botanical garden spring…

There’s nothing like going to the Botanical Gardens after everything is in full bloom. But when was the last time we visited the gardens, before the majority of the flowers burst forth? I usually wait until the azaleas are blooming to go and see the gardens, or like last year, I saw the beginning-of-summer flowers. That was because I had only just arrived back from Australia, of course.DSC_0859

DSC_0860DSC_0862I went to the Clemson Botanical Gardens on a sunny Saturday, though it was still a bit cool out. Well, I thought so, at least, wandering around in my jeans and flip-flops, but I saw others running around in shorts and tank tops, as if it was full summer already.DSC_0864

DSC_0867DSC_0869The stone arbor was loaded down with flowering vines, so I made a stop there, before going further into the garden paths. Little tiny star-shaped flowers, I’m not sure what they are.DSC_0870

DSC_0871DSC_0873The great thing about gardens like these are that there are usually signs around, telling you what flower or tree you’re looking at. Not every one, but I did try and look for them. But I already knew the camellias, by sight.DSC_0876

DSC_0878DSC_0879The little green leaves that are starting to form, those belong to another hydrangea bush. I saw another type of hydrangea, later, with the pale, pale green leaves.DSC_0883

DSC_0884DSC_0885DSC_0887Camellias bloom early, in the south, and don’t last very long in wet or cold weather. Many of them rot while still in bud form, so I had to search the Camellia Path in the Gardens, looking for some that weren’t past their prime, or hadn’t been killed by the cold.DSC_0888

DSC_0890DSC_0891When I reached the pond, I realized how tame the local ducks are. Of course, children love to feed them, so they’re completely accustomed to people. Nevertheless, I didn’t walk fast, towards them, afraid to startle them. They ignored me completely, and then ignored the kids that stopped by, a few minutes later. It wasn’t until a couple came by with a chocolate Labrador puppy that the ducks leaped to their feet.DSC_0893

DSC_0895DSC_0897Would you just look at how that duck is keeping its head tucked away from the sunshine. HOW can that be comfortable? I’m glad our necks don’t do that. Think of the chiropractic bills.DSC_0902

DSC_0905DSC_0907More camellias, in many different colors and patterns. I have childhood memories of wandering down these paths, surrounded by brilliant flowers and buzzing bees. After feeding the ducks, of course.DSC_0908

DSC_0911DSC_0910The little white and yellow narcissus were blooming, but what I really liked were the “flirtie eyes”. I can’t remember, now, what their actual name was. I think they were pinks (yes, that’s the name of a type of flower). So, the purple and white “pinks” were also known as “flirtie eyes”. Such a sweet name, with a pretty, old-school spelling.DSC_0915

DSC_0914DSC_0912In passing, I don’t know what type of tree was just forming its leaves, but I liked the shots of the leaves that hadn’t unfolded yet, were just beginning to unfold, and the finished product. Except the finished product isn’t full size yet, either.DSC_0917

DSC_0918DSC_0920When I returned to the Caboose Garden, I really enjoyed the color contrasts of the red caboose and the yellow flowers. So much color, just what we need after winter, don’t you think? I find the caboose itself difficult to photograph, though, in any way that makes it look artistic. Or just a boring old photo. I think it’s because I haven’t found the correct angle to take it from, yet.DSC_0921

DSC_0922DSC_0925More trees forming their leaves. I had actually been looking for any trees that had white flowers, like in front of Hunter Hall, because then I would check the label and it would inform me what type of tree it was. Surely, there would be a white blooming tree, somewhere in the gardens, right? Not so much.DSC_0928

DSC_0930DSC_0932Again, fewer bushes were labeled, where I was wandering, than should be proper in a botanical garden. This last bush with its fuzzy yellow flowers smelled just wonderful. Some of the flowers were so heavy, they couldn’t hold their heads up to the sun, which showed me their downy white undersides. Fascinating colors and textures.DSC_0933

DSC_0937DSC_0938I enjoyed my time at the Botanical Gardens, but things are only just getting interesting, as the azaleas and later-in-spring flowers begin to bloom!DSC_0939DSC_0940DSC_0941

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