- Author: Karen Metz
I took advantage of a sunny afternoon to get out in the backyard. Everything was still quite soggy from the recent rains. There were several chores to accomplish. The grapevine needed pruning. I wanted to gather flowers to make some arrangements for the house. There was also a call for frost that evening so I thought I'd better harvest the remaining tangerines off my small potted tree. The last chore for late afternoon/ early evening would be to spread my assortment of old sheets over my succulents and citrus to protect them.
While I was puttering around it struck me just how wonderful it was to be able to garden, outside, in February. The television reports of the last few weeks of the Midwest and East Coast suffering from horrendously cold storms that brought temperatures plunging far below zero had been mesmerizing. It almost seemed surreal to be outdoors surrounded by greenery.
I also realized that 2019 would mark thirty years of living in this house. I have enjoyed watching the landscape grow and evolve over the years, changing from a barren lot to a lush (okay, some would say, overgrown) environment. As a child, I was a military brat, moving every three years or so. Being in one spot has allowed me the experience of watching a tree grow from a skinny sapling to a mature shade-giving beauty. Our yard now welcomes birds, squirrels, amphibians and insects. A morning frequently starts with a squirrel floor show. An afternoon may include aerial demonstrations by dragonflies or hummingbirds. The garden and its inhabitants have brought so much pleasure into our lives.
Another joy of being out in the garden has been capturing that beauty with photography. The advent of smartphones with their built-in, simple to use, but powerful cameras have allowed even novices like me to take a decent picture. I thought I would share some of my favorites from the yard and garden this last year.
Stapelia is a striking plant, but other-worldly in appearance. This variety of eggplant demonstrates how the plant got its name. Orchid Cactus is always stunning in bloom. The brilliant color of iris makes up for their short bloom time.