Flight of Fancy: Gardens Filled with Song

July 15th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Cedar Waxwing in Halesia tetraptera - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.com A Young Cedar Waxwing Perches Upon a Carolina Silverbell Branch (Halesia tetraptera) Outside My Door 

I’ve always been fascinated by birds, and enjoy the challenge of identifying them visually, as well as by their calls and songs. This is a pastime I picked up from my parents, who are both avid bird watchers. One of the great joys I’ve discovered on my remote, forested hilltop, is the astonishing number and incredible variety of beautiful birds visiting and nesting here. In my garden room, I’ve started a small collection of fractured eggshells and abandoned nests, gathered on autumn walks. And lately, as my ornithological interests have grown, I’ve become obsessed with bird-patterened fabric, teacups, notecards… Well, let’s just say it’s quite a flight of fancy!

Bird Nest and Bird Patterns - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comBirds of a Feather, Flock Together: A Growing Collection of Curios, Inspired by Ornithological Interests

At this time of year, trees and shrubs in my garden and surrounding woodland are filled with Cedar Waxwings (above, at top ), Chestnut-Sided Warblers (below), as well as a wide variety of Finches, Grosbeaks, Thrushes and other songbirds. A great garden helper, the Chestnut-Sided Warbler forages for insects beneath leaves and sometimes feasts upon fruit and berries. Read more about the Chestnut-Sided Warbler and listen to its song on my favorite birding website, All About Birds (from Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology). Cedar Waxwings flock to the ripening Viburnum and Physocarpus opulifolius fruits in my garden (find more tempting garden treat ideas for your feathered friends here). Fledglings follow their parents from shrub to shrub, anxiously beating their wings and waiting, beaks wide open, for plum, juicy berries. They are particularly fond of Shasta Viburnum (V. plicatum var. tomentosum ‘Shasta’), fruit. Read more about the Cedar Waxwing and listen to its high-pitched calls and song at All About Birds, here.

Chestnut Sided Warbler - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comChestnut-Sided Warbler Sings from His Perch Within the Betula x ‘Royal Frost’, Outside My Window on a Rainy, Summer Morning

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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First Hints of a Changing Season …

September 12th, 2011 § Comments Off on First Hints of a Changing Season … § permalink

Shimmering Bronze Beauty in the Morning Light: Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’

As the last days of summer swirl by in a golden haze, the first hints of a changing season have begun to appear in my garden. Dusk settles in this quiet forest clearing a bit earlier each evening, and although days are still warm and bright, nights are much cooler now. Hooting owls and the cries of distant coyote have replaced the songbird’s twilight serenade. Each morning –greeted by the slow sunrise, heavy as honey– I stroll the garden paths and woodland trails, noting subtle shifts in color. I watch with a touch of sadness as Summer packs her luggage —folding up her gauzy, floral wardrobe and tucking away her perfumes— while Autumn, with her musky scent and leafy, golden crown, approaches the garden gate …

The Mauve-Violet Tones of Maiden Grass are Luminous at Dawn (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’)

The Blossoms of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ Have Developed a Rosy Blush

Favorite Late-Season Combinations, Such as This Pairing of Sedum ‘Matrona’ with Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’) and Rudbeckia hirta, Once Again Take Center Stage in the Garden Show

Cornus kousa Fruits Glow Between the Glossy Green Leaves …

So Many Fill the Branches, Dangling Like Brightly Colored Pom-Poms

The Autumn-Kissed Leaves of this Doublefile Viburnum (V. plicatum var. tomentosum ‘Shasta’) Glow Like Stained Glass

Scarlet Leaves (V. plicatum var. tomentosum ‘Shasta’) are a Striking in the Agains the Blue Horizon as a Westerly Wind Rustles the Shimmering, New, Metallic Tufts of Flame Grass (Miscanthus sinensis purpurascens)

The Fragrant Blossoms of Fairy Candles (Actaea simplex ‘Brunette’ /aka Cimicifuga racemosa) Perfume the Secret Garden with a Soft, Sweet Scent

The Blossoms of this Variegated Bushclover (Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Edo Shibori’) Spill Like a Waterfall, Over the Rusty Bench and Onto the Stone Terrace

Photos and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, articles and content on this site, (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Thank you!

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