May flowers

The flowers I remember from growing up were old‐fashioned summer flowers: marigolds, zinnias, calendula, gladiolus, nasturtium, hollyhocks. We did have some spring bulbs, but they were difficult to naturalize. We also had mums in the fall. And the house I lived in most of my childhood had rose bushes along the front walk. That house also had a large bird of paradise beside the house, and poinsettias.

Moving East brought a whole new world of flowers to me. All sorts of plants that either can’t take the heat of Imperial Valley or need a colder winter period. Philadelphia, especially, had a long spring, and I grew to love the flowers of this season. Boston’s spring can go past very, very quickly, but I still enjoy it while I can.

Among my favorite flowers are those with heavy, sweet scents: lilacs, peonies, lilies‐of‐the‐valley. Lilacs are in full bloom here now, and I’ve seen some peonies in the neighborhood budding up. No lilies‐of‐the‐valley around here that I know of. Since a photograph cannot capture what I most love about those blossoms (not that they aren’t pretty, too!), I took some shots with my phone of another quirky favorite: quince. Their oh‐so‐short season is ending already.

quince

New England Flower Show

I had the good fortune to accompany the Boston.about.com guide to the New England Flower show for the press preview. The show is similar to other years. I do believe the competitive horticulture section is improving (although they still allow plastic pots!). Here’s a shot from the bonsai exhibit that I rather like.

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A tree for Barbara

Yesterday I planted a Korean Mountain Ash (Sorbus alnifolia) in memory of Barbara at Jan and Ken Hoffman’s house in Amherst. It’s in the back pasture, not far from the copse, nicely positioned to get plenty of sun. The Korean Mountain Ash has very pretty leaves (“alnifolia” means alder‐like leaves), dark green and serrated, that look like they’re going to be hard and stiff, but are actually rather soft. It has decorative blooms and fruit, as well as nice bark. Ken (the tree enthusiast) was happy with my choice.

Jardin botanique de Montréal/Montreal Botanical Garden

One of our priority destinations in Montreal was Jardin botanique de Montréal/Montreal Botanical Garden , since we didn’t get there last year.

Here are a few photos of greenhouse plants and the nearby Olympic Stadium with and without clouds.

Ginger

Orchid

Olympicstadium

Montrealstormclouds

And some photos of the koi in the pond in the Japanese Garden:

Koi1

Koi2

Koi3

Finally, a lotus from the Chinese Garden and Bob in the courtyard:

Lotus

Chinesegatebob

Up next: bonsai and penjing from the Japanese and Chinese Gardens, respectively.

(And with this post I’m trying out the “publish on” function of Typepad. I’m actually writing this on Wednesday evening but it should post on Thursday mid‐day.)