Monday, August 15, 2011

Greeting Spring in my Garden...A Dog's Eye-view!

When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited ~ Ramakrishna

Our daylight hours have been surreptitiously lengthening. Almost stealthily, the earliest signs of frivolous Spring have furtively crept into my garden. Dead wood has been transformed into demure blossom, enticing the sleepy bees to awaken from their wintry slumbers. The crisp, fresh air is scented with the intoxicating fragrance of Freesia and Jasmine. Birdsong fills daylight hours with soft, sweet refrain. My soul stirs in recognition and is nourished by this sweet enchantment.

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A dog has the soul of a philosopher ~ Plato
As the family's Resident Botanist, I, Coco, aged 6.5 months, have been tasked with sharing a few of the glorious sights greeting us in the garden right now. I am particularly captivated by all this beauty, as this is my very first experience of Spring. I am passionate about flowers and spend a good time each day sniffing as many as I can reach. I also like to dig out the odd specimen to add to my collection, but Desiree invariably discovers them and throws them away. I particularly enjoy tasting all the different plant materials. It's astounding how varied the different textures and aromas prove to be upon such close investigation! I carefully scrutinise and sample each branch, twig,  stem, leaf and petal, using my innate dissecting skills. To be fully appreciated, enjoyed and understood, Nature needs to be carefully and patiently observed. I am very patient and observant! In fact, my favourite quote is by Carolus Linnaeus: "Nature does not proceed by leaps and bounds!"

It is precisely for these reasons that I am the officially designated Botanist around here!  I have NO IDEA who said this, but I heartily agree..."In the beginning, God created man. But, seeing him so feeble, he created The Dog!" 

As dogs, we instinctively KNOW the truth of that old Zen proverb..."Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes and the grass grows by itself!" 

I have said, allow me, please, to SHOW you the glories of early seen, in my garden, this weekend!

Dry twigs burst forth into frothy blossom on the Crab Apple tree.

Is there any sweeter perfume than Jasmine?

Aah! Fressias! I consumed many a leaf before witnessing this beautiful bloom!

The Clivias are coming into bud with a few early bloomers. Desiree gets quite upset when the boy dogs romp about amongst these plants, as they snap off the flowering heads in the bink of an eye.

This is one of my favourite flowers right now, because you really do have to get right down to its level to fully comprehend its exquisite beauty!

Most humans tend to walk right past...completely oblivious to the perfection unfolding at their ankles. It takes a Botanist such as I to really see into the soul of this Bromeliad.

This is a Confetti Bush...the tiniest little beautiful...seen up close!

Pentas flowers...Oh, how the butterflies and bees love these!

Raphiolepis..not one of our indigenous plants, this one hails from Asia...but grows very well in our garden! The bees flock to these flowers and Bonny, my 10 year old canine sister, loves to eat bees, so this is one of her all-time, favourite plants.

Stattice, or Limonium, beginning to bloom for the long flowering season ahead. Being blue-flowered, it is one of Desiree's favourites. She is dotty about blue flowers, in case you didn't know that!

We have a very old Prunus tree planted on our pavement, at our gateway entrance. Linda always says once it's in bloom, she knows Spring has arrived. As this is my first Spring, I don't know that yet, but I'll be sure to watch it carefully, every single year at this time, hereafter!

It certainly IS a beautiful I coerced my Human Dad into going out there with his macro lens, yesterday. He took many, many pictures, too numerous for me to show them all to you, so I just selected a few...

Bonny was SO EXCITED to see all of the bees! We think part of her youthful nature is due to the many bees she consumes each Spring (or so I'm told!)

I love bees...but I have no inclination to eat them...yet! Bonny may still persuade me otherwise, though!

Aren't these little flowers perfect in every way?

Just look at the beautiful blue sky we had, yesterday...we had the same again, today!

One blossom open...several fat ones, ready to open, tomorrow! Sadly, when the wind blows, they fall very quickly...that's WHY we need to enjoy them, FULLY, for the brief time they come to beautify our world.

To humans, their scent is almost non-existent, but to me, they smell like heaven! I can smell honey and the promise of warm days in each and every blossom...just as the bees can!

One last look before we move on!

This little Viola is wearing a blue hat. Can you see her eyes, nose and mouth? Noodle LOVES these! She picks her own, then eats them.

This is a May Bush...called that, because it flowers in May in England. Our Spring is only in September, so by rights it should be known as September Bush in South Africa.  The flowers look like a bridal bouquet. Heathcliff has been showing a lot of interest in me of late...I'm wondering if he's going to bring me a posy of these sometime soon?

I love pink Camelias, pink Azaleas. I guess it's because I'm a girl! I hope Heathcliff gives me pink flowers, instead!

Also one of our Azalea bushes...just a deeper shade of pink.

You cannot believe how lovely these freesias smell. Apparently, Desiree's Mother gave her a few bulbs from her garden before they emigrated. Desiree says they have never failed to flower, year after year and the plants have multiplied from seed, even though they are bulbs. She finds them popping up all over. I have decided to stop eating these plants as they have sentimental value to Desiree.

Another Viola. We have lots of blue ones as well...Desiree cannot resist buying blue flowers when she pops along to the nursery.

I'm beginning to understand Heathcliff's sudden devotion to me, now. It must be due to the arrival of Spring! Love, it seems, is carried on the breeze...the birds feel it, the bees and butterflies know it! 6.5 year old Heathcliff must be the eternal Romantic, even though he was neutered at 6 months of age! Clearly, my great beauty, poise and slightly aloof behaviour, coupled with my deeply intuitive understanding of life and nature, have turned Heathcliff into a Lovestruck Fool! I wonder if it will last? 


  1. Yeah !!! almost spring by summer here this we have sun but it is not what we be used in sad for us all......maube it comes and we have a long after summer who love

  2. We used to have a beautiful German Shepard, she ate all the bees she could in my garden and I used to fuss at her so bad when she did ! Drove me bonkers...didn't stop her though. Looks great !

  3. Your pictures are amazing, so relaxing after a hard day! Thank you!

  4. Coco...your beautifully descriptive garden tour left me yearning for another round of Spring! How delightfully you scripted each step! Best regards to Desiree for letting us hear from you and sharing her lovely sights.


  5. These are some of the most gorgeous pictures I've seen lately. The colors are amazing. Love the close up on the bees too. Great shots.

  6. It's so good to hear from you and Coco, Desiree! Your Spring flowers are beautiful, and I loved seeing them through Coco's eyes. The bees are wonderful too and that Bromeliad is amazing!

  7. Your photos are simply stunning ... and so are the gorgeous flowers. I have to say I was blown away by that Bromeliad bloom. Truly magnificent. Loved the May Bush, the Prunus flowers and those Jasmine flowers. Our Spring is just around the corner, but we don't get to see fabulous blooms like these. There's no real seasonal change here, so I'll just have to drop by again and get my fix of your Springtime.

  8. Your posts are always so entertaining to read! At first I thought "oh not another post written from a dogs point of view"... but then you had me hook line and sinker! I enjoyed every word and every quote. I love that bromeliad flower - can you show us more of it next time? It looks as though the flower is hanging down?

  9. Hi Desiree, What gorgeous photos! Those flowers look good enough to eat! I can see why they are so tempting. :)
    Thanks for sharing the beauty and the doggy perspective!

  10. A beautiful post with gorgeous pictures. And your resident botanist is so knowledgable about them all.

    You're enjoying spring while our days are getting shorter and there's already a nip of fall in the air.

  11. It's so strange to read and see your approaching spring as we're losing light on both ends of the day, and colors fade into the fall palette. Gorgeous flowers!

  12. Lovely spring shot! I thought we were getting close to spring, but these last two NZ snows have put us back to square one!

  13. A beautiful dog and some really pretty flowers what a great post today loved all of it..........

  14. Hi there! How are you? :) How I love your posts..a place one wants to hang out and read and read...
    so am playing catch up..or trying to.
    It is hard for me to grasp, for some reason, that as we near the end of our summer..and our days are beginning to shorten..ever so slightly..yours are beginning to get longer.

    Ok..back to reading. Lots to catch up on..

  15. Came over from your comments on my blog. So happy Gina put us together. I love your photos. The flowers and bees remind me of the DeLongpre style paintings I used to sell on Ebay! And the dogs - well you got me with those eyes of the Shepherd on an earlier post. Barbara

  16. Please say 'thank you' to Coco for the wonderful tour. I saw and enjoyed things I might never have noticed otherwise.

  17. I can't believe that you are heading for Spring already. It seems so recently that Desiree was talking about the approaching Winter!

    The flowers are beautiful. I love the bromeliad, but my favourite is the stattice. I love blue flowers too!!

  18. Desiree... you have a gem in Coco - truly a natural botanist :D)
    Being able to appreciate the bursting into life of your garden's spring growth, from her perspective, was memorable. The perfume throughout your garden must be intoxicating.
    Freesias are a particular favourite of mine. It's great being able to share our love of gardens :D)

  19. I feel a bit upside down- you are starting your Spring and our Summer is winding down. I (bless my befuddled brain) was so confused for a moment. Lol!

    I love, love, love the pictures. It makes me want to live in your garden. I love the pictures with the bees. I am rather fond of bees.

  20. Thank you, Coco, for that tour, complete with asides. Those photographs you shared are so beautiful that I can almost smell spring in the air--here where autumn is approaching.

    I envy you your humans who can take such beautiful photographs and then post them. I'm still struggling to post a photograph!

    Enjoy spring, Coco!

  21. I think I'll start digging now, perhaps I'll make South Africa before Spring is over and done with?

  22. What wonderful captures of bees and flowers! That bromeliad is spectacular!

  23. Stattice flowers are beautiful! And so are your photos. What a gift you have (both the garden and your photography skills).
    Thanks for your wonderful comments. If you go back through my blog just a couple of weeks you'll see the posts about "Steady" and why he got that nickname.

  24. Hi there. Forgive me for being late with my comment. I was half way through commenting this morning, when my two young grandchildren bounded in, so I had to put it in abeyance! First of all, I love that quote by Plato that a dog has a soul of a philosopher. I expect you agree with that also, Coco. What a good job you did today. I can't believe that you are only six and a half months old. You have a very wise soul I think. The photos of your mistresses garden were absolutely wonderful. What a treat for us all today. I love pink in the garden as well. I think you should write a post again. Woof Woof!!

  25. Such a beautifully written and photographed post! Kudos to Coco! Oh, and you too! LOL

    You have the most gorgeous blooms in your garden! My grandmother...well, both of them actually, would have LOVED seeing it! So much beauty in one place! Stunning!

  26. The earth is like a giant hourglass. The daylight leaves the northern hemisphere and passed to the southern hemisphere.
    We'll be seeing autumn leaves here in Alabama soon.
    Beautiful photo.

  27. Tell Desiree I envy her Spring and beautiful flowers, Coco... especially the Jasmine and Clivia. Thoughts of autumn are just around the corner for us, you would like playing in the leaves!

  28. Oh Coco you have a great view of your owners garden at your height. be a good girl now and try not to eat or dig up her favourites. She sure has some beautiful spring flowers.

  29. Beautiful flowers and brilliant bee shots. I would also love to see more of those bromeliads.

  30. Desiree, so many beautiful photos, it was just not possible to decide which one I like best. It is lovely to see that Spring is bursting forth in your part of the world.

  31. Coco, I can see why you find the garden so intriguing. So many beautiful flowers to sniff, eat and enjoy! Spring is such a wonderful time of year isn't it!

  32. Coco thank you for the tour it is truly a magnificent view you have. Your owner has exquisite taste in flowers. B

  33. thanks for the crawl around your garden! and my knees don't even feel the least bit sore...and not dirty either!
    gorgeous pictures! coco, you did good!
    what an assortment of plants/flowers...they're all so beautiful!! wow!! i love the smell of jasmine too...and the gardenias...and honeysuckle... :)

  34. Again I am totally taken away by your gorgeous photography! Coco has wonderful taste in human parents and flowers and that bromeliad should start a modeling career with a jewelry company! Thank you!

  35. Oh my gosh, Desiree this post with it's beautiful pictures is outstanding! You have a way with words and your husband is such a gifted photographer. Now my favorite flower is the viola, but I don't think we have them here in Arizona, but I will check. Have a great day!!

  36. soooooooooo pretty. what a lovely post

  37. Hi,

    I have just popped over from Sush's blog to visit you.


    Amazing photographs, absolutely beautiful.

    I enjoyed your blog so much that I will be back soon

    Happy Friday


  38. Your flowers are absolutely to die for. I have never seen such a collection of beautiful flowers in one person's garden. Although all of them are beautiful, I had no problem picking my favorite.......the Bromeliad!


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