Spring Awakening

Gardening Gone Wild, quite possibly my most favorite website, has invited us all to another photo contest, and the theme this time is spring awakening. 

To capture that special moment, I went out into the garden early last Saturday, after a day of rain on Friday. First, the Japanese maple, above, with the fresh green leaves and reddish buds said "Awakening" to me.

But so did the ceanothus, still in bud.

(This is Ceanothus 'Tilden Park', a fairly shade tolerant ceanothus that has survived the dry times of last summer and is ready to bloom.)

Then I saw the clivia, just ready to open.

(Clivia miniata is a South African plant that loves our summer dry climate and has expanded to twice its size in the last 4 years. )

And in the front garden, I looked down and saw the California native chalk dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta) so stunning after the winter rains. 

Then, under the redwoods, I came upon the California native leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum), waking up after a long sleep. After this lily blooms in June, it goes completely dormant for the rest of the year, only to come back in the late winter months. 

There was more that said Awakening to me. The fresh smell of the salvias, the robin's first songs. Such a special time, and so short.

Now, which one is the picture I'm submitting, you ask? Yes, I had trouble answering that myself. But with input from Country Mouse and her expert photographer dad, we've settled on the Chalk Dudleya. Here it is again. 

Happy spring everyone!


I think plants awakening in the spring is one of the most beautiful sights in the garden. I absolutely love Japanese Maples....good luck!
Love all the shots, esp. the ceanothus. Just love buds, me.
Benjamin Vogt said…
Spring? 2-4" of snow today. Shoot me.
They are all excellent pictures! I love the maple, those new leaves always look so delicate. Good luck with your entry!
Anonymous said…
I agree, they are all excellent pictures. But the second picture of the chalk dudleya is cropped differently than the first, and I like the less cropped first version a lot better than the "Here it is again" version.
Beautiful photographs. I especially like the Ceanothus 'Tilden Park', in part because I haven't seen that plant before. Good luck!
I like the dewdrops on it, how elegantly jeweled it is. Good luck on the contest!

Spring is awakening everywhere, isn't it wonderful?
Christine said…
Ooooh, I hope we get to see it again when it's blooming... Great shot!
Martha said…
Lovely photos -- this first day of spring finds snow in our garden!
Its truely the first day of spring here, although its raining, buds have suddenly started to burst open and everything is looking luh
It's really refreshing to see the moisture on the dudleya. I'm having a slight bit of difficulty syncing up with the Gardening Gone Wild site myself, though, since their rhythms seem a month or two late in the spring and about as much time early in the autumn for what I'm experiencing here. But I suppose there'll be a point in high summer when we're all on the same page, in the same season.
Vetsy said…
I can't wait for springs wakening here...Brrr

Here in Michigan We hit 70 degrees! on Thursday and today the first day of spring we're back in the cool low 40s again RATS!

Anyway... I love all the photos especially of the lily and African flower.. lovely"
Gail said…
Love your spring awakening shots~~Good luck in the contest! I do love spring! We had two sunny days and now the rains are heading back, but those two days have been delicious. gail
Town Mouse said…
Thanks for all the great feedback! Yes, Queerbychoice, I did indeed change the crop just a bit, I wanted the Dudleya just a tad more centered. You really have a great eye. Well, to my it looks better this way.

That's how it is, one person's centered is the other person's boring ;->
Brad said…
I really like chalk dudleya and that's a great photo. Your post actually inspired me to enter the contest for the first time. Good luck.
Anonymous said…
I love succulents and your dudleya photo is just beautiful. And the Japanese maple leafing out it wonderful too.