Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pincushion Protea

Pincushion Protea
Leucospermum cordifolium
(loo-koh-SPER-mum) (kor-di-FOH-lee-um)

I hope this flower is identified correctly. It was in amongst a virtual forest of King Protea (Protea cynaroides) so that is what I based the ID on. Both of these photos were taken on the upper reaches of Maui last year. It was pretty amazing walking around the shrubs and seeing them erupting into the giant and radiant flowers (a little volcano humor there since this was in the shadow of Haleakalā). Here is a good reference page @ plantz Africa.com on the plant.

Since it is Sunday come join us at Today’s Flowers .

Bonus Picture!


Black-Eyed Susan Vine
Thunbergia alata
(thun-BER-jee-uh) (a-LAY-tuh)

This is always a fun flower to see especially in the tropics where it can become a huge tangled mess of flowers. It does well for us an annual but doesn’t quite have the vigor of its tropical cousins. This pure yellow version was a nice change from the usual orange type.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wax Begonia


Wax Begonia
Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum 'Bada Bing Pink'
(be-GON-yuh) (sem-per-FLOR-enz kul-TOR-um)
Synonyms: Fibrous Rooted Begonia

This little dwarf Begonia has been chugging along like Begonias do. There are a number of reasons that I like Begonias. They are pretty and colorful, insect and disease resistant and most of all they are not water hogs. The funny thing about Begonias if they don’t get watered after establishment they just stay small. That is way better then having a ragged plant that wilts everyday. Also the animals don’t seem to like them so they are a good choice for areas with deer and rabbits.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Franz Schubert Garden Phlox


Garden Phlox
Phlox paniculata 'Franz Schubert'
(floks) (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh)

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When I came across this quote it reminded me of this blog. Each morning I carefully select a flower from the digital garden for my “bowl” and arrange it for the people that visit. Even though it's a lot of work it does return a lot of satisfaction. Today’s flower is one that has delicate shadings of pink on a white background as if nature had dabbed each one with a brush to get it right. The shading doesn’t have to be perfect just good enough to present a semi-uniform appearance. The careful geometry and shading is a miracle in a lot of ways and a great way for me to start the day as I head out to help build and admire some of these beauties.


Garden Phlox as it has been said here before can be the backbone of any summer flower border. It’s tall and proud as it knits the garden together. Sure there are problems with the cultivation but they can be overcame for the beautiful final product.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blue Star Japanese Aster


Japanese Aster
Kalimeris yomena 'Blue Star'
(kal-lih-MEER-iss)
Synonyms: Kalimeris incisa

While I found these flowers to be beautiful it is always a little unnerving to see one of the “fall” flowers blooming. IT has been a strange year as the both the Asters and left over Chrysanthemums have been trying to bloom for what seems like months now. We have been diligently pinching the other plants but the Kalimeris escaped us. This is a under used perennial that is both hardy and carefree.

It can stand on its own or mixes well into a perennial border. Since it only grows to 18 inches tall it doesn’t need staking and is a free bloomer. Pinching it during the season to encourage bushiness and slow down the bloom time is really the only maintenance involved in the cultivation.

"Chide me not, laborious band!
For the idle flowers I brought;
Every aster in my hand
Goes home loaded with a thought."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We really need some rain here. Earlier in the week we got teased with several showers but that's it. I was watching the raindrops hit the ground and bead up with no penetration. I was jealous as everyone I spoke said “Oh yes we had rain” but it didn’t come down where I needed it. At least the killer heat has broken and we are enjoying some nice summer days.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hardy Water Lily


Hardy Water Lily
Nymphaea x marliacea 'Chromatella'
(NIM-fee-uh) (mar-lee-AK-ee-a)
Synonyms: Marliac Yellow, Golden Cup

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Nights False Sunflower


False Sunflower
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Summer Nights'
(hee-lee-OP-sis)
Synonyms: Rough Heliopsis, Orange Sunflower

This flower seems to have a lot of different monikers. It really has a bold color and the flowers are nicely sized. It is not nearly as big as a traditional sunflower but the proportions seem about right. ‘Summer Nights’ does get a little tall and can flop but a couple of well timed pinches can help with that. The leaves and stems in the spring come out with a nice purplish tint. This photo was taken last week when the temperature was about 100 degrees F. A true summer flower the Heliopsis didn’t seem to mind.

I have a big day planned as we are heading down to Manhattan to do some planting and then to Pound Ridge. I have said a little prayer to the parking god to ease me in this morning. It has cooled down somewhat, which is very agreeable.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Golden Pseuderanthemum



Golden Pseuderanthemum
Pseuderanthemum reticulatum ‘Eldorado’
(soo-der-RANTH-ee-mum) (reh-tick-yoo-LAY-tum)
Synonym: Yellow-Vein Eranthemum, Golden Net-Bush

This is a flower that I saw for sale around here for the first time this year. It’s cute and dainty but the name is a mouthful. It is considered an evergreen shrub but certainly not in Connecticut’s climate. Although recent temperatures sure have made it feel like the tropics around here. The flowers of Pseuderanthemum are nice with their random pink spotting at the base and the foliage also adds some interest. The foliage emerges as kind of a chartreuse color and then gets darker. The gold veining is striking and unusual. I will have to try some in the future.

Since it is Sunday come join us at Today’s Flowers .

Also here is Sunday’s bonus flower picture.


Petunia
Petunia hybrid
(peh-TEWN-ya)

The Petunias seem to be holding up despite the heat and this group of purples was spotted in a hanging basket.

Our Butterflies “hatched” and are now flying around in their little enclosure. We put some flowers and sugar water in there for food. The whole thing started when we visited the Key West butterfly conservatory and Karen bought a kit that allows you to raise your own butterflies (after sending away for the caterpillars). When she got it I just assumed it was going to be one of those things that you don’t finish but she did it and we now have 4 Butterflies, which I am on the record for releasing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Canna Lily


Canna Lily
Canna x generalis
(KAN-uh) (jen-er-RAY-liss)

This flower has been greeting me as I walk out the front door each day. My wife, who is also a professional horticulturist, planted a pot with this Canna, some Heliotrope, Gaura, and Verbena and it really looks nice. The idea was to attract some butterflies. We are currently raising some caterpillars in a jar to soon set them free as butterflies. My how things change here I am being friendly to some caterpillars! Watching the different stages of development has been interesting.

This Canna is a dwarf and sorry I don’t have the name. It has green foliage and has been steadily blooming for what seems to be weeks. At first I wasn’t totally taken by the color scheme or random pattern on these flowers but they have grown on me. Cannas work well in containers but the tall types can overgrow and flop the whole pot over. So much breeding has been done to these plants that there are now 100’s of different cultivars available. If you want some of the specialty types order early! They are quick to sell out and many types seem to have tight availability. In this climate Cannas must be lifted and stored for the winter, which is something I have never really gotten the hang of and generally treat them as annuals. Of the nearly 30 years I have been gardening the Cannas only lived in the ground once during the winter.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coral Tall Garden Phlox


Garden Phlox
Phlox paniculata 'Junior Dance'
(floks) (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh)


Yesterday while picking up a some plants at the large wholesale nursery I grabbed a few photos of the perennials that were blooming. I used the 105mm macro lens and it seemed to be working perfectly. More and more I find myself manually focusing my camera even though the D700 comes with an astounding auto-focus system.

Since it is that time of year again the Garden Phlox was sure to make an appearance here. A true garden classic Phlox can form the heart of any perennial garden. On the plus side they are free flowering and generally don’t need staking. The flowers attract butterflies and sometimes hummingbirds. It is also a true summer bloomer. On the negative side is its proclivity towards getting powdery mildew. We have found that using resistant varieties (as this one is) and one application of fungicide early in the season goes a long way towards controlling the problem. The flowers are generally not affected but the mildew but it sure makes the plants hard to look at.

‘Junior Dance’ is a compact form of the Tall Garden Phlox. It grows about 18 inches tall. Like most of the Junior series it tends to branch laterally rather than upright. The color is amazing and one of my favorites in the garden. This variety was introduced in 2004.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lotus


Lotus
Nelumbo 'Charles Thomas'
(nee-LUM-bo)

One of the highlights of a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is seeing the Lily Pool Terrace. It is a couple of long rectangular pools with a smaller round one in the middle. The round pool has a big but slow fountain that drips down the sides. Both sides of the area are filled with various flower gardens with annuals, perennials and bulbs. The Café and the entrance to the Conservatory are there also.

It was nice not to have to be the guy hanging over the side of the water trying to focus on the flowers with a short lens. The 200mm was perfect for getting shots of the few Lotus and the large amount of water lilies blooming. Seeing the Koi swimming among the flowers was nice too.

Lotus flowers always seem special to me. I am not sure if it is the fact they are blooming out of murky water or it’s their shape and structure. The colors are usually muted although ‘Charles Thomas’ had a nice kind of cherry red shading to it. According to research on the subject the flowers bloom pink and then fade to light pink as it ages. ‘Charles Thomas’ was the first Lotus ever granted a patent in the Unite States and is named after the former president of Lilypons Water Gardens. It was introduced in 1984.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ceriman


Ceriman
Monstera deliciosa
(mon-STER-uh) (de-lis-ee-OH-suh)
Synonyms: Windowleaf, Split-leaf Philodendron, Mexican Breadfruit, Philodendron pertusum, Monstera lennea

This beauty was growing inside the conservatory at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden . It is an amazing set of buildings that can easily send you on a journey past the gritty streets that surround it. Pretty much everything was in great condition at the garden. I didn’t stay too long as all the walking made me tired.

Huge and bold foliage of the Monstera

My day started out getting all my gear ready. This is a list of what I took:

D700 DSLR Camera
D70s DSLR Camera
80-200mm Nikon 2.8 lens
50mm Nikon 1.8 lens
24mm Sigma 1.8 lens
Camera Bag Tamrac (I bought for $10 at a tag sale)
Ipod filled with new music

I purposely left out the two lenses I use the most the 60mm/2.8, and 105mm/2.8 (both Nikon). The thought was to try and see things a little differently than my “crutch” lenses. Although I missed both of them. I put the 80-200 on the D70s and the 50 on the D700. One good thing about the 50mm is it is very inconspicuous. After gearing up I drove the 25 miles to the train station. Metro-North trains come a lot closer but the Katonah station is nice and it is easy to park. Soon I was zipping by the towns of Westchester County like Hawthorne, Pleasantville, Chappaqua and White Plains. I had a playlist for Selena Gomez and Christina Grimmie’s new CDs. Both of which are excellent.

The train left me at Grand Central so I went into the subway and got on the 6 train going downtown. After changing onto the ‘Q’ train at Union Square I was headed out to Coney Island. That's when the memory washed over me. When I was 15 or 16 I was supposed to go to Coney Island with the girl I liked then. Her name was Sandy and she was beautiful. The trip was all planned and at the last minute Sandy backed out. She blamed her mother, which knowing the woman was probably true. Sadly I never made it out to Brooklyn that day. Sandy and I did end up going out for a short while. She was a sweetheart.

As the train rumbled through the dark tunnels every once in a while breaking into brilliant sunshine on the elevated sections it cut across the heart of Brooklyn I had sometime for quiet reflection. Was I some how trying to relive the trip not taken 33 years ago? What happened to Sandy? All this was accomplice by the discography of The Byrds I had loaded unto my Ipod last week. I was struck by the lyrics from the old country song, “Roger McGuinn had a 12 string guitar. It was like nothing I'd ever heard.” His 12 string does have an amazing sound. During my contemplation with the sounds of the 1960’s ringing in my ears a beautiful woman came on the train and sat next to me. I almost asked if her name was Sandy but instead just sat quietly admiring her beauty.

Soon it was last stop the Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue station, which is modern and architecturally pleasing. I made my way to the boardwalk and marveled at all the new rides and some of the old ones. I also visited the New York Aquarium whose entrance is right off the boardwalk. After some pictures and viewing the scenery on the beach it was back on the train to the Prospect Park stop to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Upon leaving the station the garden entrance was about a block away.

It was a beautiful summer day. The best thing was there wasn’t a lot of humidity, which can ruin summer around here. After visiting the Lotus Pool, Annual garden, Café, Conservatory and rock garden I was done. Back to the subway for the long ride to the 42nd Street/Time Square station. After that I jumped on the Grand Central Shuttle and caught the train to Westchester. Over all it was a great day. Two world-class attractions in one day. I will be posting some more pictures during the week.

Come join us at Today’s Flowers . Flowers from all over the world.

Sunday means bonus picture. Shot with the 80-200mm lens and D700. It was easy to do a back portrait when the flower is 7 or 8 feet off the ground. It is one of the Hardy type of Sunflowers but I didn’t get the name.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pink Beauty Hybrid Hydrangea


Pink Beauty Hybrid Hydrangea
Hydrangea 'Preziosa'
(hy-DRAIN-juh)
Synonyms: Mophead Hydrangea

The color on this Mophead was unusual to say the least. It was a very elegant pink. I have not been growing this one but it seems like it would be a classy plant to have in the garden. One garden that I supervise has about 50 Hydrangea but most are the traditional blue type but the Dwarf Pink (Hydrangea macrophylla 'Pia') we planted a couple of year ago have done fabulous. They are an interesting foil to all the blue ones.

Today I am doing something I hardly ever do and that is go to some of NYC’s outer boroughs for a few pictures. It’s going to be a public transportation type of day. Check back to see pictures of my journey.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sienna Sunset Threadleaf Coreopsis


Threadleaf Coreopsis
Coreopsis 'Sienna Sunset'
(kor-ee-OP-sis)
Synonyms: Tickseed

This flower was featured on this blog on June 28, 2009. I was raving about the color then and still am. I thought it would be nice to do a follow up on how the plant performed in the garden. 'Sienna Sunset' has been great. It is a low maintenance plant that is easy to grow and rewards the gardener with a flush of a color not easily found on other perennials.

Coreopsis has about 115 species in the genus mostly native to the North America (28 species), Central and South America. It is the state wildflower of Florida. It has good hardiness and other than shearing after flowering grows on its own.

The flowers on this type start off with a sienna color and than fade to a nice orange. It grows to about 12 inches tall and slowly spreads and fills in it’s spot in the garden nicely.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hybrid Rhododendron


Hybrid Rhododendron
Rhododendron 'Chionoides'
(roh-do-DEN-dron)

Years ago this wasn’t my favorite Rhododendron but it has through the years won me over. One thing that is nice about it is the smaller general habit of the plant. It stays a dense and bushy 4 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide. It probably isn’t dwarf but compared to a lot of similar Rhodos it seems that way. It is also always a heavy flowerer coming out with nice trusses of white flowers in the late rhododendron season ( blooms in late May here). The dark green kind of pointed foliage is nice all year. So if you are looking for a dense, slower growing broadleaf evergreen for your garden 'Chionoides' rhododendron is a good choice.

The weather around here is so whacky. After a mini heat wave it is in the 50’s this morning with a good breeze. A little cool for just a tee shirt. Now all we need is some rain, which may come next Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dakota Sunspot Potentilla


Shrubby Cinquefoil
Potentilla fruticosa 'Dakota Sunspot'
(poh-ten-TILL-uh) (froo-tih-KOH-suh)
Synonyms: ‘Fargo’

Monday, July 11, 2011

White Petunias


Petunia
Petunia hybrid
(peh-TEWN-ya)

This flower is quite similar to the Supertunia I posted recently except that the flower is about half the normal size. They came in untagged so the mystery remains. The plant is spreading out well in a container and it is weird that the flowers are so small. Not small enough to be Million Bells (Calibrachoa) but not large enough to be regular Petunias either. They have been mixing with some very deep pink Supertunias and seem to fit in well.

We are starting to get into the summer doldrums out in the garden. The roses are still going pretty strong bit most everything else seems to be taking a breath right now. The Rhododendron maximums are blooming better than I remember over the last 25 years. They look nice even though their flowers can’t compete with the hybrids (spring blooming) in the collection. After flowering they need to be pruned and headed back. They seem to like to get a lot taller than the other species.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Daylily




Daylily
Hemerocallis
(hem-er-oh-KAL-iss)

Last year we bought a box of 100 Daylily seedlings and planted them around the yard. Everyone lived and thrived and this double peach colored one is one of my favorites. The Daylilies fit perfectly into what I call Chris’s Garden of Castaways. It is primarily made up from over orders, rehabilitation projects, cast offs and other rejects. The cast of characters are starting to come together nicely but always with the idea of what I can dig up and sell later.

This Daylily, which I thought might be 'Siloam Double Classic' but doesn’t have enough pink, has been blooming for a week now. I decided to step back and take a picture of the whole flower scape now that it has 4 flowers out. The plant is sufficiently large enough now to be divided after it finishes flowering.


I was calling this a ‘double’ Daylily because of the extra petal but the more correct term is “polymerous” (def.: having or consisting of many parts). Under either name the extra petals add a lot to the beauty. The flowers also have a pretty strong scent, which is refreshing and heady.

Daylilies are considered one of the most hybridized plants. With 60,000 registered cultivars and 100’s more being added every year there is a mind-boggling amount to choose from except no blue flowers but I am sure they are working on that. They are hardy from USDA Zone 1 (which goes down to -60 deg. F) up to Zone 11. Hey are very adaptable in the garden and the only problem that crops up is the deer like to eat them. The flowers are edible and often used in Asian cuisine.

Come join us at Today’s Flowers . The links open at 1400 GMT. It is a great bunch of people and you get flowers from all over the world.

On Sundays we have a bonus flower and today its is a Wild Daisy from work. It is basically a weed that has resisted every campaign to eradicate it from the garden. It looks all innocent in this picture but is a heavy seeder that can be a little frustrating to deal with.


After having the 60mm macro lens glued to the end of my camera for what seems weeks I broke out the 105mm/2.8 Nikon lens and used it on these photos. It is a great beast of a lens but is also great on capturing light and shadows.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Indigo Spires Sagea


Sage
Salvia 'Indigo Spires'
(SAL-vee-uh)

It took several attempts to get a good picture of this flower. It certainly popped up at virtually every nursery I visited this spring. I didn’t buy any because it was already starting to sprawl a little bit in the 6-inch pots. It would seem that it gets much taller than the advertised 36 inches. The flower color is awesome and the foliage is the typical rough green of Salvias, it makes me itchy just looking at it. There is a more dwarf variety of this plant called ‘Mystic Spires’ and that looks to be a more manageable plant.

Every year we make a planting of ‘Black and Blue’ on someone’s terrace. They love it because of the amount of Hummingbirds it attracts. I like it because it just grows very nice without any maintenance needed. One afternoon while working in the area I saw two hummers on the patch at the same time. It was a delicate and beautiful natural ballet. The flowers on ‘Black and Blue’ are a little different (more tubular) but I suspect that 'Indigo Spires' would certainly bring in the butterflies and bees.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Summer Daisy


Summer Daisy
Argyranthemum frutescens 'Vanilla Butterfly'
(ar-ji-RAN-the-mum) (froo-TESS-enz)
Synonyms: Marguerite Daisy

This relatively new cultivar (introduced in 2004) of Marguerite Daisy
has been a star in our little cutting garden this year. It has continually provided waves of daisies. The biggest knock against Marguerite Daisies in the past has been their hot weather performance and this cultivar has seemed to get over that. Specially bred for hot weather flowering it shows no sign of conking out yet. It was also selected for not having to be deadheaded for continual bloom, although I have been deadheading mine anyway. The flowers are a nice creamy yellow and the habit has been small with a lot of flowers. This flower is recommended for bedding and container use.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Blue Hardy Geranium


Hardy Geranium
Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter'
(jer-AY-nee-um) (pray-TEN-see)
Synonyms: Meadow Cranesbill

This flower has been a welcome addition to the garden this year. Its dwarf habit, dark foliage and brilliant blue flowers are a nice package. I have been falling in love with all the Hardy Geraniums we have been planting. Any blue flower is usually okay with me and this one is a striking shade of blue.

Hardy Geraniums are easy to grow and will even tolerate some shade. The one thing I have learned about them is they like good drainage in the winter (like Asters). Other than that they are a care free and floriferous perennial. While none of the Hardy Geraniums get really big (they like to spread more) 'Midnight Reiter' seems to like to stay small only getting up to 8 inches tall. It does stick out in the border with the purple foliage and blue flowers.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Lavandin


Lavandin
Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso'
(lav-AN-dew-lah) (in-ter-MEE-dee-a)
Synonyms: Dilly Dilly

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Wild Hydrangea


Wild Hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
(hy-DRAIN-juh) (ar-bo-RES-senz)
Synonyms: Sevenbark, Hydrangea arbor. subsp. arborescens

Monday, July 04, 2011

Tropical Waterlily


Tropical Waterlily
Nymphaea
(NIM-fee-uh)

This photo is from our trip to Florida in February. I guess those memory cards need to be cleaned off more often. The compact flash cards are so cheap now that the amount of memory is not really a concern to photographers. This photo was on one of the 8GB cards that were purchased with the D700 camera. Since the files are a lot bigger than the D70 I was shooting with before I thought getting a few larger cards would be smart. The cards cost $9.95 at the time so I got two. Its great to have that much space for photos but can get a little confusing like in this case where the card hadn’t been used since the winter. One day I put the 8GB card in the D70 and thought it said 22 pictures left, which didn’t make sense. Later upon closer inspection I realized it said 2.2 pictures left, as in 2,200. That was funny at the time.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone. It is nice to have an extra day off this week. The weather wasn’t great yesterday but overall the holiday weekend has been good. We went to see Monte Carlo yesterday and I thought it was funny.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunpatiens


Sunpatiens
Impatiens 'Sunpatiens Spreading Salmon’
(im-PAY-shuns)
Synonyms: SAKIMP005

Here is a new and interesting plant. Hybridized from New Guinea Impatiens these flowers can take full sun. I must admit to doing something that I don’t normally do and that is buying plants without researching them. Gardening trends come and go all the time and I am usually loath to ride them. Later adaptation is okay because then the new thing has been proven. Resisting temptation at the nursery is something I really try to enforce.

Last week we got a large annual order that needed to be filled by this weekend. One of the items was two dozen New Guinea Impatiens for near a beautiful free form swimming pool. The nursery didn’t have any regular N.G.I.s we decided to change to Nonstop Begonias. Since the Sunpatiens were sitting there and they looked nice. One tray of six ended up on the truck. At the job I needed a few plants to under plant a large Hibiscus tree and these Sunpatiens looked great against the dark green Hibiscus foliage. This is where I lucked out as the ‘Spreading’ series of Sunpatiens is specifically for containers.

So for Sunpatiens there are three series each come with a good variety of colors. The Compact series is probably going to be the most viable in my opinion. Still getting up to 36 inches tall and quite wide having a slightly smaller habit is desirable to me. The Spreading series and Vigorous series look good for mass plantings. I used the extra couple of plants I had in the little perennial border by the driveway. I will report back later about their performance during the season.

Come join us at Today’s Flowers . The links open at 1400 GMT. It is a great bunch of people and you get flowers from all over the world.


Indian Summer Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'
(rud-BEK-ee-a) (HER-tuh)

Here is the Sunday bonus flower. I don’t remember who told me that this plant isn’t perennial but they were dead wrong. These are from a group of plants going on its fourth year. To me it has done just what a perennials should do, increase in flowering and size a little bit each year. This flower does well in containers too. It seems to be one of the longer blooming Rudbeckias out there. It blooms all season.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Bonica Floribunda Rose


Floribunda Rose
Rosa 'Bonica'
(RO-zuh)
Synonyms: Bonica '82, Demon, MEIdomonac

This rose was recently featured here as the first rose of the year and it is still going strong. I often get stuck in a bit of a rut when photographing flowers and lately I have been trying a couple of new things. Here a shallow depth of field was used and I have been experimenting with that more. Something as simple as turning the camera into the landscape orientation (the long side horizontal and so the shorter side vertical) has been something else for me to remember to use. It is simple but effective.

Feeling a little under the weather as I lived out a dream from the late 1970’s when we attended the Peter Frampton concert at our local concert venue last night. It sure was amazing. Some of the best guitar playing I have heard in years. It wasn’t the flashy, shredding type of playing but more like a sophisticated tone based playing. He is quite a showman and has an awesome band. I should have brought my camera as Peter was telling the “red shirts” to leave some one alone who was taking a photo. “Let her have her photo”, was a great attitude to have.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Sights of Summer Dahlia


Decorative Dahlia
Dahlia 'Sights of Summer'
(DAHL-ya)

The Dahlias are coming on strong and this one has been a pleasant one to have. The colors are outstanding and the plant seems to be a good citizen. We purchased two of these for the containers as you enter the cutting garden. 'Sights of Summer' was picked for the pots since it only grows 24 inches tall although I think the rest of the Dahlias had some growth regulator sprayed on them because they are full of flowers and not getting very tall. That eliminates the need for staking, which is a good thing.

Last fall I had bought a bag of that new “guaranteed to grow” grass seed and had good results. Yesterday while in the compost area we moved a spare wheelbarrow that we keep back there and there was a perfect (although yellow) patch of grass that had sprouted under it. Truly grow anywhere.

To the Americans visiting this site Happy Foutrth of July and I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.