Just some colors

Too often I think of the garden as a list of jobs that need to be done: weed this bed, plant those seeds, prune this shrub, mow the lawn. Other times I think of it as a collection of plants: the flowers, the shrubs, the bamboo, the edibles. Sometimes I like to forget about the jobs, and even forget about the plants, and look at things differently. One way I do this is to take a really close look at specific parts of everything that's growing.

Not to examine the structure or details of the flower or leaf, but to focus on the color. Springtime colors are so fresh and vibrant, I just can't help myself.


The common hyacinth blooming in the kitchen window fills the room with perfume, but it also fills my eye with so many shades of purple when you look close enough.

The fruiting trees and shrubs are starting to put on their show now, and these plum flowers say "white" from a distance, but up close the yellow pollen becomes much more important:

The blueberry blooms are unmistakable, aren't they?

This is the first year my apple serviceberry has flowered:

The gunnera leaves are impressing me already, and they're only a couple of inches wide -- I expected to be impressed by this plant, but not by its color!

If it's red-edged greens you like...

Red edging is nice, but you say you want more. You want a ruddy hue that's got some kick to it... like hot pink maybe?

I will never stop being amazed by bleeding heart blooms.

I do not know what this next plant is, as it's growing as a weed in one small section of the yard. I could have sworn this was an all-green plant until I got up close and the yellow bud tips took over:

So you say you like the yellows? How about one of the most common yellows around:

Followed by something a lot less common: bamboo.

Those leaves are only just emerging and are already drawing me in. Imagine what it will look like in a month when it's fully leafed out. Pleioblastus viridistriatus leaves are fantastic when fresh!

I really enjoy getting up close to the plants and focusing on their colors. Now it's back to that list of jobs I still have to do...


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (April 8, 2011 at 10:20 AM)  

Alan, these are beautiful! Some of your most stunning photos yet. I especially love the glow of the hyacinths and plum flowers. Very well done!

Susan in the Pink Hat  – (April 8, 2011 at 12:45 PM)  

Really nice, soft macros Alan! I envy your photography skills and camera.

Liz  – (April 8, 2011 at 2:44 PM)  

You really made me think of flowers differently after reading this. Too often I just say "That's pretty" but don't go up and really look at it.

TheGardeningBlog  – (April 8, 2011 at 3:55 PM)  

These are lovely photographs Alan!

Alan  – (April 8, 2011 at 4:32 PM)  

Thank you for the compliments! It's not the camera, but the lens. It was made in 1964, and I love it. It's a bit tricky to use though.

I think the next step is to get some of these flowers under the microscope...

anne  – (April 8, 2011 at 7:51 PM)  

Your foliage and flowers are way ahead of ours - yesterday was the first day I noticed my bleeding hearts poking out of the ground. Even the hellebore flowers are just opening up!

Steve Lau  – (April 8, 2011 at 8:47 PM)  

I can't wait to see stuff bloom this year. We finally have an above average temperature week coming up with most days reaching into the 60s so I expect at least the trees to bloom 1 week from today.

I just added about 1-ton of manure over all my stuff bamboos included, and might try my first shot at worm tea this weekend to give a jump start to my perennials/ garden plants.

Meems  – (April 8, 2011 at 9:01 PM)  

The longer I garden the more I notice and the more captivated I become. That's a beautiful color in your photo.

Pam's English Garden  – (April 8, 2011 at 9:17 PM)  

Dear Allen, I love this post. You are a very talented photographer. P

Jean Campbell  – (April 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM)  

My favorite palette! Purple, pale yellow, chartreuse, and orange. Some bright pink always sneaks into mine, too.

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