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“Soul Patch” (Bearded Iris) Nikon D300, 420mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/8, 1/100s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

One of the perks of having a garden is the opportunity to share plants with other gardeners. Many perennials benefit from being “split” and it is a great way to achieve a diverse landscape that is also, rich in history.

Prime example – the bearded irises shown here came from my good friend and next-door neighbor, Nancy, and have a 100+ year-old lineage! Imagine that! 🙂

Here’s the story as told to me by Nancy:

“They were in my mother’s grandmother’s yard and were transplanted to my aunt’s (my mother’s sister) yard in Hanson, Massachusetts. She shared them with me twenty-five years ago when she moved to Florida. I planted them in my mother-in-law’s garden in Beverly Farms and then moved them to this house in 1988. Whew! Since then I’ve shared them with many people who love irises”.

“Drawn” (Bearded Iris with Hoverfly) Nikon D300, 550mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/11, 1/50s, ISO 640, Slightly Cropped

Aren’t I a lucky, lucky girl?And so are all of you since now you get to enjoy them as well! 🙂

I hope to split and pass some of these “heirloom” rhizomes onto some other lucky gardener(s) one day. Just the thought of them growing and blooming long after I’m gone is somehow comforting to me. My link in the “proverbial” chain of life, so to speak, albeit a teeny-tiny one.

Aside from irises, other transplant “gifts” I’ve received (as well as given) include: rhubarb, daylily, peony, hosta, azalea,  rhododendron, monkshood, balloon flower, rudbeckia and butterfly bush. I’m sure there are more but this is all I could think of! 🙂

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“Spring Stretch” (Crocus ‘Yalta’, Tommasinianus hybrid, aka Snow Crocus) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5, 1/80s, -0.7EV, ISO 320, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -0.7EV

Last year at this time, the Snow Crocus were still fast asleep, buried under two feet of the cold, white stuff.This year couldn’t be more different!

With an overall lack of snowfall during the winter and the crazy higher-than-normal temperatures here in the Northeast, the happy little blossoms are popping up all over the landscape.

One little beauty caught my attention since it appeared to be caught in a sleepy yawn, stretching its petals as if perplexed as to why it was roused so soon (we typically don’t spot crocus until mid-April).

The next bloom I found was hiding beneath a large rhododendron, seemingly timid to come forth, yet reaching for the warmth of the sun just beyond its grasp.

“Awakening” (Purple Snow Crocus) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 200, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

As much as it is nice to see life returning to the garden, I’m not all that keen on rushing the seasons. Who wants to worry now if outdoor plants are getting enough water or if young shoots are struggling to dig their way out from under a bed of leaves? It really is just too soon. I’m sure I don’t have to stress over this as Mother Nature is known for teasing us with a few warm days followed by a return to chilling temps, even if the sole purpose is to remind us all of exactly who is in charge.

So, let’s hit the snooze button, shall we? I, for one, need a bit more time to get ready for the tasks ahead. 🙂

This is our second day of needed rainfall and as the ground squished under my shoes, I made my way around the garden performing the usual morning tasks of filling the feeders and checking on all the plants.  

No watering can required. 🙂  

A green lacewing fluttered by me, struggling to fly in the gusting winds, landing ultimately on the wooden trellis at the grey shed. With their delicate transparent wings, a bright spring-green torso, reddish face and large eyes, lacewings are not only quite the interesting-looking insect but also a welcome friend in my garden since their larvae devour a variety of pests! As I’ve yet to photograph one, I went back inside to grab my camera but, unfortunately, by the time I returned, the lacewing had fled the scene. Shoot! 

Well, now that I had my camera, I traipsed around the sodden landscape seeking out another worthy subject. Hmmmm, what will it be?

"Belle" (Clematis viticella 'Betty Corning') Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/5.6, 1/160s, -1.7EV, ISO 1000, Silver Efex Pro Filter w/Selective Toning

A solitary Clematis viticella blossom drenched with raindrops was just begging to be noticed! I love the violet color, bell shape and those delicate, frilly edges. Surprisingly, not much was done in post except for some selective color removal along with dodging to highlight the bloom’s texture and edge details.  

So, as much as I would have liked a go at the lacewing, I’m inclined to think this was the shot that was meant to be. 🙂  

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