Those that have read my blog for a while know that Snowball flowers are one of my favorite since childhood. In my garden I had a Snowball Shrub (Viburnum plicatum). The Snowballs I observe in abundance now are Snowball Hydrangea (Handrangea arborescens), a shrub with a lower profile and native to the United States of unlike the Viburnum species. Thier intricate, delicate, complicated design is truly the work of higher being.
Nothing is more telling of life’s development than the gradual change of Hydrangea shrubs’ clusters of delicate flowers from pale green, pure white, then soft pink, which deepens toward purple and finally changes to neutral taupe. This shrub is still actively in bloom, undaunted by the cooling temperatures. It’s difficult for me to walk past them every day and not pick a few to savor as a dried bouquet during the upcoming winter. Mine, for the first time, didn’t bloom at all this year!?!
Diablo Ninebark (Physocarpus) shrub with emerging buds and fully open flowers. This shrub reinforces my purple and white shades in my springtime perennial garden. The leaves and the white flowers both have purple undertones. This species is also suitable to my sustainable plans; it is heat and drought resistant. I take advantage of perennial’s deep roots and keep my watering to only once or twice each year. Newly planted perennials are pampered with weekly deep watering as their root systems become established.
Four different plants have the common name, Rose of Sharon. The images below are example of the species Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), a shrub, found in North America. It had just finished raining which is evident by the wet blossoms and pollen-loaded, water saturated, and immobile bee.
I admired the blooms for many years along my neighbor’s fence. When I was looking to fill some open space in my garden, she suggested I take a few of the numerous new shoots emerging between the mature shrubs. I did so. My green-thumb gardener, mother, warned me that they can be invasive and I might want to rethink my use of them in my garden. This turned out to be very true. Like other advice from a mother, it took me several years to realize her wisdom. Though I removed the three full size shrubs several years ago, I am still continuously pulling out young sprouts every few weeks all around my garden. They are easy to remove when new sprouts; and good exercise.
The images below are from this dear neighbor’s yard. The upward view on the pink blossom is because the shrub has grown to over eight feet tall and FULL of beautiful blossoms. I am grateful for my wonderful neighbors, and also that there is a wide gravel alley between our two gardens; keeping neighboring seeds at bay.
Pale yellow with a slight blush, the flowers cluster together in small alliances hiding under the similarly burgundy tinted thick oval leaves. Easy to miss. Dangerous to touch, thorns are prolific. Barberry Shrub (Berberis vulgaris)’s blooms precede the namesake bright red berries.
Photography is actually painting with light. Nature uses light and shadow for camouflage and allure, both qualities leading to survival of species. Barberry flowers appear to be sunlight reflections to the casual viewer that focuses on the darker shrubbery leaves. This macro image reveals “light” as flowers in full bloom.
For more images and information, see older posting: Berries and barbs in winter… 12/13/11