Sweden, Part 2

The next part of my Swedish adventure comprised a hike out to a pretty stretch of white sand beach and a walk in Trädgårdsföreningen, or the Garden Society of Gothenburg.

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1. This was our ultimate destination that day, a beautiful stretch of white beach. Unfortunately, a storm was racing us there. It did not quite beat us, however, and we were able to swim for about five minutes. Don’t mistake that for disappointment; I was just proud to get in the water again for a while because while I like to and can swim, I may or may not be terrified of the sea, the ocean, possibly even lakes. And ponds. I’m okay with puddles, though.

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2. Lichen. As my friend told me, it’s not a photo album of mine unless there’s some lichen.

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3. Wild lupine was everywhere

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4. See?

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5. Prince Bertil’s Path

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6. The tall rhododendrons blew this girl away.

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7. Wild geranium everywhere

Now we’re going to Gothenburg (Göteborg). Everyone, hold onto your butts.

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8 – Inside a greenhouse

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11 – If seared flesh were a beautiful flower

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12 – I find the placement of the flower on this branch beguiling and wonderful. It’s like the tree is wearing a bracelet.

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14 – More wild geraniums

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15 – Pretty damn Swedish, if you ask me. Not as Swedish as it gets, but pretty Swedish.

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16 – A more expansive view of the grounds at the Gothenburg Garden Society

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17 – The yellows popped on the cloudy day

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18 – Magnolia (?) and geraniums

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19 – Double columbine

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20 – Viburnum?

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21 – Redvein Enkianthus. I didn’t know what this was when I took the picture. I Googled “pink bell-shaped flower.” I figured it was in the same family as blueberries, and hey, guess what. I WAS RIGHT.

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22 – Some day I shall have such a nice mix of textures in the garden.

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Sweden, Part 1

One month ago I was still on vacation in beautiful Sweden. I think you all — yes, even you– should go there if you have a chance. Maybe not all at once. Don’t crowd them. Try some Swedish pizza–see what you think of it.

I took about 700 pictures during the ten-day trip. Not bad — I’ve taken half as many pictures of leaves in various states of decay in a single day in my backyard. So, while I was excited to take pictures in a new(ish) place, I was there to relax with a very special Swede, and I only wanted to be taking pictures, like, 60% of the time, not 85%. 700 pictures is still a fair number, though.

It should surprise no one that most of the pictures are of landscapes and plants. A couple feature cats. (Well, one cat.) I will never stray far from my roots, even if I am over 3,000 miles away from my geographical ones.

This first set of pictures was taken one of the first days when I went on a little solo ramble about a nearby beach and the forested path that butted up against it.

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3 – I like to think of this as a sweet throwback to my river wandering days in southern Minnesota (still in progress). Realistically, if I got this set of pictures mixed up with my other sets, I would never be able to tell that some of them were taken in Sweden. I had to consciously tear myself away from weird junk on trees and remind myself to take pictures of things I don’t get to see that much, like, you know, the ocean.

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4 – But I just really like wooded paths, so there are a lot of pictures like this.

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5 – A curiously dry swampy area with wild irises

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6 – One of the narrow paths leading from the woods to the beach

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7 – This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

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8 – Wild iris

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9 – Big, beautiful single roses in white and pink everywhere. They just love this scruffy landscape, I guess. They were on the beach, in the woods — everywhere.

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10 – Inside a rose

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11 – Rosy roses

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12 – Oh yeah, that’s what I came here for. We went swimming once the whole trip (weather was not permitting, but we did it anyway).

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13. I wasn’t lying when I said there were roses everywhere.

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15. Looking across the water towards industry.

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16. Inside a white rose

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17. Unopened white rose bud is rosy pink

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18. It’s woodland…but it’s grassy…but there’s sand! How many more landscapes can this girl handle?

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19. A few nice, wizened old trees here and there

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20. I don’t know what this grass was, but I loved how its flowers looked. Like little chunks of oatmeal nodding to and fro. Mm, oatmeal flowers.

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21. Path o’ mystery

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22. Fern ‘n’ friends

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23. Why’s it so irresistible to take a picture of a path curving slightly, oh, why

WELCOME SPRING

5000+ bloggers and spambots are now following Sarah Takes Pictures, this monument to garden minutiae, cats, and general photo sprees in fits and starts! That’s pretty crazy to me, so thank you all very much. Also, this is my 500th post!

These pictures are from a recent jaunt out to my folks’ on a day of much gardening.

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DREAMY FERN FOLIAGE

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TRICOLOR SEDUM

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BERGENIA FLOWERS AS SEEN BLURRILY LOOKING UP THROUGH BERGENIA LEAVES

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SOME LEFTOVER ONION PEEL FROM LAST YEAR GLOWING LIKE A GEM !!!

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I BOUGHT SOME THRIFT (ARMERIA) AND PLANTED IT NEAR WHERE THE ONIONS WERE LAST YEAR

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THE CRABAPPLE TREE WAS IN FULL BLOOM THIS WEEK

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FLOWERS LOST THEIR PETALS

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A CARPET O’ MOSS, FALLEN PETALS, AND WOOD CHIPS

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CHIVES ABOUT TO BLOOM

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FERN

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MOSS IN A GARDEN LOG AND A BIRD BATH

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BLURRED GRAPE HYACINTH THROUGH DAFFODIL LEAVES

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FALSE SOLOMON’S SEAL AT SUNSET

May is kicking my ass.

May Day

Since we last spoke, I’d say we’ve come as close to spring as we’ve ever been. No. I’m going to be bold. We’re not merely close to spring. It is spring. Right now. Gone, we hope, are the nights where we constantly fret as the overnight low hovers in the upper 30s and we wonder if we’ve made foolish landscaping decisions. Just today, I walked across town because I was delighted to discover that, in the couple of hours since I’d been outside, the blustery, cloudy day had actually become BALMY.

In celebration of this, I’m going to share some pictures I took on a day that is, officially or not, the King o’ Spring, May Day. As it happened, May Day 2014, in my neck of the world anyway, couldn’t have been much farther from spring if it tried. But I took these pictures at the greenhouse with my phone (where else, and on what other device?) and I’ve been sitting on them like a slow, lazy hen on so many cracked eggs. And wouldn’t you know, I found that even though it was gloomy out, these lovely flowers made it anything but, so it was actually quite a cheery May Day.

Also I’ve been busy blah blah whatever still not giving up picture project whatever blah but BY THE WAY, in a few weeks I’m going somewhere TERRIBLY INTERESTING AND WONDERFUL and I hope to share possibly THE MOST EXCITING PICTURES THIS BLOG HAS EVER, EVER SEEN. Crap, I just oversold it. Also, I might try to be “in the moment” or whatever and not take 12,000 pictures so maybe just disregard all that. But maybe don’t.

I haven’t looked at these pictures since I edited them and now I’m chuckling at how much I messed with the color. Oh, Me of a Week Ago! To be fair, though, this is totally how I see the world.

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African daisies!!! (Osteospermum spp.)

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My favorite osteo we carry, the one with the little spoon-petals. I think this cultivar is ‘Purple Spoon.’ (That would make sense, wouldn’t it?)

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I don’t remember what this is, because I’m a complete and utter monster.

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Some Gerbera daisies, three of which I later bought, and am just now remembering have been sitting in my porch for a couple days because I had to hide them from my cat the other night when I brought them in from the balcony (STILL TOO COLD, UGH, NOT HARDY ENOUGH YET, BUT MAYBE NOW)

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Geraniums. I don’t like geraniums that much. They’re fine. I guess. I get pretty offended when I touch one and there’s just a deluge of petals. I really enjoy how they smell, though. I’m not sure why.

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The biggest greenhouse at our greenhouse is not a very big greenhouse but it is pretty precious.

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Florist’s Cineraria (Pericallis x hybrida). These really are true-blue, although it’s always interesting just how ZINGY a blue it renders on camera.

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Here’s a petunia that everyone is losing their minds over right now: ‘Cha Ching Cherry.’ Petunias are definitely at the bottom of my list of favorite annuals, but even I love this damn cultivar.

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Water beads so prettily on some leaves. Like day lilies. And lupines, as in the above picture!

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Some more lupine leaves for ya.

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This is kind of what things look like. This is back in the bulbs section with the irises and day lilies and Asiatic lilies and such.

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The herbs are also back in the corner where the above picture was taken, too, but you wouldn’t know it.

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One of our baby stonecrops, I think, held over from last year.

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A few of our coral bells taken from Tickseedville, population: me. (Actually, I don’t have any tickseed. I had one once, and it died.)

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Beautiful deep-colored foliage of the perennial geranium. Why don’t I have any?

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Coral bell flowers, unsure of the cultivar.

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Coral bell next to hosta.

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Holding raindrops hostage

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What a mighty gob o’ water.

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So many beautiful hens and chicks!

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I keep forgetting what this is but it’s hardy and I want it and I need it yesterday. The purple is so bright, the flowers seem to last a while, and I love the maroon foliage.

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Viola and Pansy Lane

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The fine foliage of astilbe

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A forlorn, torn hosta leaf

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Closing up shop for the night. Either forlorn or cozy, depending on how you look at it. This is what we have to do the first few weeks the greenhouse is open. I was very happy to learn when I worked last night that we would only be covering two tables that night. Note in the background some faint color in the sky. This was the only non-gray sky we experienced for days and days, and it was right at the end of May Day. HOW SPECIAL.

Fun times down at the greenhouse

They’re all phone pictures. I can’t stop!

It just keeps raining. It can’t stop!

These pictures were taken the last couple days at the greenhouse where I work. The theme has been transplanting and succulents.

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IMAG5682The diversity of succulents is glorious.

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The week that was. It was weak.

There’s just been too much going on between the jobs, and that’s why I’m doing this roundup many days after my last update. All of these pictures are phone pictures snapped somewhat on the fly around my folks’ or occasionally at work.

IMAG5602Fallen pine needles in the lane along my parents’ house

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IMAG5666This was the last of about 30,000 onions I helped plant this week

IMAG5581Pretty succulent arrangement that my parents picked up at a local garden center (though not the one where I work, FOR SHAME)

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IMAG5645Hot peppers I transplanted the other day

April 18th: marigold polka dots

IMG_8172Been a quiet week at work, as cold as it is. I took a little stroll around the greenhouse before I left to see how things were going and found this little flat. You hate to see the marigolds come down with marigold pox. But seriously, I have no idea what’s up with them. My Essential Plant Pathology textbook is glaring at me from across the room, by the way.