Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Couldn't Ask for A Nicer Day

After many days of rain, drizzle, and the lack of sun, today started off with the sun shining brightly.  We have a lot of bird activity in the morning and the I am always on the lookout for birds in the backyard as well as while walking the dogs.  Monday I was out on the deck before dinner and saw a Scarlet Tanager. I had never seen one here before.  Know where the camera was?  Yes, in the house out of reach.  Well, this morning I was looking out the window, enjoying the sunshine when I saw one again!!! Quick tell Charlie so he can see it and run for the camera.   Today I was able to get a number of photos of Mr. Scarlet Tanager, though they are zoomed in of the trees, and then I had to crop the photos, so not as crisp as one might want, but successfully photographed nonetheless!

He flittered from one branch to another, hiding behind the leaves, making a clear shot almost impossible.

Isn't he a beauty?  Last summer and the summer before we had Summer Tanagers in the garden, so this is a new sighting.  Hope to see him and hopefully his mate more often.

Today's great weather was a stroke of luck because a few of my fellow garden bloggers had planned on getting together.  Julie, from Growing Days and DJ from Meander Mountain and I met at Hatcher Gardens for a visit and a garden fix.
I had stopped at Hatcher Gardens with a couple Master Gardeners on our way back from SC Arbor Day celebration at USC Upstate.  December it was still gorgeous, May it was thick and lush.  You can see my posting on the December visit here.
Here are my fellow blogging buddies, under a huge pecan tree.  I love the maturity of the trees in this garden, they certainly have been around for a long time.

The front area of the Hatcher Garden is nicely planted with colorful conifers, Japanese maples, and some ornamental shrubs that offered either texture or color to add to the landscape.  

This longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, looks almost like a cactus or yucca.  

Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon' adds some nice color interest to the front edge of this garden.  Not sure what the shrub behind it might be, but to the right is an Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia.  This was a dominant plant in the forefront of the garden near the parking area.  

This mixed bed has Heuchera...maybe 'Lime Rickey', Japanese painted ferns- Athyrium niponicum, another Heuchera, maybe 'Carmel', some nice full herbaceous Peonies, a sedum- probably 'Angelina'  and some Pampas Grass, Cortaderia selloana.    There is so much texture and color appeal, without any blooms...though the peonies are about to pop.

Doesn't this pathway draw your eye to follow the dominant yellow?  One side had the Heuchera 'Lime Rickey' and the other was a color echo using hostas...not sure of the variety but it was a large leaf, maybe 'Guacamole'.

You could tell the Liriodendron tulipifera, Tulip Poplars, have bloomed, petals littered the walkway.  

On the railing of one of the small bridges was a crab claw.  Where did that come from???  

On this 4 x 4 post there were twigs attached with a piece of hardware, why you might ask.... to give the Confederate Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, something to grab onto as it climbs up the post.  Pretty clever if you ask me!

There were some blooms to see, love this yellow Iris.  I don't know my Irises well enough to say what variety it might be....maybe a Louisiana Iris? 

The last of the seedpods of the Fatsia japonica are providing some nice eye candy.   You can see the pods forming in my post from the last visit

These deciduous azaleas were still blooming, and nicely fragranced.  What a great shade of pink.

See the pond beyond the azalea bloom?  Look at the residents on the log!  I love turtles.

Like I said, it couldn't have been a nicer day.....great time with DJ and Julie!

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. It's great to get together with other garden bloggers. I loved seeing the turtles sunning themselves, and the bright scarlet tanager in the first couple of photos.

  2. Dear Janet,
    that bird is stunning! I know the situation: beautiful object in front of you - camera in the house (you can play it with 'masses of blueberries, but no tin' too.
    To take barbewire for climbers is an interesting idea! I am so glad that my (edible) blue vine got through this winter - tiny buds of flowers on it now. Maybe I will get grapes this second year it is on my balcony?

  3. Sounds wonderful and looks wonderful...and I am going to try attaching twigs to give vining plants a bit of help.

  4. Hello Janet,
    Enjoyed seeing the Gardens through your lens - very pretty! How exciting it must be to see a Scarlet Tanager at your house! No Tanagers here, but do have Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks migrating through our area. Alas, I haven't been able to get a photo.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  5. Love those turtles too! Would have loved to meet up with You, Julie and DJ. Maybe next time.

    You have some beautiful things going on in your garden at the moment. And obviously Mr. Scarlet wanted to stop by and see for himself!

  6. We have lots of birds but no red (except on the head of the woodpecker and the throat of the hummer). It was a treat to see your lovely red bird, and to tour the fabulous garden. Thanks!

  7. Scarlet tanager! Wow! And to be able to get such good photos of him, too. I'm impressed...and just the slightest bit green with jealousy!

    Sounds like a wonderful gardening visit. I love the idea of using bits of twigs/branches, attached to a "smooth" post, to give scrambling vines something to attach to. (Talking with Greg, I just had the idea to maybe spiral a dried grape vine up the post, attached strategically....)

    I miss the native azaleas of Mobile, too, and even the Louisiana iris - although I longed for bearded iris while I lived down there! I'm not certain, but the yellow iris you pictured made me think "Louisiana iris" even before you tentatively identified it.

    Thanks for sharing such a cornucopia of good feelings, interesting ideas, and great photos!

  8. Such a gorgeous bird! Wish I could attract them to the yard. I do think they live in my area for the summer. Beautiful garden, too.

  9. Janet, out of curiosity -- to see what photo subjects we had in common -- I wrote my post about the garden before reading yours. You saw several things I totally missed, naturally! It was a fun day. Loved seeing your scarlet tanager. I'm sure Google will invent a camera you imbed in your forehead or something so you won't ever miss anything :>)

  10. Sorry to miss the outing. Looks like the garden was in good form.

  11. wow, even at a distance you couldn't possibly miss that scarlet tanager. What a colour! really like the idea of attaching twigs to a post for climbing vines - looks like you guys had a fantastic day together.

  12. Wonderful Janet...I have seen the Scarlet T at our Nature Center but not in my garden. What a great garden you is wonderful to visit beautiful places with wonderful friends.

  13. I love the Tanager, but those turtles! Wonderful! Lovely to be able to visit a garden with fellow bloggers, and how nice to see a garden using contrasting textures and colours of foliage to such good effect. Amazing persicaria, can't quite decide whether I like it, but it is certainly a strong statement.

  14. Our sunny, clear days have been few in number here as well, so anytime we have one it is a reason to rejoice. I guess I should not complain, at some point we will appreciate rain again. My one and only scarlet tanager was spotted while hiking at Peaks of Otter, and I will not forget it.

  15. It's nice to see great looking gardens that don't rely on blooms. I have never seen a scarlet tanager, but have seen those Red-Belly Turtles (even on my blog.)
    (Great to post comments again after my Google account straightened out.)

  16. The scarlet tanager is beautiful! How fun to meet up with DJ and Julie again! A beautiful garden and garden friends to share it with--you couldn't ask for a better day than this.

  17. Beautiful garden you all visited. I like the turtles sunning. A cute pic.

  18. Janet, it was so much fun visiting Hatcher Gardens with you and DJ. A tardy "thank you" for heading my way! I thought we might squeeze in a trip to the SC Botanical Gardens soon--but now school is about to end next week. Still, I'm looking forward to our San Fran outing and seeing the beautiful gardens with you!

  19. Thanks everyone for your comments. Getting back into the swing of blogging. More bird pictures to come soon. More garden buddy visits and soon Fling pictures.


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