A little vernal plant-porn, anyone?

Perhaps it’s silly to get so excited about it, but I can’t help it! My garden is veritably exploding! You can feel the power rising up through the soil – it’s a barely perceptible hum, a vibration of life, as it forces itself out of the darkness of winter’s oblivion.

The fern fiddleheads are protectively curled up to withstand the resistance of wet womb of the Earth.

The fern fiddleheads are protectively curled up to withstand the resistance of their  passage through the wet womb of the Earth.

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The new, unraveled frond - shiny, unblemished and perfect. The mechanics of the "birth" of  ferns never ceases to amaze me!

The new, unraveled frond – shiny, unblemished and perfect. The mechanics of the “birth” of ferns never ceases to amaze me!

One of my latest acquisitions  - a giant allium purchased at February's YGP show - is granting me a preview of what's to come.

One of my latest acquisitions – a giant allium purchased at February’s YGP show – is granting me a preview of what’s to come.

The elegant and tightly rolled shoots of a hosta pushing through the ground.

The elegant and tightly rolled shoots of a hosta pushing through the ground.

They may look dainty and frail, but they are anything but. Bravely, like little miniature battle rams, they aim for the newly returned light, and push through the obscuring protection of Mother Earth into the warmth of the spring sunshine. Theirs is a force to be reckoned with. Through rain and gusty winds whipping through, they press on, defiant. The cycle of life, death, and rebirth  is most definitely in motion, and it is powerful! The sap is rising all around me, and the world is enveloped in flowing procreative juices. Seeds are sprouting and new shoots are emerging. Pregnant, swelling buds balloon to the burgeoning point where they burst open and unravel a new life form. Crinkly leaves unfold like butterfly wings emerging from a chrysalis, and stretch for the sun. Hell, even my own two children were conceived in Spring, come to think of it! These are frisky times indeed – no wonder our ancestors celebrated!

The color of my 'Bloodgood' maple will not be this vibrant again - until it signs its swan song in fall.

The color of my ‘Bloodgood’ maple will not be this vibrant again, until it sings its swan song in fall. I love its downy, fuzzy coating – as if protecting it from the cold.

The buds of my Clematis 'Early Sensation' about to open.

The buds of my Clematis ‘Early Sensation’ about to open.

The almost unreal leaves of my Mayapple 'Podophyllium pleianthum'.

The almost unreal leaves of my Mayapple ‘Podophyllium pleianthum’.

The same Mayapple's flower buds forming underneath its impressive canopy.

The same Mayapple’s flower buds forming underneath its impressive canopy.

I think I'm going to have to move this Hellebore before it gets completely smothered by the Mayapple...

I think I’m going to have to move this Hellebore before it gets completely smothered by the Mayapple…

The bright chartreuse and yellow of a variegated iris glow between the dark leaves of New Zealand Flax.

The bright chartreuse and yellow of a variegated iris glow between the dark leaves of New Zealand Flax.

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My beloved trout lily. This year, it had multiplied!

My beloved trout lily. This year, it had multiplied!

My Edgewarthia spreading mirth before the leaves come. So wonderfully fragrant!

My Edgewarthia spreading mirth before the leaves come. So wonderfully fragrant!

The lush green foliage of irises. What a great range of greens!

The lush green foliage of irises. What a great range of greens!

This time of year is when carpets of Sweet Woodruff really shine! I find the small star-shaped leaves truly endearing.

This time of year is when carpets of Sweet Woodruff really shine! I find the small star-shaped leaves truly endearing.

Although I really love the leaves of this Saxifraga stolonifera, it's the flowers I really like. So very dainty... They look almost like clouds of miniature white orchids on their wiry stems.

Although I really love the leaves of this Saxifraga stolonifera, it’s the flowers I really like. So very dainty… They look almost like clouds of miniature white orchids on their wiry stems.

The flowers of the old camellia that came with the house always makes me happy...

The flowers of the old camellia that came with the house always makes me happy…

... because it goes beautifully with my favorite tulip Tulipa clusiana 'Lady Jane'. Best of all - these little lovelies self-seed and multiply every year!

… because they go beautifully with my favorite tulip Tulipa clusiana ‘Lady Jane’. Best of all – these little lovelies self-seed and multiply every year!

The new growth of my Pieris braving the winds and the rain.

The new growth of my Pieris braving the winds and the rain.

A backlit Hellebore takes on an amazing pink color.

A backlit Hellebore takes on an amazing pink color.

More hellebores! I really love these plants!  Tough as nails, they graciously put up with my abuses.

More hellebores! I really love these plants! Tough as nails, they graciously put up with my abuses.

A New Zealand Flax with pink edges purchased last year. I figured I would fit it in somewhere, but it's still sitting in its pot. This year, I WILL find it a spot, I promise!

A New Zealand Flax with pink edges purchased last year. I figured I would fit it in somewhere, but it’s still sitting in its pot. This year, I WILL find it a spot, I promise!

My Silver Dollar hebe showing off its new shoots.  It's filling in nicely where the harsh winter of two years ago gouged a big hole...

My Silver Dollar hebe showing off its new shoots. It’s filling in nicely where the harsh winter of two years ago gouged a big hole…

My Apple blossom clematis in full bud. It is lovely in bloom too, but the expectant buds are absolutely precious!

My Apple blossom clematis in full bud. It is lovely in bloom too, but the expectant buds are absolutely precious!

The new growth of my Melianthus is so captivating on a rainy day, as it holds sparkling beads of water in its ruffles.

The new growth of my Melianthus is so captivating on a rainy day, as it holds sparkling beads of water in its ruffles.

White bleeding hearts - an old-fashioned favorite! I grow mine in fairly deep shade, and it blooms for weeks and weeks.

White bleeding hearts – an old-fashioned favorite! I grow mine in fairly deep shade, and it blooms for weeks and weeks.

Can't resist a backlit Fan palm!

Can’t resist a backlit Fan palm!

The nearly orchidlike flower of Iris confusa - also called 'Bamboo Iris'. Bought it years ago at the Chinese Garden, and it has exceeded my wildest expectations. One of my absolute favorites!

The nearly orchidlike flower of Iris confusa – also called ‘Bamboo Iris’. Bought it years ago at the Chinese Garden, and it has become one of my absolute favorites!

Labrador violet - an absolutely delicious little violet that spreads like weeds. And I don't even really mind!

Labrador violet – an absolutely delicious little violet that spreads like weeds. And I don’t even really mind!

My alpine clematis going full force.

My alpine clematis ‘Blue Dancer’  going full force.

I love how most of these early flowers are covered in downy fuzz, as if to protect them as then brave their new world.

I love how most of these early flowers are covered in downy fuzz, as if to protect them as they brave their new world.

The delicate pain of new life abounds, as it shoots through the dry, lifeless remnants of last year’s bounty. ” ….for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Indeed, it is a beautiful cycle. Experiencing the benevolent violence of birth moves you further toward, and, in a way, legitimizes your own death. It is amazing and not so little humbling to think that all this beautiful life, including ourselves, will sooner or later return to feed and enrich those who come after us, in an endlessly on-going revolution of life and death. Springtime is its undisputed pinnacle – if there can be such a thing as a “pinnacle” in a cyclical motion… After months of barren, dormant lands, this moist, glistening, fecund, almost obscenely green rapture is Fertility at its most glorious. The Italians appropriately call it Primavera. Leaves are never as fresh and radiantly green as when they first burst open. Some look almost artificial as they unfold… Time is short. Forgive me if I leave you to go outside!

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About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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10 Responses to A little vernal plant-porn, anyone?

  1. Alison says:

    Gorgeous plant porn! Spring is my favorite time of year too, when everything is new and waking up. There’s something new to discover out there just about every day.

  2. You are absolutely forgiven for needing to go outside, Anna! This is a lovely survey of the flowers and foliage of your early April garden. I had a pink striped flax a few years ago, but it didn’t make it through one of our bad winters. Yours is gorgeous! You can take plant porn pics and show them to me anytime!

  3. artzenflowers says:

    I covet your edgeworthia, I saw one that was fabulous at the YGP and I am planning on installing one into my newly created bed, once it’s ready. They are amazing!

    • annamadeit says:

      Nancy – you will be excited at how fast they grow when you do get one! Mine is only about four years old, and it probably reaches 5′ across. I planted it as a little twig in a 3″ pot!

  4. Hello Anna

    You may be interested to know that your photo of Clematis alpina ‘Blue Dancer’ is being used for advertising purposes by Crowders Nursery in the UK. The relevent page is http://www.crowders.co.uk/buy/plants/climbers/clematis-blue-dancer. I have recently forced them to remove one of my own copyright photos and am now building a case to invoice them for usage. A pattern of unauthorised image usage would greatly aid my case. Could I therefore enquire as to whether you directly or indirectly licenced this photo or gave usage permission to Crowthers?

    Thanks
    John Richmond

    • annamadeit says:

      Hi John – thanks for the heads-up. I have not granted them permission to use the image, but I probably would have, had they asked. Feel free to use my reply in your pursuit.

      • Thanks for that, Anna. I’ve also been in touch with a couple of photographers whose work on Flickr has been used by this company. One has so far replied to confirm that Crowders have not asked permission or licenced their photos. A pattern is certainly emerging.

        Good photos by the way. No wonder one was stolen.

      • annamadeit says:

        Thanks, John! I have to tell you that when I started blogging, I knew nothing about copyrights and intellectual property etc. I borrowed images freely from the web. After having learned that doing so is essentially stealing I have stopped doing that, and use mostly my own photos. At the very least, if I do borrow one, I try to credit the source, but sometimes it is really difficult to know whose image it is if it’s just floating around on the web. I guess I would feel differently about this if my livelihood was at stake, but I’m a hobbyist blogger and just an amateur photographer. If anything, I’m flattered if anyone outside of myself deems my work good enough to use. This gives me something to think about. Thanks again, and best of luck with your efforts.

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