We were out between Darnestown and Poolesville this evening for Dorothy’s Thursday Evening Worship, although Dorothy wasn’t there this week and we were led by Adam and Michael. It was a lovely, cool evening and the sun was going down as we started. I took a few pictures, including this one of the sunset. Not the most spectacular sunset in history, but pretty for all of that. We had a lovely time and naturally we stayed and visited with everyone afterward. I especially enjoyed talking with Michael about keeping aquarium fish, which it turns out we both do.
Monthly Archives: May 2023
Cathy and I went to the National Arboretum after church today. They have a reasonable collection of species roses, which typically bloom earlier than the hybrid roses. Last year we were too late so we made an effort to go a bit earlier this year. Some of them were past but a few others were still in bud, so there’s no way to see them all on a single visit. We did see a good selection though, and I was happy. This rose, called Dupontii or the snow-bush rose is not quite a species but is a hybrid of Rosa moschata, the musk rose, bred by André Du Pont in 1817. It’s a lovely, slightly pink flower and one that I’d love to grow. Understand that this rose only blooms once in the spring, though, so don’t expect a summer full of flowers.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we went to the National Arboretum. The main purpose of the trip was to see the rose species in bloom and we enjoyed that. We also walked through the National Herb Garden. We skipped the Bonsai this time, because it was fairly crowded. We walked through the azalea collection and to the top of Mount Hamilton. Sadly the boxwood and peony section was closed for pest control. We drove to the far corner of the arboretum and walked through the dogwood collection. There was quite a varied collection and I took some good notes (in the form of photographs of both trees and tags). This one, a standard kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) is a lovely example of the species and I think it would make an excellent puzzle.
I took a few photos in the park this evening. I got two not so good pictures of a woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) and some decent pictures of multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora). This photo is of a buttercup of some sort, possibly the meadow buttercup, (Ranunculus acris), but I’m not sure, exactly. That particular plant is native to Europe and Asia and is common blooming in pastures in the spring. it’s a weed, of course, and as a non-native, it’s almost certainly out of favor. But it’s still a pretty little thing.
The garden is coming into full bloom at this point. We have roses starting to bloom, including those I planted over the last few years, and they are wonderful. I also have this peony, called ‘Coral Sunset’ with more blooms on it that it has ever had. Peonies are wonderful plants and continue to grow, year after year. They can take a while to really get going but they don’t disappoint. I can’t say I have one favorite peony out of all the wonderful varieties available but I certainly do like this one, with it’s fabulous color and strong growth.
We made our traditional Mother’s Day trip to Fehr’s Nursery this afternoon. While Cathy shopped for plants, I took a few photos. Dorothy came with us and spent time with Cathy looking at plants and then with me wandering among the roses. This Echeveria was one of quite a few varieties and I always find them attractive, but have never really gotten into growing them. I could see a small garden made up entirely of them, or possibly broadened to include others in family Crassulaceae (the stonecrops). It could be quite attractive, especially when in bloom, but even the bare plants are nice.
I’m writing this over a month after the photo was taken, having fallen behind in posting my photos. This rose is called ‘Lady of Shalott’ and is one of two David Austin roses that I bought last year specifically to plant in half barrels on our patio. The other is called ‘Gabriel Oak’ and a photo of that will be coming shortly. They both have a wonderful fragrance, which is an important criteria for me. There are so many roses with fragrance, I don’t know why I’d want to settle for one without, unless they were being used in a way that they would never be approached (e.g. for roadside planting). For David Austin roses, see: https://www.davidaustinroses.com/.
In the late spring of 2020, in the midst of the opening months of the Covidian Nightmare, I bought three David Austin roses: the yellow ‘The Poet’s Wife’; the salmon-pink ‘Boscobel’, and this deep crimson ‘Munstead Wood’. This is the healthiest of the three, at least partly due to planting location, I suspect and is growing quite strongly. Its first flush of flowers is very impressive and they are not only beautiful but they are strongly fragrant. It’s only been in the garden three years and it’s still not clear what its final shape will be but it’s growing strongly.
Most of my photography is of plants, animals, or scenery but I do take pictures of people and events. While people-pictures are not my favorite photos in artistic terms and I definitely don’t consider myself a portrait or event photographer, that is definitely not a reflection of how I feel about my friends, family, or even acquaintances. These are some good friends. Mike and Krystal, in particular, we have known for upwards of 20 years and we don’t need much of an excuse to see them. The others in this photo we’ve only gotten to know relatively recently, but they are becoming good friends. It’s good to get together with friends from time to time, either to celebrate a birthday as we did this evening, or just to get together and talk and laugh, which we also did this evening.
Our most recent puzzle adventure was this scene from Venice. As you might imagine, the clouds and sky were the most difficult part, and took us a while after the buildings had been completed and the water in the foreground got filled in. But, as it usually the case, giving it a little attention each day, finding one piece now and then, eventually it got finished. We have two more puzzles on-deck and will start the first of those shortly. We find it mentally stimulating and something we can easily do easily while chatting.
We were out at Anna and Greg’s for the bi-weekly worship night and there was a lovely sunset. The color was mostly down near the horizon so I took a few pictures with my 100mm lens. The photo presented here is a panorama made from two of those, stitched together with Hugin, a panorama photo stitcher (https://hugin.sourceforge.io/), that does a really good job and over the years has become more and more automated.
Our friend Jan was in town for an event in Annapolis and were were fortunate enough to be able to get together for dinner with her and Rob and Susie. We talked about different locations and settled on Hawkers Asian Street Food on Bethesda Row. The lighting was a bit rough but I didn’t want to use a flash, so I did my best. Don’t make any assumptions based on skin tones, everyone is fine. The food was good to great and we had a wonderful time visiting. We feel so fortunate to have such good friends and only wish we got together more often. But life is like that sometimes. So we take what we can get and we’re grateful.
A few years ago, my cousin Lyn gave me a rooted cutting of this rose from the plant growing behind his house in North Carolina. It came to him from one belonging to Virginia, whose husband Archie was Lyn’s grandmother’s (and my grandfather’s) first cousin. Virginia gave a cutting of the rose to Lyn’s mother and Lyn took a cutting from that. It may have belonged to Archie’s mother before he and Virginia lived in the house. I don’t know for sure but since it is almost exactly like the rose ’New Dawn’ except that it only blooms once, I’m pretty sure it is ’Dr. W. Van Fleet’, of which ’New Dawn’ was a sport, discovered by Somerset Rose Nursery in New Jersey in 1930. As you can see, it is making itself at home on our back fence, and doing quite well.