Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Beauty

The Pink Current are blooming. These grow wild here and attract the first returning Hummingbirds.

I am fortunate to have several on the property, but only one close enough to the house to observe the Hummingbirds. They produce clusters of white 'currents' once they are done flowering, that birds love.

My little cat Ninky has made a little trampled down path in the ground cover beneath it. He actually lies there for hours waiting to catch a Hummingbird. But I know he will never catch one. They are much too quick.

When they are not dining on nature's bounty, they visit my new feeder. I love the little buzzing noise they make. These are Rufus Hummingbirds. The Anna's Hummingbird that overwintered here is gone. Maybe I will see her next winter.

We have had beautiful sunny weather for the last few days, but today we have a light rain. I have been under the weather with a head cold and have only felt like sitting on the deck in the sunshine. There is so much to do in the yard, but it will have to wait until I feel better.

These two beauties were grazing in the lush spring grass in the little meadow across the road from the top of my driveway. It is a mother and her half grown fawn. They have an unusual light coloring, especially the fawn. Mother was undisturbed by my presence, but baby was a little unsure.

My little pots of crocus are putting on quite a show right now. I can't plant them in the ground due to all the hungry little creatures willing to devour them. Someone did discover them on my deck railing and pulled a few out. I found just the stalks, minus the bulbs and flowers. But the little thief hasn't been back. My cats and Whitey patrol the deck and don't look kindly on intruders.

This little forsythia was grown from a cutting. I had planted one outside my gate at the top of the driveway, and some little neighbor boys decided they would relieve it of it's beautiful whip-like branches one year. I was very dismayed to find it in tatters. But there were a few branches lying on the ground and I took them in and put them in water. To my delight, they rooted and here is the result. It has taken quite a few years, but it is getting prettier and prettier. The forsythia at the top of the driveway has recovered, also. The neighbor boys are all grown up now. The gray plants are lavender that I planted in a whiskey barrel last fall.

One flower that seems to survive deer, slugs, hail, snow, and every other plague around here are the daffodils. I plant bags of them every fall. Some don't take in our rocky, clay soil, but most do. Right now they are putting on quite a show. I tuck them in under trees, alongside rock walls, and along the edges of the forest where they are so bright and cheery.

This dainty cluster of waxy white flowers belong to the Indian Plum Tree. Don't let the fragile beauty fool you, these little flowers stink to high heavens. I once brought in an armful to display on the table and they filled the house with the scent of skunk du jour. They attract a little fly for pollination and then produce perfect little miniature plums that the birds devour. Consequently, we have them sprouting up everywhere, as the birds scatter the little pits. They are pretty little understory trees with bright green leaves and the first to flower every spring. They are also the first leaves to turn in the fall, into a lovely golden yellow.

We encourage their presence, as they are hardy, have no pests, and feed the wildlife. You couldn't buy a lovelier little tree.

The primrose that I planted in pots are so bright and happy. Slugs love these and so I never plant them in the ground. I couldn't put out enough slug bait to keep them safe (always wildlife and pet safe brands). So I am happy to keep them in pretty pots to enjoy up close.

These I keep by the front door. Their happy faces welcome all who enter.

And who can resist having a secret conversation with these little faces? Again, I keep them safe in pots on my deck, as they are a delicacy.

I have learned over the years to work with nature to have beautiful flowers all around me. I refuse to use chemicals and poisons to bend nature to my will. I have found that once you obey nature's laws, she will work with you in ways you could never imagine. I am surrounded by beautiful wild flora and fauna that can never be reproduced by man's limited hand. I encourage everyone to learn about native plants and introduce these carefree and beneficial plantings into your own garden. Not only will you be rewarded with carefree beauty, but you will benefit all of nature.


  1. I just love all the "weeds" that grow along our creek in the summer. I get a lot of the prettiest flowers from there to bring into the house. And no work required! They just grow and grow.

  2. Hi Courtenay, my favorite saying is 'One man's weed is another man's flower!' I would love to see your wildflowers! Thanks for stopping by.. xx

  3. Thank you for this beautiful post! I had a laugh over 'skunk du jour'. The flowering currant bushes always remind me of Donegal, Ireland. Although obviously they grow in the Northwest, I never really noticed their existence until going to Ireland. There are lots of them in Scotland, too. But they always remind me of Ireland.

    I agree with what you say about working with nature. I do the church garden and last year I politely requested that bee-friendly lawn food be used, so that the clover could grow. A lot of the older people thought this made the lawns look "terrible". But they agreed! If they're still bothered, they haven't said anything... I'm hoping that they will see the clover as a good thing that offers food to the poor bees. It takes a while for attitudes to change, and I don't except myself from that!

  4. You're surrounded by such beauty, Karen! Lucky girl! I love the new header pictures you posted and the pansies, too. They really do look human. <3

  5. Hi Christine, isn't it amazing how many varieties of plants grow here and also in your part of the world? What most likely happened was they were brought from there to here by the early settlers! I do believe we have a very similar climate.

    Isn't it nice of you to help out in the church garden! I am so glad to hear that you have prevailed in your mission of keeping the lawns bee friendly. You are surely helping the birds and more! It does take time for attitudes to change...sometimes a gentle reminder works, too, as you have proven here! Good for you! xx

  6. Love wild red currants... they have an oddly astringent (is that the right word) odor...


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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