I start my spring schedule this week, losing my Saturday off and working six days and both weekend days. I always dread this change, and knowing it must come each year does not make it any easier. What does make it easier is the fact that I have much to do, and at least if I am going to be spending so many hours at work, I might as well be busy and have the time fly.
So this past Saturday was my last one off for a while, and I made it a full day. It started with waking the neighbors by giving my small patch of turf its first cut and trim of the year. I began early because the weather forecast called for rain later on, plus I had other things planned. My parents were flying home later in the day from a Ft. Lauderdale spring break, and they needed to be picked up at the airport. The airport here happens to adjoin the Norfolk Botanical Gardens where the American Camellia Society was having its national convention. So I figured on a few hours in the garden, a stroll through the camellia show, and then I would head next door to the airport. In the late afternoon a much deserved nap was taken, followed by keg beer and grilled brats at a neighborhood cookout (in the rain under tents) ending the full day.
The gardens were busy. Many were there for the camellia show and sale, local high school crews were competing on Lake Whitehurst, and the mild weather brought others out. Here is a little bit of what I saw.
You don't often see agaves and azaleas (Rhododendron canescens 'Varnadoes Phlox Pink') paired.
Rhododendron austrimum 'Don's Variegated'
Most of the narcissus and other spring bulbs were just finishing up, but there were still a few that were photo-worthy.
I think this is either Viburnum x burkwoodii or V. carlesii. Any thoughts?
Many of the planting combinations around the garden included Calendula officinalis (pot marigold).
One combination I do not like is the foliage color and flower color on one of the newer redbuds, Cercis canadensis 'The Rising Sun'. The flowers are the traditional purple-pink of redbud, but the foliage comes out brozny orange maturing to chartreuse.
The native dogwoods (Cornus florida) were coming to life.
The colors on this mahonia's (Mahonia x media 'Charity') fruit were incredible.
Packera aurea (ragwort)
You may wonder at the lack of camellia pictures in this post. The few hours I was there the camellia show was closed for judging, and out in the garden I wasn't about take another camellia shot without knowing what I already had pictures of. Next year I will bring a list.