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Close Inspection

When master gardener Paul James gets up-close-and-personal with the plants in his landscape, he witnesses sights he might not ordinarily see.

When master gardener Paul James gets up-close-and-personal with the plants in his landscape, he witnesses sights he might not ordinarily see. And many of them are beautiful, if not downright amazing.

Most of the time, you look at daffodils in bloom as a large grouping in the distance, but look what happens when you look at a single solitary daffodil up close.

The same is true of hellebores in bloom. Sure, they look good from afar, but they're even more magnificent when you get your nose just an inch or two away. Even a piece of driftwood looks entirely different and incredibly textured when viewed up close.

And check out the skeletal frames leftover from last year's asparagus ferns. Then there are the remnants of last year's hydrangea blooms against the backdrop of this year's emerging foliage. And the shoots of Solomon's seals (Polygonatum biflorum are peeking out of the ground as if to ask, "Is it okay to come out of the ground now?"

And last but not hardly least, how many of you recognize the flowers of an oak tree.

"Taking the time to look at your plants from different points of view is not only fun, it's also fascinating because it changes the way you look at plants, and in the process, heightens your appreciation for them," says James. "It opens your eyes to all that your garden has to offer."

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