To flowers

Many of our neighbors have stunning hydrangeas this year

Many of our neighbors have stunning hydrangeas this year. June 2013

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”Claude Monet

It’s easy to believe that flowers inspired Monet to capture beauty on canvas, creating some of my favorite masterpieces.  Add one more amazing gift to the lengthy list of the ways flowers have enhanced our lives.

The flowers seem even more beautiful than usual this year.  I don’t know whether it’s something in the weather that has made them more vivid, or whether my soul is so thirsty for the joy they bring to an otherwise difficult season for us.  I haven’t had much time for gardening in recent months, but my neighbors have filled the gap, tending glorious blooms that brighten my walks and lift my spirits.

What flowers have you seen today, or this week? I hope you’re finding as many to love as I am!

This post was originally published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. mike c.

    Gibbs garden has some awesome hydrangeas, mostly blues and whites and once in a while a pink. Great year for hydrangeas. There was one variety i did not recognize that had a long, droopy head, not round but more of a long tube. The oak leaf hydrangeas are also spectacular. Mr.Gibbs wanted the garden to be more about a peaceful vibe and so did not label anything. So they story goes. So i am always asking them what is this or what is that?
    Sometimes they know.

    • I had not realized it was a good year for hydrangeas until you wrote that, but indeed it must be. Even my small ones are doing well, and one in my York garden is blooming profusely for the first time in years. I was at my friend Darla’s home on Wednesday and her hydrangeas are looking fabulous as well. She has a Lace Cap hydrangea which is a variety I had not ever seen, plus the usual pink ones.

  2. MaryAnn

    Stunningly gorgeous! These bring to mind my hydrangeas at our home in Suisun City. On one side of the steps was a huge white bush & the other side a huge bluish-purple one. They both had giant blooms. I so appreciated how God sent them to me & cared for them!

    • Yes, the hydrangeas love California, don’t they? I will always remember the beautiful, colorful hydrangeas of Lombard Street in San Francisco. That was the first time I can remember thinking I really liked that particular shrub. I wonder if they still grow hydrangeas in that famous section that all the tourists visit? They were much easier to appreciate while walking than while driving down, that’s for sure! 🙂 Well worth the hike uphill and down.

  3. Good morning, Julia! I have some very pretty roses that came out this week. I took a photo to post on Facebook.
    As I was trying to snap a photo with my phone, I could not figure out why the flower itself always appears less clear than it should. Sometimes the grass beyond appeared to be in sharper focus, sometimes the leaves next to the rose … but never the rose itself! Finally I realized – the rose flower is so velvety and soft that the algorithm simply can’t locate the edges sufficiently to focus! Even when I tapped on the rose itself on the screen, to use the focal selection feature, the phone still couldn’t find it!
    (I tend to use autofocus more lately, as my glasses and contact lenses prescriptions aren’t quite right at present.)
    I’ve not experienced quite the same issues with most other flowers.

    • Susan, I wonder if it’s because you are using a cell phone camera? I have way more focus issues with them, than with a regular camera. I’ve never had a problem shooting roses with one of my digital cameras, even when I focus way up close.

      • Wow, your white Rose photo is amazing!
        I will give it a try with my camera, although it won’t be a fair test at this point, as the roses have opened now to the point that the stamen are visible offering both contrasting color and texture.
        Either way, half the fun of these is the fragrance!

        • I’ve noticed that the roses I see now, while larger, more lasting and arguably more beautiful, do not seem to have as much fragrance as I remember in past years. Maybe that’s just my imagination, or my senses growing duller (although I haven’t noticed it with other things). The Japanese Beetles are devouring my rose bushes at the NoVa home, so I have a new hobby — “beetle hunting.”

          • I agree regarding the scent of roses, but also it seems flowers in general, or at least the ones we can find at Home Depot or other local garden centers. I wondered if it was due to increasing fragrance allergies that people seem to be developing, but you bring up a good point. It could be that in breeding for showiness or hardiness, something is lost….
            Oh, I hope you’ve been able to eradicate those beetles from your roses!!
            This season has been brilliant for growing things, but it seems the pests are relishing our success this year, too!!

            • Susan, the fight against the beetles goes on, with limited but significant success so far. As I told my neighbor, “I have a new hobby.” 😀 The heat of the summer has forced me to spend more time outside (just when it’s least pleasant to be there) as my lovely lawns and gardens deal with various ailments after an almost unbelievably perfect spring. How quickly such beauty can be marred by the natural world that created it! I suppose my situation is complicated by the fact that I try to avoid using pesticides or any toxic chemicals. Sometimes I give up and allow a limited amount of non-organic treatment, but my concern for the groundwater usually carries more weight than my determination to have a “perfect” lawn or garden. But it takes a lot of work, which has thrown me far behind on other things, such as this blog and answering the comments…

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