What is a rose without its fragrance? Just another flower – with thorns! – perhaps. I cannot think of a rose separated from its distinctive scent. That was why, when I had the chance to have a little flower garden and to indulge my dream of having a rose garden (still a dream!), scent was a big consideration in my choice.
I think that there are about 16 rose plants in the garden, all in varying degree of health. I humor myself by blaming our heavy clay soil for the roses’ poor performance. While all of the roses are beautiful, some of them simply stand out because they have a head turning fragrance. Here are five of the most fragrant roses in our garden:
5. Oklahoma Rose
4. Tamora Rose
3. Peace Roses
I cannot decide between the next two, so I declare it a tie –
2-1. Velvet Fragrance
I can assure you, that all of the roses, especially Velvet Fragrance and Frederic Mistral, will stand a smell test anywhere. Their sweet perfume will stand out anywhere. As for the yellow rose above, it is Golden Celebration. It is milder than the five mentioned above but is very especial for being yellow. 🙂
On the ground by the parking lot of Bridgewater State University near the Science building, these yellow flowers, Lotus Corniculatus or simply, Birdsfoot Trefoil, abound. Bees, tiny butterflies, and other insects were busy drinking from these flowers nectar. These plants are perrenials, accordingly, in northern areas like MA, I suppose, they also go dormant during winter.
Apart from providing food for animals in the wild, Bird’s-Foot Trefoil, are used as ground cover and animal feed. On the other hand, they can also be invasive and harmful to other plants.
While not as storied or old as The London Bridge or The Golden Gate Bridge, Boston’s Zakim’s Bridge or Bunker Hill Bridge still counts as iconic as the other two. The bridge reminds one of Boston, as word Boston itself brings to mind an image of a cable-held bridge leading a traveler to and from the city over River Charles.
The rare times we go through Boston when we travel up north, I look forward to crossing the bridge and looking at the scenery around it. Taking a picture through a windshield while passing through the bridge is not the way to capture the grandeur of this bridge but the bridge still impresses even in a simple camera phone shot.
Tired of the usual walk-around-the-block that my husband and children do on weekends, my husband brought us to a nearby nature reserve, Gertrude Boyden Wildlife Refuge, for a change of scenery. I am surprised that we visited this place for the first time only last spring considering that it is only about three miles away from our house and we have been living in the area for years. Anyway, what a pleasant surprise this place was.
It was mid-spring when we visited. As it was, the place offered a lot of floral attractions. Well, there were the usual flowering trees of spring that I was familiar with. A few cherry blossoms were still in bloom. Pink and white dogwood greeted us as we drove into the parking lot.
Flowers are one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I was more than thrilled to see flowers that I have not seen before, like the golden azalea-like flowers below that was growing on a tall bush near the park parking lot. Well, if it looks like an azalea and has the qualities of an azalea, maybe it is one.
Then, there was the dark red flower whose petals look like a stiff armor from the way they stand upright. To me, it is completely exotic.
A walk along the forest paths revealed more flowers overhead. Since I do not see these flowers planted in yards and city streets, I presume that they are not from the usual ornamental tree. Of course, I may be wrong.
We came to a place called the fragrance garden. It looks like one cultivated in the ruins of an old house. The place was surrounded by what could have been walls of an old cottage. Jasmine and honeysuckle lent fragrance to the late afternoon breeze. Looking down, violets and flowering ground cover met our eyes.
As we meandered in the park, we saw Lilies of the Valley peeking shyly from their broad foliage. Once in while, Pink Lady Slippers surprised us with her blushing face peeking out of the pine needle covered ground. Bunchberries and Canadian lilies, and unknown grew in the shade of the trees and along the paths.
We got to the river and enjoyed the reflections of the woods on the water. We could see clusters of water lilies with flower buds farther away from the banks. I promised to go back to see them in full bloom. Unfortunately, we missed the flowering window and the flowers were gone the next time we visited. In the meantime, I had my fill of spring flowers. I wish that I could pluck some for a vase or even our own garden.
Just an aside, I am not much of a traveler and I do not have a lot of landscape pictures. I am normally using a Nikon 5300 DSLR and a 55-200 mm lens. It is not very well-suited for landscape shots because it does not “see” much but I find it perfect for taking flower shots and objects from a limited range.
I am participating in Light.co #VantagePoint project. Light.co is a start-up company selling compact cameraswhich, according to company literature, has DSLR capabilities. Wouldn’t that be awesome to have a lightweight camera that can possibly do a lot of things? Right now, I find myself complementing my Nikon with my cellphone when I have to take wide-angle shots or to take really macro shots. That can be the subject of another post. Anyway, I did not receive any compensation for this post. I just thought that the project is a fun project and the camera a very promising one.
On a Sunday afternoon in mid-spring, our family hied off to a nature/wildlife reserve 2 miles down the road from us. There, we were treated to the glorious twittering of birds (the place being primarily a bird sanctuary), hilly paths, a rippling river, and wildflowers in bloom. These flowers, which turned out to be Lady Slippers, caught my eye. Their pink was a stark contrast to the green and brown hues that dominated the scenery.