and measures 64″x32″x77″.

Of course, there are tons of other plants and flowers at the garden. One of my favorites is the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree…

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Here are some more beautiful flowers at the garden:

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I always find it amazing when you look closely at flowers and often find little flowers withing the flower! I hope you enjoyed your tour!!

Traveler’s tip: If you like visiting botanical gardens and know you will visit more than two a year, you might want to check out becoming a member of the American Horticultural Society as your membership not only benefits them, but they have a reciprocal program that gets you into many gardens across the US free of charge. A win-win… just sayin’. : )

Sending you all plenty of sunshine and warm wishes for a lovely day!

~D.Ann

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Sea Urchin + Air Plant = Jellyfish

Let’s take a break from papercraft – I have a fun little garden project for you. Last time we were at Sanibel Island, we collected a bunch of sea urchins. What to do with them?

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Add an air plant and you have an instant hanging jellyfish! So cute!

How to do it?

Cut off some fishing line, fold it in half and pull the loop through the holes in the sea urchin. First, though, remove the spines – if any – still remaining on your sea urchin. Save them to use for butterfly antennae on art projects. : ) Then, tie a know around a button that will pull up against the hole.

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With a knot on each side of the button, put glue on top of the button and pull it through the inside of the urchin and secure it to the top. (I used E-6000 glue.) Next, place the air plant’s roots inside the bottom of the sea urchin and tie the ends of the fishing line around the plant to secure it. Cut off the excess fishing line.

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As sea urchins are fragile, do not hang them in a place they will get blown by the wind against something or against a window on a door that moves, or they will break! Voice of experience!! Here in S Florida, air plants love to live in trees, so I put mine where they get bright, but filtered sunlight and spritz them once a week. – I’ve read they take in water through their leaves, not their roots.

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This one was done with a silver cord instead of fishing line. I think the fishing line will last longer. We’ll see.

Have a good week and remember… Just keep swimming! (Oh, you made me ink!!)

-D.Ann

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Summer Flowers – Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens

Finally getting around to combing through the 2000+ pics from our trip to bring you some highlights. They are low res so they will load quickly, but most retain their beauty.

Here was the first stop along the way: the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.

Enjoy your tour!

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Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) – some varieties are edible!

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Nymphea ‘White Delight’ Tropical Waterlily

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Pareidolia  the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness

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What do YOU see in the following orchid pictures? Gonzo? a puppy? long noses? dancing ladies? or just gorgeous and interesting flowers?   : )

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This dragonfly is enjoying breakfast on an Indian Shot (Cana edulis).

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Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa superba ‘Rothschildiana’)

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Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)

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Did you know that many types of day lilies are edible?! Find some that are and try adding them to a salad for a fun and lovely surprise.

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Sparks Private Eye Lily   W. Taunton – R.2009

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Mary’s Gold lily    H. McDonell – R.1984

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Red Hills of Georgia Lily     S Scarbrough – R.2006

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Peach Magniloa Lily           E. R. Joiner – 1987

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Aaron’s Little Whopper Lily   A. Joiner – 1999

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Peggy Jeffcoat Lily     J. Joiner – 1995

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I hope you enjoyed your tour in the comfort of your air-conditioned home… it was 101 when we went through the gardens. We only went to a few areas that were of most interest to us, yet we were totally drenched by the time we got back to the car!

I’ll have more posts in the near future… please check back soon… or subscribe so you won’t miss any posts!

– D. Ann

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Spring Flowers at JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC

Hello and welcome!

It’s time to switch gears and get back to nature today. I have just a few pictures of the oodles I took at the last of the gardens we got to visit in May – the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC.

The quality of these isn’t great as I made them low res so the page will load quickly, but I think you will still enjoy them. If you missed the other posts, you can go to the home page and, in the right-hand column – under ‘categories’, click ‘garden.’

You can click on any picture to enlarge it.

Enjoy your tour!

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^ Salvia ‘Cardona’ (They have GREAT signage at this arboretum! I didn’t catch them all, but will let you know the ones I did.)

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^ Gerbera (Garvinea ‘Sweet Dreams’)

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^ Dichelostemma multiflorum (wild hyacinth)

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^ Iris ‘Tea Service’

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^ Dianthus –  hybrid Sweet William

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^ Magnolia… The flower is as big as my head!

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Hydrangeaceae   Deutzia xhybrida “Tourbillon Rouge’

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Dicentra “Amore Pink’ (bleeding heart)

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^ Dichelostemma venustum… a cross between the Dichelostemma multiflorum (wild hyacinth), above, and the Dichelostemma ida-maia (‘firecracker flower’) you saw in my pictures from Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens (HERE).

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^Lilium ‘Sunny Morning’

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^ Kniphofia uvaria – Red Hot Poker/Torch Lily (a favorite of hummingbirds)

If you click on the next one to enlarge it, you might see who photo-bombed my picture in the upper left. : )

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I meditate on all your activity;
I eagerly ponder over the work of your hands….

The works of Jehovah are great;
They are studied by all those finding pleasure in them.
His activity is glorious and splendid,
And his righteousness endures forever.

– Psalm 143:5 & 111:2,3

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I hope you enjoyed your tour – feel free to stop by any time!

– D.Ann

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Spring Flowers at Duke Gardens, Durham, NC

Welcome back for another garden tour. These pictures were taken two weeks ago at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina. I especially love the riot of springtime colors in the historic terraces section of the gardens! Oodles of poppies, foxglove, allium, pansies, columbine and more. Enjoy your tour!

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“For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship”  – Romans 1:20

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Thanks for stopping by… Have a lovely day!!

-D.Ann

p.s. Any ads on this page are posted by WordPress and are not endorsed by me.

Spring Flowers at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens near Charlotte, NC

Ready for some more gorgeous flowers?

A couple of weeks ago we were at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens near Charlotte, NC. (You can find more info at www.dsbg.org) If you’re an American Horticultural Society member, you can tour the garden for free. If you’re going to tour more than a couple of gardens, you more than recover your membership fees. (More info at ahs.org)

I’ve been getting questions about what camera I use. I just upgraded and was comparing my old phone with my new one, so these are a mixture from both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S6. Because the files run about 9MB each, I have saved them as low res images to load faster. Thus they are not as crisp as the originals, but I think they’re still lovely. As always, you can click on any picture to see it larger.

This garden isn’t as meticulous about signage, so it will mostly be a self-guided tour this time… If it’s uncommon and I didn’t write anything, your guess is as good as mine!

Enjoy your tour!

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They had a small aviary with some Golden-Manteles Rosellas (Platycercus eximius). They are members of the parakeet family and native to Australia.

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These were called Firecracker flowers (Dichelostemma ida-maia):

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He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has even put eternity in their heart; yet mankind will never find out the work that the true God has made from start to finish.

– Eccl. 3:11

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‘Paprika’ Yarrow (Achillea millefolium):

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Now we come to my favorite part of the garden… the orchid conservatory!

It’s packed with an amazing array of orchids in all sizes, shapes and colors. It always tickles me when I see faces, noses, lips, dogs, dancing ladies, babies, aliens and more in these flowers! Here are just a few of these lovelies… what fun things do you see?

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I hope you had fun! I have pics from two more gardens we visited yet to come, so if you liked these, check back in a few days for another tour.

Thanks for stopping by!

-D.Ann

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Spring Flowers in Indiana

Hello again!

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you… You ARE in the right place – just the background theme of my blog has changed. I was playing around trying to find one that would be better for showing photos and accidentally installed one, erasing my previous theme, which has already been discontinued and can’t be re-installed. This was the closest I could come up with until I find one I like. Thanks for your patience while I try to figure this out.

Meanwhile, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the spring pictures I took while I was in Southern Indiana earlier this month. I made them low res so, hopefully, the page will still load quickly, but that makes them loose quality a bit. Someday I’ll figure out the right balance. Don’t forget you can still click on any picture to enlarge it.

When I arrived at the end of April, the first thing I noticed were the Redbuds, Dogwoods and Crabapple trees all vying for attention.

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A pink Dogwood:

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It’s easy to see that Crabapples are in the same family as roses (Roaceae):

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There were still some late tulips and daffodils hanging about:

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Bleeding hearts:

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The lilacs were so pungent, even I could smell them!

Close your eyes and breathe deep… maybe you will too. ; )

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The farmers were happy to see the end of the April showers and the locust trees blooming… local lore says that’s a sign that it’s time to plant!

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(Wild mustard and blooming locust trees)

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Of course there were already some edible perks of spring to be harvested… like morel mushrooms…

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And tender asparagus, fresh-picked daily…

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And fresh rhubarb pie…  YUM!

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Ok, I’ll stop making you jealous and get back to the eye candy with more spring flowers:

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A flowering almond bush…

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Weigela…

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I just love the colors of this hydrangea!…

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Allium…

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Pansy…

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Spiraea is another relative of the rose (Rosaceae)…

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Pansy…

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Of course, some flowers are considered a nuisance, but they’re still lovely:

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Raindrops make a difference in photos… which hibiscus do you like better?

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I just love these bearded irises!!…

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“Not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these!”  – Mt. 6:28,29

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Did you know that azaleas are part of the Rhododendron genus? So all azaleas are Rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons are azaleas. Confused? Rhododendrons tend to be larger and usually have 10 stamens, whereas azaleas have smaller leaves and usually have 5 stamens.

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It was fun to watch this rhododendron bloom over the course of 5 days:

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I fell in love with these lovely columbine flowers!! Perhaps you will, too…

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Well, I could go on and on with these gorgeous works of creation, but it’s time to to bring this to a close.

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A special thanks to my aunts and cousins who work so hard in their gardens tending these gorgeous plants for our enjoyment! I’m sure they keep as busy as these guys…

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Thanks for stopping by. If you enjoyed these flowers, come back in a few days and I’ll have some more pictures posted from some botanical gardens and arboretums we visited in North Carolina last week.

-D.Ann

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What’s blooming

I really miss the riot of color as spring bursts forth in the North! But not enough to put up with the cold, grey winters!! We have seasons in South Florida, too:  Hurricane season, mosquito season, tourist season…. : )

At least at my place there’s almost always something blooming. Thought you might like to see what’s blooming right now.

(I still haven’t figured out how to re-size pics, so you’ll have to click on any picture you want to see larger. Thanks for your patience… this dinosaur moves real slow!!)

A few orchids…

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If you enlarge the African violet, you might see the shimmer… almost looks like glitter got spilled on it! : )

Hope these sweet blooms brightened your day as they do mine!

-D.Ann