Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Finally enjoying what is in front of my nose

I have been ridiculous about my azaleas this year. For several years they have been blooming earlier and earlier. This year I have been holding my breath because they are so far ahead of schedule that I was sure they would get zapped by a hard frost before we were in the clear. We're still not in the clear in terms of last frost date but I finally stopped to realize that it is time to enjoy what's in front of my nose. The shot above is one I took today of my enormous azalea bushes on either side of my driveway. As you can see, covering my azaleas is not an option. They are as tall as small trees.
Even my small azaleas like the white one above are pretty large. My biggest group of monster azaleas is at the top of my driveway hiding my secret garden. As you can see from the shot below, that azalea hedge is a ways off from blooming but even if the buds get zapped, at this point I can't complain. The azalea wall is a later blooming variety than the ones above but even so it's not too far off from blooming.
As much as I enjoy that wall of flowers, I am FINALLY relaxing and realizing that if every last one of my premature blooms gets hit by late cold weather, I have already had so many pleasant sites from early spring.The closeup above of the large white azalea blossom is from the hedge above that. There are three different colors of large azaleas in the grouping and the bottom blossoms are starting to open while the ones in the middle and top are still mostly buds.
I have let the azaleas at the bottom of my driveway (first shot) get so overgrown there is barely room to back into my driveway. The ones at the top of my driveway (shot above) are so overgrown that I can barely slip into my secret garden. I like it that way. After the blooms all open and drop off, I will do some minor pruning but mostly enough to make them grow even faster.
We have had quite a bit of rain lately. Not enough to pull out of the drought but it has made a difference. I can hear the flowers cheering for each and every drop.
Tuesday was the last of my string of appointments which started during the beginning of March. I was rather amused that my pain doc appointment would fall on April Fool's Day. I am so happy that I don't have any more doctor's appointments for months. Well, not except for dentist and blood work. I feel like I'm getting a reprieve since I'm done with oncology, dermatology, rheumatology, and painology for this cycle of appointments.For now I can kick back in my secret garden and enjoy my growing crop of weeds, I mean flowers, well to be honest flowers and weeds. Happy April!


Dee said...

Great azaleas! There are a few rhododendrons blooming on campus - near this one bright red one, there was a hip-high bush, hot pink I think (hey that rhymes!), but it didn't look like the rhodie. Looking at your azaleas, I think that that is what it is. I have some azaleas in my yard, but they are low, knee-level bushes and in the seven years I've been here, they haven't grown higher.

Had to chuckle about the over-grown azaleas and weedy secret garden, though. Yard work is certainly not a priority for me - I don't mind it, but it is a lot of work. Didn't quite get to it last year as I was dealing with fatigue issues and now the information that the pharmaceutical company sent for preventing hand-foot syndrome with Xeloda states that I should "avoid gardening". My fingers, especially the tips, are sensitive to hot and also pressure - I was also getting cracked, peeling skin near my nails, but keeping them very moist with several different lotions and oils seem to be doing the trick (I have different lotions/oils in different places - a small bottle of cuticle oil in my purse, Udderly Smooth on my bedside table, a Neutrogena facial moisturizer and aloe vera gel in the bathroom). Anyway, my point is that my yard looks bad. Or, it did look bad. My dad has been over to my place a few times to weed, mow the grass, get rid of the dead stalks here and there, etc.

Like I said to my dad earlier today - DARN, the Xeloda says I shouldn't garden, I'm so sorry I can't help you! LOL

Carver said...

Hi Dee, I love rhododendrons. I used to have a beautiful one that I planted as a very small plant and it grew to be a huge bush. Unfortunately, my rhododendron died several years ago before the worse drought we're in now; but after I stopped irrigating much because we kept having water issues in the summer and I felt like I needed to water sparingly. That's great that your dad could help with your yard. Gardening is hard on the skin, even with gloves. I like to garden when I have the energy but I'm not into the tidy look which is a good thing considering the look I have going, ha. Part of my problem is energy and also believe it or not a slightly wild habitat style garden is harder to maintain than a garden that is primarily mowed with a few flowers here and there. I like a somewhat wild garden but wish I had more energy to control some of the invasive plants. Oh well, another day . . .

escape said...

in this set, i like the sixth picture. the blue petals with fresh moist makes it look really fresh.

MaR said...

Your azaleas are breathtaking!! so beautiful flowers, enjoy April and Spring!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Carv,
Meant to pat you on the back in your previous post, but missed it! So,


You are doing great with your workouts! Now drop and give me 20! : )
You are doing yourself proud in so many ways... I love the garden photos so much. So much for you to delight in and enjoy.
I just came to the realization that we won't be seeing Spring 'round these parts. Nor Fall.
But it is mighty green here in St. Pete. And so am I,
pea green and
Enviously yours,

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

jmb said...

They are so reliable azaleas, putting on a great show year after year. We don't have any out yet which is just as well since we are still having the odd snow flurry. Most unusual for this time of year.
The blue iris is gorgeous, very vibrant.
I'm glad to hear that you are finished for the moment and you are doing well with your walking. Good for you.

Yolanda said...

I always love your flower photos.

Carver said...

Hi The Dong, Thanks and I was happy with that shot too.

Thanks Mar and I am beginning to enjoy spring a great deal.

Hi K, Thanks and here's what you need to do while you're living in St. Pete, (listen to me being Miss bossy) plan on trips for each season you miss. It's a thought. I know you just got there recently so you're still in explore mode and B is getting going with his new job but maybe by fall you can plan a fall color trip, and one for each season.

Hi JMB, Thanks and I always enjoy my blue irises. In general I think blue is one of my favorite colors in the garden. I think a lot of places that usually don't have late snow have been getting it this year. The weather is weird in general, I think.

Thanks Yolanda, I appreciate that.

Barbara said...

Your azaleas are really lovely, I hope you don't get anymore frost,i ts good that you have later blooming varieties so you can enjoy them for longer.

I am glad to hear you have finished your medical appointments for now. enjoy your secret garden.

Carver said...

Thanks Starnitesky, It is nice to have varieties which bloom at different times. I like it when blooms are spread out.

Anonymous said...

Here is a tour of azaleas in the DC area


Click next for the next image.
Click index for a list of plants.

King (Kathie) said...


Kick back, girl!!! You have earned it big time! Beautiful pics. I can almost smell the flowers. Well, I will smell the flowers since I am heading to NC tomorrow. I can't wait.

Stay Strong

Christy Woolum said...

Wow! I am amazed how much you have in bloom. Iris also. Sigh... I know it will come. Beautiful photos.

DeLi said...

beautiful, beuatiful Carver..just what my tired eyes needs.......

Carver said...

Hi Kathie,

I hope you have a wonderful vacation in the NC mountains!

Hi Inland Empire Girl, I hope that spring will come very soon to your neck of the woods.

Hi Deli, I hope that you are able to get some rest after all of your studies!

Carver said...

Hi Anon,

I followed your link to the azalea tour and was pleasantly surprised by the lovely photographs. Thanks.

Bengbeng said...

thanks for sharing these beautiful flowers. actually i shud b here for photohunters but u know me, i love yr flowers n the scenery around yr home :) so i will jus comment here :)

USA said...

Here is a tour of our Rhododendrons in Salem, NH.


Click next to see the next iamge.
Click index to see the list of images.

Carver said...

Thanks Benbeng, I appreciate that.

Hi Rosebay, The rhododendrons are beautiful. Thanks for the link.