Friday 24 May 2024

Rhododendron Time


Once the azaleas are in bloom (previous post), one knows that the rhododendron are not far behind.There are now lots of purple ones to be found all over the old cemetery...



... And these impressive pink ones (below) literally grow "right on my doorstep", so that I see them every time I go in or out of the building! ...

Thursday 23 May 2024

Azalea Time

Since the summery weather struck a couple of weeks ago, and the first azaleas in the old cemetery started showing their colours, I've been walking by those almost daily - usually in the late afternoon or early evening, now that it's been rather hot earlier in the day.

First out were the yellow ones (14 May).

Followed by the pinkish red ones (15 May)

Then everything just exploded... (17 May)
17 May

17 May

19 May

22 May

22 May

Today I'll give the evening walk a miss. In the late morning, before it got really hot, I went for a walk to the supermarket and back. Then in the early afternoon I went out again to take some stuff to the recycling bins. By then there were a few light clouds in the sky, and there were warnings that we might have rain showers towards evening. Half way to the recycling station (only a few minutes from home) I felt a few tiny drops on my skin. It still didn't look like much would come of it - but before I reached my destination, it was pouring down... By then no point in turning round, though, as I was already wet. So I completed my task (sorting paper vs plastic into the right bins) before going back home ...  The rain had almost stopped before I got home. It was a very short shower - but intense! I had changed clothes before I went out (dressing for Hot and Sunny); but when I got back home I was half drenched and had to immediately change again... As I wasn't far from home I actually sort of enjoyed it, though - after a couple of rather hot and dusty weeks (lots of pollen in the air).

Just now I hear thunder... So more rain may be on its way. 

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Lilac Time

The three photos above are from some lilac bushes I can see from my windows.

For me, lilacs in bloom are forever associated with the end of the school year and the start of the summer holidays - a week or two into the month of June. This year, summer decided to arrive early, though. It's making me feel very confused about Time... My calendar says May, but my impressions from nature and the very warm and summery weather we've been having this past week or two says June! 

 I'm fascinated by this tree in the cemetery because it has lilacs of two different shades growing on the same tree. I'm thinking that grafting must have been involved.

Lots and lots of lilacs growing on a slope by the railway, also not far from where I live.

So much happening in Nature at the moment that I'm having a hard time catching up. And it's too hot in my study to sit at the computer for very long at a time!

Saturday 18 May 2024

Balcony Gardening

As usual,  the sudden change to warmer weather does tend to change my daily routines quite a bit - like when is the best time to go out, vs doing various things at home (or doing nothing at all!); taking into consideration outdoors and indoor temperatures and light etc. It also affects my blogging habits, as my study gets too hot in the afternoons...

This morning I set aside for a bit of "balcony gardening"; while the balcony was still mostly in shadow. (In the mid afternoon it's now too hot to even sit there and do nothing.) 

Planting and replanting etc is a messy affair when one lives in a flat - also involving the kitchen on the other side of the building (while the balcony is outside the living room). First  I need to clear the kitchen sink and workbench of everything else that should not get dirty. And when it's all done, a lot of cleaning up and putting things back in their usual places...

My "gardening" today consisted of: 

1. Emptying a box of old dead strawberry plants. (Not the one in the photo, but another one like it, which did not survive the winter.) 

2. Cutting down my half-dead clematis from the trellis on the wall, and emptying that big pot of soil as well - but trying to save one or two green shoots at the bottom, replanting those in a smaller pot. (If I succeed to keep the plant alive, I'll keep it indoors until next spring. I've done it before, so I know it may be worth trying.)

3. Replanting my two new cherry tomato plants (recently bought) into bigger pots; and letting those make use of the trellis this summer instead. 

4. From the two pots of "painted nettles" (coleus) I've taken cuttings for new plants (they usually easily grow roots if just put in a glass of water); and moved the old ones out on the balcony. When they grow this big they aren't happy on the window sills indoors anyway.  

The geraniums I just keep in the small pots that I bought them in - easy to move around, or take in/ out depending on the weather. Possibly they may want bigger pots later.


Thursday 16 May 2024

Everything at Once...


Summery weather with daytime temperatures around 23C (73F) has made nature go very quickly from spring to summer. Walking through the city park again today, it was almost like wading in pink snow, with all the cherry blossom now falling to the ground. 

At the same time, other trees and plants are now springing into bloom instead. 

On Tuesday, I noticed the first azaleas in bloom in the cemetery, especially the yellow ones. The next day (yesterday), the red ones had caught up as well.

The horse chestnut trees are "showing off" too:

The birch trees are all green now, so the worst of the birch pollen explosion should be over soon... But there are obviously still a lot of "whatever" kind of pollen in the air lately anyway, as I've been having extra problems with my eyes - itching and feeling dry in spite of multiple eye drops; and a couple of weeks ago I had a red eye for a whole week, looking like something out of a horror movie. (I hid under big sunglasses whenever I went out, whether the sun was actually shining or not.)

 Viola tricolor growing wild on a hillside between the cemetery and a nearby street.

It's also dandelion time.

And today I spotted the first lilacs:

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