Monday, April 21, 2008

And Spring Has Come to Central Illinois!

Last Thursday, while taking my Dad to the VA clinic for a check up, we saw trees like this one in bloom all over the campus. To my surprise, I knew it was a Star Magnolia! Thanks of course to the garden bloggers. The thing I don't know is are there different colors of them? Most of the ones I have seen on posts look very white and this one definitely has a pink cast to it. I stopped the car and went to take closer pictures to post and find out if I was correct about the kind, and ...

to show the pink! I'm pretty sure my Dad thought I was a little nuts for taking the up close pictures.
Spring has come in a rush the last week. I am constantly amazed, as I walk in the gardens each day, to see how quickly everything is growing. The hostas look so pretty at this time of the year. This green one just says spring. I think it is time to divide some of them, but do I do it now? These were pass along plants and it seems I did transplant them early in the spring.

I finally have a blooming tulip! It is just the one, but several more will be opening in the next few days. Carol posted about not really caring for the red ones in her back yard, but I only have a few of these and they are early ones. But the time the pink and mauve ones bloom the red are gone.

Oh, by the way, most of the close up pictures today are courtesy of one of the granddaughters. She turns 15 this week, and she ask for and got a new camera. She and I had fun learning how to use it. It not only has macro mode- it has super macro mode! I want one, too!!
The dwarf flowering cherry on the south side of our patio is just coming into bloom. Friday, I tried to get a close up of the buds...not worth showing, but today, look! Blooms.

Isn't this a glorious picture!? She is really getting the 'eye'. I may frame this one.

And speaking of trees, the maple is starting to leaf out. This is the one we have a small sitting area under. It has a long branch that almost touches the ground, thereby affording us privacy right by the street. A few years back, someone gave us some of those round stepping stones and Hubby designed a small triangular patio under it with them. In the summer we sit there and cool off as it is very shady. This shade is where I have most of my hostas. I am working on finding other pants that do well in that deep shade and will tolerate the poor soil condition.

And one last picture, I promise, of the daffs!

The lilacs are budding and getting fatter each day. Maybe this year we will have some of their delightful blooms. Last year, at just about this stage of development, we got a killing frost. Of 2 bushes, I had maybe 3 bloom and they were small and had little scent. The forecast looks great for several days... so here's hoping.
This was the weekend with the granddaughters, so little in the way of actual gardening was done. This week, I hope to get lilies, perennial sweet peas and some summer bulbs planted. I received one of my on-line orders last week and need to get them in the ground. I wasn't expecting it quite yet as most of it should be planted after chance of frost. But the condition of the plants warrants an earlier planting. They are sprouting and look very pale. So frost or not, they must be planted.
Here's wishing all of you a glorious time in your gardens this week.


Alyssa said...

Wow! The Magnolia is just beautiful! Great pictures of it.

You can divide hostas most any time. They are quite forgiving and now is a good time. I rarely divide my hostas because I like great big plants. I don't like to wait for the divided ones to catch up.

I love any color tulips! I think red are so vibrant after all that white snow.

Your granddaughter took some very nice pictures. I'd like a new camera this summer and the macro mode is so neat! It seems like young people can get the hang of electronic stuff really fast. I always ask my granddaughter questions about any of that stuff and she has the answers.

Yes, I remember last year around this time we had horribly cold temperatures and lots of my plants were damaged. What a difference.

Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie, isn't everything coming on and looking so pretty. Your granddaughter did a great job with the photography.
Beautiful, beautiful blossom, can never get enough of it myself.
I can see you all in my minds eye sitting under the maple on a hot sunny day.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yes Beckie the star magnolias get that pink color as the blossom ages.

Your granddaughter did a great job on the close ups. You should get you a good camera with a macro.

My camera's macro is kaput. I guess I dropped the camera too many times. This really makes me ill. I have a bad case of the wants for the garden I can't be buying a new camera now. UGH... I guess I will limp along with what I have. I can always get DB to take some pictures. He never "sees" things the way I do though. I think that most intersting. Even when I describe wha tI want it never comes out of his camera like I would take it. Sometimes it is even better but not what I would have done. Ha.

Karen said...

Those are gorgeous pictures of the magnolia's. I was noticing them this weekend when I was out and about.

I had some online orders come in early too and had to plant. Hope we stay warm, last frost date for Indiana is May 10th.

I'm crossing my fingers, hope your area has no frost either!

beckie said...

Alyssa, You are so right about kids and electronics! Our 3 year old can work my camera as well as I can, and all of the girls know more about my cell phone than I do. Like you, I love any tulip.

Cheryl, she is really becoming interested in nature. I think the new camera will get her even more involved. And of course, grandma will take her(and the camera)along on nature walks!

Oh Lisa! I am just sick about your camera! You take such wonderful closeups. Your birthday is coming up soon... :)

Karen, I decided they had to be planted. If not, I was for sure going to lose them! If it does frost, I can cover them. But the long range forecast is looking good. Like you said...fingers crossed!

Rose said...

Great photos, Beckie! Yes, the macro mode makes a huge difference, but I didn't know there was a "super" macromode, too. M did a great job taking these; she does have an eye for it.
Love the magnolia pictures; I miss my old tree.
I can't believe your hostas are this big already; mine are just coming up. And yes, you can dig them up now; in fact, I think they're easier to divide now rather than the fall. And if they're "pass-along" plants....I might know someone you could pass them onto (hint, hint).

Wendy said...

Love those daffodils too! And at least the critters leave them alone. That magnolia is really gorgeous!
Spring has finally finally come - and we're not far behind (Canada)! My tulips are almost open, daffodils too. And the last bits of snow from my back yard are almost gone. What a loooooong winter!