The garden has been quite busy over the last week or so. The Bluebells have bloomed and the Wood Hyacinth remain in bloom. I found in reviewing their pages on my web site that I had photos of each intermixed (they're pretty easy to confuse) so I got everything straightened out. I think! The peony is getting ready to pop, more of the azaleas have bloomed as have the spiraea and the weigela, and all of the roses are now covered with buds. Yesterday, I was very pleasantly surprised when I went out in the garden to find the first rose of the year smiling down on me from up on Louise Odier (she's at least eight feet tall now and growing). Ah, the wonderful fragrance of old roses is as sweet as ever and most welcome after a long winter. Though Zephirine Drouhin is covered with buds about to open, t'was Louise Odier who took the honors this year. In order to help me take better close-up photos of the roses (and the other garden denizens and the model trains and …), I took the recommendation of my dentist (who happens to be an excellent photographer) and added the Canon 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens to my arsenal. This lets me get very close to the subject and produces a very sharp image that helps to show much of the detail that you sometimes miss. Here's the first rose of the year, taken with that lens.