Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bloom

It's gorgeous here today. The Dogwood trees are blooming; it's sunny and about 83 degrees. Have you ever seen a Dogwood? Growing up in Northern Illinois, I didn't see one until I moved to Georgia almost ten years ago. I've seen all kinds of new plants down here --- although being a very green gardener, I don't have the knowledge or experience to name most of them. Oh who am I kidding, I probably never will!

Spring started early due to warm weather. The colors are inspiring. Our Bradford pear tree started flowering, eventually becoming a gorgeous white -- and just before all the flowers bloomed, the pale green of the leaves started to appear. Flowers started blooming in February, popping up purples and yellows in unexpected parts of our yard. Every week I see something new in bloom around the city: a bright purple pom-poms on a shrub; a mass of yellow flowers tangled in vines. Azaleas are out in full force - coloring the landscape with bright purple, white and pink. I can't wait for the hydrangea. They are a stunning shade of blue-purple.

Hydrangea are my most favorite flower. I first discovered them living in France. There was a flower shop I would visit, simply to look at flowers. I remember the florist was Izabella Minini. The store was so artfully put together. Every flower was displayed to its best advantage. I would ask the owner in my "American-accent" French if I could just look...and take photos. They were kind and gave me permission. I could have spent hours there. I also found my first lavender rose at that charming shop. And promptly purchased it, took it back to our little apartment just off the place de la Republique, and photographed it from every angle. I even drew a still life! Yes, flowers inspire me.