One of my favorite things about gardening of all sorts (and especially water gardens) is photography. Not only am I an avid garden photographer, but I spend many hours hunting the internet for the most beautiful photos I can find. I know that I’m far from the only one who does this, so in this spirit we’ve decided to start putting together computer desktop wallpapers from the best garden photos we find.
For our first of these, I’ve chosen this photo from Japanese photographer Tanaka Juuyoh. While it’s not a water garden plant, I just love the high contrast of the yellow on the deep blue sky. The plant featured is a Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox). It’s an unusual evergreen shrub that you don’t see all that often in the United States, though it’s hardy for most of the country. Partly this is because the plant can be a bit temperamental and tends to get eaten by aphids pretty badly. It’s also a relatively uninteresting shrub for most of the year; many who do grow it go so far as to plant clematis next to them and train them into the bush, giving it a second season of flowering. They also tend to take several years from planting before they flower.
However, the flowers, once produced, come forth in bounties as early as January and let loose a powerful spicy-sweet fragrance that is very unusual in the winter air. In China, where Wintersweets originally come from, they generally bloom during the Chinese New Year. The fresh flowering sprigs are traditionally worn as hair ornaments during the festival, and dried prunings are used year-round in some areas to perfume bed-linens.
Find this and all of our other free desktop wallpapers in our Walllpaper Gallery.