Japanese garden in Portland, Oregon.
Japanese garden in Portland, Oregon.
This is one year anniversary of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I want to thank Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy, Tina and their team effort to make the photo Challenge fun. To celebrate the anniversary, the theme for #53 can be individual’s choice or one of their suggestions. I chose to show some flowers.
There are many kinds of flowers in my garden. Some are perennial and some annual. To make gardening manageable, I have mostly perennial flowers because they come back year after year. I just keep some spots for annual flowers to have fun planting new every year.
Our front yard and backyard were remodeled fifteen years ago, twelve rose bushes were planted. The original tags were gone and I don’t remember the names of most of the roses. I tried to keep the tags of twelve rose bushes planted after that. Since these twenty-four rose bushes are in different colors, I decided to have ten white iceberg roses on one side of the driveway.
There are about a dozen kinds of annual flowers not included in this post. Yes, I like flowers.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln
“We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie
“The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.” – Author Unknown
“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.” – John Lennon
“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities in the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson
“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound.” – Edwin Curran
“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women too.” – Miranda Kerr
This week Ann-Christine gave us the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees. She wants us to post trees from every corner of the world! Anything about trees is free for us to explore in this theme – leaves, forests, fruits, stumps or saplings…maybe tree houses?
Here are some of my tree stories.
I’m thankful for having many trees in our front yard and the garden in the back of the house.
Our county is named Orange County known for the orange groves. In 1948, a vast forest of five million Valencia orange trees grew on 67,000 acres. The postwar population boom triggered an almost wholesale conversation of farmland to suburbia.
Our home was built before 1948 with an orange tree planted in the backyard. The Valencia tree produces two crops a year yielding several hundreds of oranges each crop. The juice we squeeze and freeze from each crop lasts for four months.
I planted two plum trees in my garden several years ago. The plum blossoms start earlier than any flowers. In 2017, when the trees were mature and started having full blossoms, I worried there were no bee attracting flowers to pollinate the plum blossoms. Well, I said there were no bee attracting flowers around, it was not entirely true. There were clovers with yellow flowers but yellow was not my favorite color of flowers. To one person is flower, to another person is weed. I consider clovers weed and always pulled them to give room for planting other flowers. That year, after I pulled two handful from the slope blanketed with clovers, I spotted bees. I was surprised and happy, but sorry for what I did. I quickly plugged the clovers back to the soil. Ever since then, I leave a large area on the slope for clovers.
This year, with five months of winter rain, both plum blossoms and clovers grow wild. There are several hundreds of plums on each tree.
Without giving too much thought on many kinds of apples, I planted a Granny Smith apple tree several years ago. It turned out that Granny Smith apples were too sour for me to eat. My friends recommended to use them to make apple pies. We don’t eat pies too much for health reason. I ended up chopping down the tree and planted a Red Delicious apple tree. The tree is three years old with thin branches, but with the help of heavy rain this year, there are a couple hundreds of apples. I had to use heavy sticks to pop up the weighed down branches.
Cypress trees require little water to grow to a maximum of 100 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Many homes use them as natural fence for privacy or border of the property. We grow them for privacy reason. The home on the hill on the top of our slope has the backyard facing our second story. Even though people don’t purposely intrude other people’s homes, we wanted to have the added beauty of the trees and privacy.
There are three Hibiscus trees, two in the garden in the back of the house and one in the side yard. Hibiscus tree has gorgeous flowers without requiring too much water. I used to water them the same way I did for other trees and flowers. Then I noticed white flies growing from the back of the leaves. My gardener asked me to rinse the leaves with soapy water. I got rid of the white flies with soapy water, but I decided not to water the trees at all. Since the roots of the trees are deep and draw water from the deep soil, the trees grow beautifully with dark green leaves and bright color flowers.
This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, the theme Amy gave us is:
“Less is More.”
We have heard of this phrase often. When I saw this theme, I was curious of the origin of the expression. The research took me to several places and I wanted to trace the origin. This is what I found out:
This is a 19th century proverbial phrase. It is first found in print in Andrea del Sarto, 1855, a poem by Robert Browning written to Lucrezia:
“Who strive – you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) – so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.”
The phrase is often associated with the architect and furniture designer Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969), one of the founders of modern architecture and a proponent of simplicity of style.
Simple architecture in Kyoto, Japan.
I visited the nursery this morning to get new flowers. I brought a list with plants that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
The bees have been working hard to pollinate the plum and orange blossoms. The apple trees just budded. I want to have different flowers to attract the bees to stay around. Besides the fruit tree blossoms, I’ll plant sunflowers for the bees.
For the hummingbirds, there are two feeders, one in the front yard and one in the back. Yet I wanted to get flowers with nectar enjoyed by the hummingbirds. I only have Salvia flowers they like. So, I’ll make hanging baskets with petunia and hang them by the bird feeders.
There were Monarch and Mourning Cloak butterflies flying by my garden, but they visited the flowers in my next-door neighbor. I would like to have flowers attract them to stay longer. For the butterflies, I bought marigold and delphinium. I’ll get milkweed on my next trip.
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There are many activities in my garden for me to take close-up photos. Here are just several of them.
I love to have bees around to pollinate the fruit blossoms, as a result, I took photos of the bees whenever they hover over the flowers.