Monday, February 24, 2014

Spring: In Seven Pictures

Sacramento's spring has begun.  There are still plenty of leafless trees and our record breaking dry winter (part of California's worst drought in 500 years) has left many homes, mine included, with dry, brown lawns.  But it's not all gross to look at.  Here's a peak at what has been blooming in my yard the last few days.

A plum tree of an unknown variety.  But I think it might be a Blue Damson or a "French Improved"
No matter the type, the blooms this year were the first to proclaim the end of winter. 

One morning last week I woke up and saw a Camellia bloom.  A few hours later there were a half dozen opening up.
The Japanese maple cultivar "Katsura" is almost always the first to leaf out in the spring.
It starts out yellow with tinges of red and then turns lime green for a while before darkening a few shades in summer.

This hydrangea managed to hold onto a few leaves from last season and is now putting on new growth.

This is one of my favorite Japanese maples.  The cultivar name is Murasaki Kiyohme.
It's a smaller JM and suitable for growing in a container in a shady spot.
All JMs prefer afternoon shade in hot climates but this one is especially sensitive to hot sun
and the leaves will shrivel up in the wrong spot.
If you look closely, you can see the buds are just beginning to swell.

The birds have returned and their voracious appetites made quick work of what I put out for them.

This pictures sums up Sacramento's Spring pretty well.  There are plenty of weeds to attend to but since they are the greenest part of the lawn I might just decide to let them take over this year.  Who needs a lawn anyway?

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