Come along with me on a Spring Walk-About!
Our Camellia is blooming once again after suffering heavy damage from our ice storm in 2012.
This is the first time she has bloomed since then.
Nature is amazingly resilient.
The first day of spring greeted us with gray skies.
Then the sun came out.
Then it hailed.
Spring is a bit temperamental as she pushes Old Man Winter aside.
One minute she is smiling....
And the next minute she is throwing a tantrum!
Old Man Winter is running for the hills!
New life is springing forth regardless of her moods.
Here, a young Foxglove sprouts along a trail.
It will take two years for this little sweetheart to bloom.
She is deadly poison, but maybe not to everyone.....
Or perhaps whoever has taken a nibble, has succumbed to the fates.
Western Bleeding Heart has sprouted in the underbrush.
Soon, the forest floor will be carpeted with her lovely, pendant, lavender-pink blooms.
We know that when she starts to sprout,
it is time to stay on the paths, so as not to crush her delicate, lacy leaves.
The lovely, lime green leaves of the Indian Plum light up the awakening forest.
This small (6-20 ft.) under-story tree, which produces tiny purple 'plums' is a favorite food source of birds, deer, bears, coyotes, foxes and other creatures.
It is the first nectar source for bees and other pollinating insects.
Male and Female trees are needed for pollination.
These are native to the Pacific Coast from Northern California to British Columbia.
Native Americans also used it as a food source and made medicinal tea from the bark.
Twigs were used as a mild anesthetic.
As we walk along to the entrance of the property, this large cedar stump stands as sentry.
When we moved here 30 years ago, this stump represented what was once an ancient forest.
Logged at the turn of the last century,
this massive stump is just now starting to fall into the forest.
You can see we have propped it up as best we can.
This section carries the scar of the logger's axes,
where they would notch the tree to build a platform to stand on for sawing.
I can't imagine cutting down such a magnificent tree.
It breaks my heart....
You can also see that it is charred from an ancient forest fire.
Here you can view it to scale with the dogs, Champ and Whitey Bear, in the foreground.
Maple, Holly, Alder and Sword Fern grow alongside.
It now offers shelter to small creatures and provides for woodpeckers who forage for meals.
Its decay supplies nutrients for baby tree ferns and mosses.
These 75-100 year old Douglas Fir look tiny by comparison,
even though some of them are over 100 ft. tall. with trunks nearly 3 ft. in diameter.
More signs of spring growth with this pretty ground cover, called 'Pacific Waterleaf'.
We are blessed to have so many lovely native plants.
But it is getting late and we should head for home.
This is where I will be working for the next few days, planting a shade garden around my bench.
I will start with these little beauties.
Next will be Forget Me Not and a few other little treasures I've been growing in pots.
A place to sit after a day spent working in the gardens.
So while the evening sun illuminates the spring awakening hills,
I bid you a good night.
And Happy Spring!
What are your plans for Spring?
"We may see on a spring day in one place more beauty in a wood than in any garden."
The Garden Beautiful (1907)