Paris maybe burning, but remember when I said that Portland was blooming? I was not kidding. For a city it has an amazing variety of flowers all over the place. People seem to take great pride in their blooming gardens and flowering trees. Each morning and afternoon as I'm walking around the neighborhoods, I see residents weeding, planting and chatting with neighbors about their flowers.
Definitely more of a vegetable garden kind of gal myself, all these flowerbeds still hold a lot of allure. Meandering in the streets of Portland has a special magic, with rhododendrons, Growing Blaze roses and magnolias reaching onto the sidewalk to grab your attention. I spent an entire afternoon zigzagging between 36th and 43rd, from Powell to Division, just photographing the blossoming wild.
There is this sticky lovely smell in the air, emanating from every yard, the trees that arch over the roads. Countless bugs and butterflies buzz the flowers.
It seems like the ideal city for keeping bees, because at least in this season, there appears to be infinite forage (though bees need forage for the whole season), and I was a little puzzled by why I was seeing so few of them, until I came across a huge patch of rosemary on a one yard, literally crawling with bees, and realized that with such an abundance, they are simply as choosy as the next person when deciding where to eat here.
This spring I seem to be overly enamored, for the first time in a long time, with pink, so excuse me while I photograph every pink flower in sight.
And every red flower while we're at it.
I'm particularly obsessed with redbuds, bleeding hearts and the gorgeous, paper-y yellow flower shown here on the very top, identified by a friend as a "Kerria Japonica Pleniflora". Each morning I purposefully walk by the house one my way in who's yard it grows, and the owners much think I'm a mad stalker for stopping by their gate every day.
This abundance of flowers in the spring is something I do miss from city life, though I never lived in one as flower-full as Portland. In the country, the flowers, other than short-blooming fruit trees, come later, in the summer.
I remember when I first moved to London, where magnolias bloom around March, I was absolutely floored by their appearance, how they transformed the drabness of the buildings and the gray English weather completely.
Not that all the yards here are an absolute groomed display. There are plenty just run wild with dandelions and forget-me-nots. I walk by them equally in awe, thinking of the ease of dandelion wine making, and the crowns that one could weave.
It's just wonderful to see so much life in a place that's still mostly concrete and asphalt. And now I'm going to head out and do some more blossom-viewing, mug in hand, breakfast waiting at the end of some unknown street.
Life and beauty, intertwined completely...
Favorite spring flowers?