Saturday, March 29, 2008

spring blooms

Over the last couple of months I have been working on a project at work that had me computing the angle of the sun above the horizon across the US at all times of the day. Apparently the companies that take the high resolution overhead photographs for Google Earth and other mapping utilities require that the sun be at least 30 degrees above the horizon. When I started the project, about half of the US had a solar angle lower than 30 degrees all day long. Now the entire US reaches a solar angle greater than 30 degrees each day.

Kingdom Plantae has noticed! Here are some pictures of the bloomage occurring in my house and yard.

Several flowers I didn't get to until they had already wilted - including our crocuses.  I forgot to get a picture of our Flowering Quince bush when it was all blooms and no leaves, but here's what it looks like today:


Our Tulip tree (saucer magnolia) is starting to get big.  Since it has a lot of branching at ground level, I have been trying to thin it out a little each year so that it will be somewhat tree-like.  I think it is coming along pretty well.  I will probably have to remove a couple more branches this year.  Here's the gorgeous blooms:


We have 3 different color combinations of Daffodils in our back flower garden (all yellow, light yellow with dark yellow center, and white with orange tinted center).  Here's two of them:

yellow_daffodil white_daffodil

We planted a flowering cherry tree 2 years ago and within a couple of months we noticed something horribly wrong with it.  Even though it was really just a 6 foot tall twig, it appeared to have been struck by lightning or diseased or something.  Half of it had turned black and ceased growing.  There is a clear line running straight down it's skinny trunk.  All new growth has come from the other half.  We've been debating whether to dig it up and move it to a less prominent location, since we had strategically positioned it to overhang our corner garden.  But this year it surprised us.  It has its first ever cheery blossom coming out and they look to be ready to open very soon!  Can you see them in the foreground?:


I received this flowering peach tree last year as a gift and it was covered in 2 colors of blooms when we planted it.  I'm glad to see it burst forth color again this year.  It has both magenta and light pink blooms intermixed on all the branches:


I overwintered 4 cyclamen indoors that had been very healthy all year outdoors.  They lost most of their leaves and went dormant during the winter, so I don't know how they will do with the transition.  Here is a new cyclamen that I just planted.  It also has 2 colors blooms:


These are the amaryllis that I wrote about in my previous post.  I have had them for several years now and they rebloomed for me this year.


I also wrote in my last post about getting my Christmas cactus to rebloom.  Well, I have a friend that just moved to Ireland for a couple of years and left her plants behind with me while she's gone.  Her Christmas (Easter?) cactus didn't bloom at the same time as mine did, but just surprised me with some blooms in the last couple of weeks:


This one's not really a bloom, but I was very happy to see this new little guy's foliage coming out this year.  I just planted this Japanese Maple tree last year and I wasn't sure that he was going to make it.


The tulips we planted in the backyard have bloomed a couple of weeks sooner each year than those in the front yard.  I will have to post again when our tulip-filled front flower bed is in bloom.  Here is the first of our backyard tulips:


We bought another azalea this year.  The price was irresistible ($2.48)!  Hopefully the ones we planted last year will bloom again for us.  They might need some fertilizer encouragement.  Here's our new one:


I was suprised to see these tiny blooms on my little leopard lily (an indoor plant).  The blooms actually have little purple stamens coming out of the white flowers.  I couldn't pick up the detail with my camera though.


I will post more blooms as they arrive.  I expect to have a BUNCH of tulips, some daylilies, irises and who knows what else!

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