Happy wanderers of the flora and fauna varieties

Hardenbergia violacea "Happy Wanderer"

Last month I was certain that I wouldn't see a single bloom on my one surviving hardenbergia vine this year. A succession of frosty January nights had come just as the buds were setting all over the vine and zapped them all to shriveled little purple dots.

"Oh well," I thought.

But like the loquat tree, the hardenbergia had a backup plan I wasn't privy to and now it is blooming profusely with tiny little orchid-like blooms that look like they walked straight out of Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

The vine is commonly known as "Happy Wanderer". I've found that it isn't the only "happy wanderer" gracing the garden right now...

Bombycilla cedrorum "Cedar waxwing"

I've been thrilled to see large flocks of cedar waxwings in the garden this winter. Every day when I go out to get some sun therapy to ward off my SAD, I am delighted to watch the cedar waxwings come down in small groups from high in the neighbor's fruitless mulberry tree to timidly drink at the bird fountain we installed in the back garden last summer. The cedar waxwings' heads bob up and down as they hurriedly get a drink. Like teenage girls who all have to go to the restroom in a flock, these winter visitors aren't as familiar with the garden as the other permanent residents and so they feel more comfortable venturing down in smallish groups.

Soon the cedar waxwings will fly home to their mountain climes, but for now I'm thoroughly enjoying their vacationing here. Until this year, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing whole groups of them winter here.

Honeybee on hardenbergia

The weather has warmed enough for the bees to happily wander into the garden in search of nectar. The small lavender and pineapple sage plants have been in bloom throughout the winter and provided the only food source for the bees hearty enough to venture from their hive (wherever it may be) on the warmer sunnier days. Now the hardenbergia and camellias are giving the bees some variety. And soon the orange tree and bay laurel tree will have more blooms for them to peruse and sip from.

I used to be a "happy wanderer" always looking for adventure on the horizon. But as I've put down roots here along with the plants and trees I've brought to the garden, I'm finding that I prefer to be the hostess for other "happy wanderers"--both flora and fauna.

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  1. It's always a joy to visit your blog...and I love envisioning the beauty of your garden. I bet you make a wonderful hostess...sounds like the visitors have everything they could possibly need.


  2. So nice. Isn't it great to see the purple flowers this early in the year? And I love the little birds too.

  3. Oh! Be still my heart! That first image of the Happy Wanderer in all it's purple glory is fabulous. Does it have a scent, as well? Your shot of the waxwing is awesome, too. And, bees already? My goodness...your seasons are so far ahead of ours, I'm in shock.

    I'm a big lover of travel and exploration, too. Now, that we've settled on this little house on the prairie, and are considering raising chickens and bees, I'm quite content to stay home.

  4. Sweet writing. I loved reading this post. That purple is exquiste, and the birds are lovely too.~~Dee


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