May Blooms: Lilac, Dogwood, Azalea

lilac in bloom in Highland Park, New Jersey
It’s a lovely time of year in Highland Park, New Jersey. Lots of trees, bushes and flowers are in bloom, such as this lavender lilac. Did you grow up smelling lilacs in May? I remember them as a child growing up in Newton, Massachusetts; I would walk down the street and smell this lovely scent.

pink dogwood in Highland Park, New Jersey
This elegant dogwood is in my neighbor’s backyard. Several years back I painted a watercolor of this dogwood in bloom. My dogwood photo from 2008 seems to get a lot of pins on Pinterest.

azalea in Highland Park, New Jersey backyard
Azalea bushes are quite popular in Highland Park. This one is in my backyard. Give a few weeks and the blooms will be full and red. Others are pink or white. Azaleas like acidic soil – Highland Park, New Jersey soil cooperates. Tomatoes also do well. I’ve planted marigolds in my front yard – those have germinated. I’ve also seen the nasturtium seeds germinate (I planted those, too; the seeds look like shriveled chickpeas). My chamomile seeds were started in a little box – I’ve got those germinating as well. My hydrangea is still alive – it started to grow green leaves. Will it get munched right down by a deer like what happened last year? Or will I be rewarded with hydrangea blooms?

dogwood in front of lilac
Here are dogwood blooms in front of lilac blooms.

What’s in your backyard?

For more nature notes:
Nature Notes

Azalea, Andromeda and Dogwood Blossoms

azalea and andromeda bushes
I call this photo “Azalea, meet Andromeda.”

dogwood flowers
My neighbor’s dogwood tree is once again flowering. My dogwood photos from 2008 are one of the most popular posts on this blog.

dogwood blossoms
Dogwood blossoms are a pleasure, but one needs to be fast with the camera or the dogwood blossom season will be done.

One downside of the abundant blossoms in our area is my stuffed nose. Any of you allergy sufferers? A friend of my daughter’s hates spring because of allergies. Sigh.

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

Nature Notes: Tulips and Robins

two wet tulips
These two wet tulips are relaying the weather we have in New Jersey today.

pink petals dogwood
The pink petals of my neighbor’s dogwood are showing off.

robin in a tree
Yesterday I spotted this robin in a tree. Do you think he spotted me?

in the gray a robin and another bird
Today in the gray I saw two birds in a tree – the left bottom one is a robin. Can’t make out the right one – he’s so far off! Michelle suspects the one on the right is a “she” robin – the males have the brighter breast. Mating season?

We still have a bunny rabbit living in our backyard.

Signs of Fall in Nature

mum with gray background
Nothing marks early fall more than my maroon chrysanthemum in bloom.

I played detective to determine what kind of tree this is that grows in my neighbor’s front yard. I had photographed it last June when it had all those white floppy petals. Now it has these orange hanging balls.


I typed “white flowers petals orange balls” and “big petals white flowers tree” into Google. That second search brought me to a forum of plant identification, and someone suggested “cornus kousa.” The rest was easy; I put that phrase in Google images, and up came both my petals and my orange bally “fruit.”

To learn what is going on in nature in other neighborhoods, visit Rambling Woods:
nature-note or Nature Notes

Today’s Flowers: Periwinkle, Lilac, and Dogwood

Periwinkle is growing on the side of my house: it’s a great ground cover for shady spots.

The lilac blooms have already fallen off my neighbor’s bush. They don’t last long.

The dogwood flowers are such a pleasure to view in bloom.

Dancing Dogwood Watercolor
Dancing Dogwood Watercolor
A watercolor with goache I did in 2008 of dogwood flowers

For more flowers, visit Today’s Flowers:

More Foliage

bit of red house
My neighbors had their house painted red recently, an appealing color next to the foliage in their backyard. The blue garage, white umbrella and deck belong to the neighbors further down.

dogwood red
The leaves of their dogwood tree, that I photographed last spring, looks so pretty with its red autumn hues.

dogwood leaves

Wednesday seems like a good day to put up a post for Ruby Tuesday!

ruby tuesday

Dancing Dogwood, take 2

dancing dogwood, palette knife filter from Photoshop

Welcome to the modern world. If you can play with a painting in Photoshop, why not? I applied the palette knife filter to my gouache painting (that painting did have a bit of watercolor in the background, too, by the way). I then un-applied the filter to the spot that had my signature.