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Twice a year Steve and Melody have a garden party, once in April and again in October. Their garden is filled with plants you would not expect to find in New Jersey - evergreen oaks, camellias, palm trees, all sorts of trees and shrubs that prefer conditions milder than are typical for the Garden State. This year was the winter that did not end, with snow more properly found at Winterfell. It's not so much that trees died (though there was damage to some.) Flower buds on the camellias were blighted. And perennials that typically would be in flower were delayed. No matter. The weather is lovely, company the same, and the potluck luncheon, as always, delicious.
The Prunus mume was beautifully in flower, perhaps even more heavily so than typical since colder winter temperatures prevented the usual scattering of winter flowers, making the display more concentrated.
We strolled along the garden paths, cross the bridge over the stream,
and wander onwards to the back of the property.
The neighbor's cat comes to see what's doing.
A welcome visitor, for its pest control services.
Moso bamboo is growing bulkier and more stately year by year.
But it is only a black and white cat, not a panda.
This bamboo, Sasa veitchii, develops a sort of winter variegation
as the edges of the leaves dry and turn pale brown.
This bamboo, a different, taller one, browned off completely.
It will make new growth as the season progresses.
As will this one.
Steve, posing as American Gardener Gothic.
But only for a moment, and then he's digging a clump of bamboo for me,
claiming that it is invading the path and needed to be headed back. Something,
it is true, that bamboo has a powerful tendency to do. But I have room for it.
A lovely April garden party, and another to look forward to in autumn.
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