Welcome to my blog!

I photo sights and sites in my BloomingdaleDC neighborhood, or Washington DC or places I visit and write some thoughts about what I've seen. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and amazements too!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

And The May Garden Is So Different

Candy Geraniums
Yellow Irises
It's almost a month later from my last blog about all the flowers in my garden and now everything has changed. Gone are the tulips and daffodils and it's all irises and budding roses and geraniums and peonies.
It's a lot of pink and yellow and even blue and very exciting to see everything coming out blooming again.
King Peonies
Pixie Queen Irises
Miniature Blue Iris
I've been growing these flowers for years now and it's always a lovely surprise when the leaves shoot up and the buds form and then -- usually after a few days of sun and heat -- the flowers start to unfurl.  Each year the flowers are different, either a bulb has doubled and there are more flowers or somehow the plant is making bigger flowers, or in the case of the Queen Elizabeth rose bush, smaller flowers seem to be appearing, but a lot more than usual.  I've spied about 20 buds there! And for some other reason the miniature blue irises doubled and are a huge mass this year.  Just so delightful!

Queen Elizabeth Roses Budding

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Flowers

Well, I can't get by without doing at least one blog filled with photos of my flowers from the garden. The past few weeks have seen all the daffodils come out (after the forsythia) and now there's violets hiding everywhere and the peonies are starting to shoot up.  Also, so glorious are the tulips; there should have been more but either the dratted squirrels had lunch on them or, due to the snow and ice that came so late this year, some of the bulbs actually rotted in their pots. Nevertheless, I have some peach, red and yellow tulips, and a lone creamy white one.  It's such a delight to put bulbs down in the late fall and then wait and see what comes up in spring! So amazing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No, Not A Pinata, But A Wasps' Nest

Look, up in the tree, it's a balloon? A ball? A pinata? Nope, it's a huge wasps' nest! So amazing. We were driving on Q Street NW in Washington DC and looked up at what we thought was trash or something in the tree but on closer inspection turned out to be a giant wasps' nest. Or at least that's what I think it is as it looks like one I once saw in a museum.  I zoomed in with my camera and saw the opening and expected to see things buzzing in and out but it's probably too cold for wasps right now.  But I am wondering, where do wasps go over the winter? Do they die or hibernate?  I'll have to go look this up!
Well, I just ran off to Wikipedia about wasps and learned a lot including that it is probably a wasps' nest as "social" wasps chew trees and other stuff to make a paper pulp to make their nests. Apparently there are lone wasps too, but they don't make big nests and live together. (Sounds like some people we all know!).
I expect this nest will get covered up as the tree leafs up but I'll keep an eye out in about a month and see if I can still see it. 
The address for this wonder of nature is about 1406-1408 Q Street NW, just east of The Bike Rack shop nearby.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Inklings

Daffodils peeping out from snow
Tulip Tops Appearing
Sweet Yellow Crocuses!
Despite the recent snow falls I've espied hints of spring flowers in my garden.  The daffodils are forging ahead and put their yellow pointy heads out even through a crispy snow cap.  Then, in a pot by the kitchen door I spotted some tulip tips coming out. And lo and behold, I then saw some lovely yellow crocuses blazing away despite the low temperatures.  So all in all, I'm quite happy that signs of spring are showing up! So glorious to imagine when they are in full flower in just a few short weeks! And a short walk outside this morning confirmed there are a lot of tips and tops of bulbs and plants peeking out, reaching for the sun and inching their way through the last of March!.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hidden Garden With Bright Colors and Unusual Plants

We recently visited the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C., up near the U.S. Congress buildings.  We were thrilled and amazed at the plants and flowers and trees growing there. As it was a very cold wintry rainy sort of day, it was very pleasant to go into a warm and humid environment and see brightly colored flowers and tropical plants. It's set up with many different rooms all of which are glassed in, although there is an outside area -- the Children's Garden -- that is only open in warm weather. There was a room full of orchids that were spectacular hues, some with tiger skin design or flaming pink or orange or colors you didn't think existed naturally. Another very interesting room was filled with desert plants, such as various cactii and grasses that grow in very dry areas.  They had specimens from many areas of the world and with just enough text to explain what it was, although I think they could have provided just a little bit more information. One room was filled with medicinal plants and having more text it was cool to find out how many commonly-used
pharmaceuticals are derived from plants.  Another huge area, two-storeys high, was filled with jungle trees and vines and bromeliads, some flowering, some just hanging. Inside the Children's Garden you could see a large plant that looked like it was made of glass. In fact one visitor looking at it said "That's not a real plant!"  But it turned out there were several of these milky white glassy plants growing there and they are real. Another treat were the topiary trees shaped as animals such as bears, and some potted mosses and ferns arranged to look like frogs or other creatures. Since it was the holiday season there was also an extraordinary display of poinsettas, some pink, some cream and the more familiar red ones. Another (small!) glass room displayed some endangered species plants, including some interesting ferns and flowers.
View to US Congress from front of Botanical Garden
This is a  truly a wondrous place to visit (for free) in the city and learn more about the environment.