Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring is here???

Well here we are on day 6 of spring (?) and as you can tell by the above picture of Pittsgrove, winter has decided to stick around longer than most of us would like and for the past few days has caused havoc across a good portion of the US. This time last year, we were relishing temperatures in the 60's and working daily in the garden beds. Yesterday was the first time in ages that John and I ventured outdoors here for any length of time beyond gathering kindling for our wood stove. It wasn't the cold, but the accompaning wind that cut through to the bone that kept us from our chores. We cleaned up more winter debris and started preparing the vegetable garden, but planting has still been postponed to some yet unknown date in the future more amenable to the sowing of seeds and tender seedlings.

This is still the time of year, if weather permits, to get out to your garden beds to finish any cleanup that wasn't finished during our equally uncooperative fall. It's much easier to get those pesky maple leaves and dead weeds removed rather than waiting for warmer weather which then finds all your perennials suddenly appearing and growing like Topsy making your job much more tedious.Whip out those clippers and cut back any perennials that you didn't get to earlier.Your iris won't look very attractive with a heap of brown leaves lying next to them and if you cut away the brown leaves from your helleborus you'll be greeted by some beautiful blossoms waiting to kiss the sky.
Helleborus last spring

So buck up, bundle up, and clean up those flower beds for spring is surely on the horizon. At least that's what the calender keeps telling us.

Think positive thoughts!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hawaii Reunion

Kuoloa Ranch where many movies and TV series Lost have been filmed.

No arm twisting was required when my aunt and uncle (Pagan Dancer-see post from Sept. 15, 2008)
 stated New Jersey was too great a distance for them and Australia would be too far to ask us to travel, and suggested we meet them in Hawaii. Let's see--sub-freezing, snowy Jersey, or 85 degree and sunny Oahu. Not a difficult choice at all.
"Ramona" Cheryl & "Duke"

It was a great reunion as we hadn't been together since 2005 when John and I finally visited with them and the rest of our OZ family in Victoria. My aunt and uncle share our love of plants and gardening, so besides swimming, snorkeling and some great dining out, we explored a number of botanical gardens together.
Mindanao Gum Tree at the Dole Plantation

We wondered at the beautiful variety of flowers, trees and shrubs, some that we recognized from either Jersey or Australia and others none of us had ever seen before.

We were struck by the beauty of the rainbow of colors of the hibiscus and orchids and quite cautious of the fruit of the cannonball tree which would be frightfully dangerous on a windy day.

Cannonball tree at Foster Botanic Gardens

 A visit to an orchid nursery enabled my aunt to show me those she grows at home that unfortunately were not in bloom during our visit.

Admiring orchids

Our walks together throughout resplendent gardens gave us the opportunity to relax and reconnect after being so many miles and so many years apart. Of course our ten days together flew by much too swiftly as is often the case when enjoying yourself with those you love, but we said our farewells at the airport with the promise to plan another reunion with more gardens to explore.

North Shore Sunset

Aloha for now!