Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Season of Blooms from Beautiful Bulbs

While a single bulb will not give you a season of blooms, clusters of several types of bulbs with staggered bloom times will. This year may be a bit of an exception as many of my bulbs are beginning to color up this week. However, in a normal year my spring bulb succession goes something like this:

Sometimes as early as January, my paperwhites (narcissus) begin blooming. I have two varieties. One is the standard flower form with white petals and a pale yellow cup. The other is called "Texas Star" and has longer and narrower petals and a slightly smaller cup.

The next bulbs to flower are usually my single jonquils, February Gold daffodils and summer snowflakes (don't let the name fool you).

I have a variety of other daffodils and jonquils that bloom at various times, ending up with Pheasant's Eye daffodil which can bloom as late as April. Before that last daffodil variety blooms, I also get color from bulbs of English Wood Hyacinths and the only reliably repeating tulip in my area, Clusiana tulips. Hardy and regular amaryllis have also done well, along with a native Texas pink blooming alliums I initially collected with permission from a pasture.

There are plenty of other plants such as corms, rhizomes and woody perennials who wake up and put on a show of spring color. The earliest of all of these types of perennials in my yard are the bulbs. They put a smile on my face to see them break dormancy and break bud to let you know that Spring is just around the corner.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy Darwin Day

Science types around the globe, raise a glass of your favorite beverage today to honor the 209th anniversary of the birth of the famous English naturalist Charles Darwin. Beginning near the end of 1831 after getting his college degree, Darwin set off as a member of the expedition on
the HMS Beagle. He spent much of his time on various landings while the ship surveyed the coast of South America. One of Darwin's most famous points of landfall was the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador.

In celebration of this day, I have included a couple of my photographic art pieces that I created from photos I took on my trip to the Galapagos islands a few years ago. One is a floating Galapagos pelican, mounted on acrylic and the other is a gallery wrapped canvas of a group of marine iguanas lounging in the sun. Both images are also available as matted 8x10 prints.