Flora, Fresh Air

Aeonium Blushing Beauty 1Aeonium Velvet RoseAeonium Black Rose ZwartkopAeonium Black Rose Zwartkop 2Echeveria 1Echeveria 2Phormium tenax 1 Phormium tenax 2Phormium Apricot QueenDodonaea viscosa 1Dodonaea viscosa 2Dodonaea viscosa 3Sedum rupestre Angelina Sweet AyssumRosemaryCallistemon lanceolatus 1 Callistemon lanceolatus 2

Today was one of those exceptionally perfect days – sunny and 70°F with clear skies … and nothing but the peaceful sound of birds and bees filling the air – no construction noise and thankfully, no leaf blowers. After having been sick for eight solid weeks with the flu, followed by bronchitis and a touch of pneumonia, it felt absolutely wonderful to venture outside and photograph our garden. The Aeoniums (Blushing Beauty, Velvet Rose and Black Rose ‘Zwartkop’) and Phormiums (‘Apricot Queen’ and P. tenax purpureum) looked especially lovely in the afternoon light; so much so, it was difficult to put my camera down.

The rosemary is in full bloom and buzzing with activity; every plant was covered with bees. In a lifetime of gardening, I’ve only ever been stung once, and only because I accidentally disturbed their nest (it was in the ground and I hit it with my shovel while digging out a dead shrub). The bright red flowers on the Lemon Bottle Brush shrubs (Callistemon lanceolatus) have been attracting whole flocks of bushtits and hummingbirds for the past several weeks. Today, at least six ruby-throated hummingbirds were darting from flower to flower, chirping and jostling for position. One even kept investigating me; as I stood ever so still, I could hear the sound of it’s wings and the tickle of air movement as it hovered near my ear.  What a wonderful way to start the weekend. Happy Friday!

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