A Magical Spring Morning

Saturday promised fair weather so we ventured on a morning outing to Lakewold Gardens, our first time there. The beginning of May is promoted as the best time to visit and oh, how magnificient it proved to be! We discovered a magical, graceful and thoughtfully designed garden with a lovely balance of classical and informal elements. I thought we might have missed the Mt. Fuji cherry trees, or that they would have been decimated by the recent heavy rains, but no, they were in full bloom, perfect, with every blossom open and backlit, and only a delicate few beginning to drift down to the brick walkway.

Narcissus overflowing the parterres glowed in the morning light beneath the trees and my breath was literally taken away. I took this impressionist inspired shot to represent the dreamlike atmosphere.

But this was only one of so many scenes that captivated and delighted us all morning. An abundant collection of Rhododendron Loderi cast their heavenly fragrance throughout the grounds, reminding me to plant at least one at Hillhaven this year. It has been said that scent carries our memories, and the perfume of the Loderi conjures gossamer wisps of memory, elusive but joyful.

A charming woodland path followed a burbling stream down to Gravelly Lake and along the way I came across a fantastic specimen of one of my favorite springtime trees, the Shindeshojo Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Shindeshojo’). Anything you read about this tree says it has striking red spring foliage but I’ve never found it to be red. It’s truly PINK!
And one final image of a wonderfully enchanting place. We can’t wait to return! – g

Two Years Ago Today…

Two years ago today we first looked at our house. D had driven by a few days earlier and noticed it for sale, but thought it would be way out of our price range. On this morning two years ago, we drove past and stopped so I could grab a flyer. When we got back to the condo, I called my sister (a real estate agent) and she arranged for us to see it within the hour. It was a beautiful day, and the little pink dogwood was in bloom, just like it is in this photo I took this afternoon, and as soon as we came up the steep drive, we fell in love with the house and grounds. We knew it wouldn’t stay on the market for long at all and that we’d have to make the leap and buy it that day. And so we did.

We have never regretted it for a minute and love every second we spend here. – g

Vessels of Light

Today I made my annual trip to Skagit Valley for the Tulip Festival. The bloom had been so delayed by the cold spring that I thought I wouldn’t go this year. But at nearly the last minute (well, the last official day of the festival), I drove up to the valley early and arrived pretty much before anyone else. Usually I go three or four times a year but I knew this would be the only visit for this season.

Although tulips are not my favorite flower, or even my favorite flower to photograph, no other captures light and holds it so vividly, offering it gratefully back up to the sun. – g

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