|Hybrid Rhododendron near gatehouse - SJG 2/18/12|
I was pleasantly surprised by so many harbingers of spring. I didn't see the flowering rhody near the gatehouse on the way in, but I was glad to have seen it as I was leaving. It's tucked behind other plants and stands right next to the eastern fence.
|Japanese Maple - SJG2/18/12|
Before the leaves arrive, interesting tree structures are clearly visible. This Japanese maple swirls and twists; possibly more interesting in the winter than in full foliage.
While walking past the paper bark maple, it dawned on me that the music of the streams and waterfalls was louder than last year. What a lovely discovery! I also noticed the water flow was stronger than last year, causing a few small but noisy splashes where none existed before.
Every where I looked, there were signs that spring is on its way. Camellia trees throughout the garden were loaded with plump buds. The forsythia was beginning to flower, but was in a very early stage. When looking SE across the inland sea towards the waterfalls, I could see the small whirly seed pods on various maples. The cherry trees showed no color, but the tips of the branches showed bulging promise.
|Forsythia - SJG 2/18/12|
|Camellia bud - SJG 2/18/12|
|Kingfisher - SJG 2/18/12|
|Great Blue Heron - SJG 2/18/12|
It was a most pleasant reintroduction for me to see the garden in its most pregnant state. That's what is so compelling about this garden. There are new discoveries on each visit as it changes from week to week. I encourage you to visit it often and watch the spring unfold. You will not be disappointed!