Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Wordless Wednesday

Red Daylily - Poinsettia

Red Daylily
Hemerocallis 'Poinsettia’

Red Daylily for Ruby Tuesday. These pictures were sitting around on a memory card I decided to clean off this weekend. Still have a couple of cards to go. This Daylily was growing at the NYBG and was literally blooming its head off. I have admired it for several years now and was glad a got a decent picture this year.

This other picture is from Long Beach Island. That card is just getting cleaned off too. The shovels just caught my eye in the Surf City 5 and 10.

Today the mums are getting delivered. They are bringing some bright yellow and some burgundy ones. Melissa was sweet enough to help Juno and I select a few of some other colors, also. There is also a 7-foot ‘Dragon Lady’ Holly on the truck. That is going to be prickly. The 60 mums have to go in today, as I am schedule to go to Hyde Park tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pink Ivy Leaf Geranium

Ivy Leaf Geranium
Pelargonium peltatum
(pe-lar-GO-nee-um pel-TAY-tum)

This Ivy leaf was blooming at Pound Ridge Nurseries yesterday. I was there looking for some premium mums but didn’t see anything. Most of the mums were kind of run of the mill. They did have the Bush Clover (Lespedeza thunbergii) that I have been trying to locate and a good selection of Sheffield Mums. I didn’t buy them and will have to slip over there during the week.

The Ivy Leaf Geraniums were planted in containers and hanging baskets which is how you usually see them. I didn’t realize my little dream of planting some as groundcover this year (forgot, actually). Definitely want to try it next year. Even though the newer varieties seem to be more heat tolerant than the older ones I still locate them where they are out of the afternoon sun. That probably becomes more critical the further south you go.

This South African native doesn’t like to dry out and needs well drained soil. The 1911 Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica says that “The best soil for pelargoniums is a mellow fibrous loam with good well-rotted stable manure or leaf-mould in about the proportion of one-fifth; when used it should not be sifted, but pulled to pieces by the hand, and as much sand should be added as will allow the water to pass freely through it. The large flowered and fancy kinds cannot bear so much water as most soft-wooded plants, and the latter should have a rather lighter soil.

They must have had a lot of time back then if they were pulling the compost apart by hand.

In Connecticut we plant Ivy Leaf Geranium as annuals although I sometimes take them in for the winter and they do a decent job in the Conservatory.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Seven - Final Day

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Seven
Final Day

This is going to wrap up the Digital Flower Pictures.com 2008 Dahlia Festival. There are still plenty of Dahlia pictures left but I want to move on to some other plants and flowers. I hope you enjoyed the Dahlias and the pictures showed a little bit of the variations of color and flower shape that are available in the Dahlia genus. There are over 50,000 cultivars so there is quite a bit of exploring left to do. I hope the festival was worth the price of admission.

The first Dahlia is ‘Kidd’s Climax’ which was featured on the full flower day. The second is two views of ‘Kenora Charmer’. It is a very nice Ball Dahlia. The Ball Dahlias really grew on me this season. The compactness of the flower is wonderful especially when viewed close up. Not as showy as some of the larger types but elegant and beautiful in their own way.

The third Dahlia, ‘Camano Pet’, has also been on this space before. I found it to be very photogenic. The last Dahlia is a named cultivar but I can’t seem to find the name. It sure is a pretty Cactus type. The red and white combination is one of my favorite in the garden.

Thanks for visiting. I would like to take a moment to thank all the people that visit this site on a regular basis. You have done a lot to inspire me to try and take better pictures.

If you want to see some of my other Dahlia photography you can click the Dahlia tag below this post.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Six- Point and Shoot Dahlias

Dahlia 'Candlelight'

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Six
Point and Shoot Dahlias

The flower pictures in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix 8400. It is a great camera that is chock full of features. It isn’t exactly a pocket cam (a little more bulky than that) but it is a lot smaller than the D70s that I usually use. My favorite digital camera I have owned was my Coolpix 4300 but at 4MP the files didn’t really allow for any cropping or enlarging.

'Camano Pet'

The 8400 features a 24-85mm ED (extra low dispersion glass) lens, which is quite wide for a digicam. I usually run it in manual mode but sometime in the ‘A’ or ‘P’ mode. It has two user menus one of which is set to monochrome and the other has the color settings I use. It is handy to be able to switch between the two. When taking Black and White photos it is nice to be able to see what they will look like in the viewfinder instead of converting them later on.

The 8400 takes nice color photos, also.

Right now both my wife and I are on the market for true pocket cams. There are so many to choose from that I will be stopping at a couple of stores to see what is available. My guess is they will be Nikons, :lol:, but we will looking at all the options.

A Black and White Skywatch Dahlia.

A couple of these Dahlias are identified because I recognize them but usually with the small camera it is kind of free shooting time where I am not worried about the type or name of the flower just trying to take a nice picture.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Five - Skywatch Dahlias

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Five
Skywatch Dahlias

It is Friday again and with the amount of rain and wind blowing through here today it means a day off. Well not really as Juno and I have to buy some plants get a few stone samples for a walk and clean up my office (Ruby might go too). The Dahlia Fest continues with some Dahlia in the Sky shots.

Skywatch Friday inspired me to take some flower photos with the sky in the background. I think it maybe an angle to work in the future with other types of flowers. Figuring out the exposure and depth of field is still a challenge and these three flowers came out the best. Dahlias lend themselves to this type of photography as they grow on long stems and are very tall so it is easier to isolate the flowers.

The first flower is a seedling Dahlia from Long Island actually they are all from the Island. This Cactus Dahlia was particularly stunning to me. There was another seedling right next to it with red tips (previously posted) but the orange looked, to my eye, a little more catchy. I would have either in any of my gardens.

This second Dahlia is also a seedling. Not sure what class it falls into but the flower was beautiful and just a brilliant red. Of all of the seedling plants this one probably had the most flowers in bloom. I hope this makes it to the market, too.

This last Dahlia is ‘Luther’ a cactus Dahlia. It was bright white and very tall. The flower kind of got stuck in a cloud sandwich. This was shot with a lens I hardly ever use on this blog, my Sigma 28-200mm/F3.5-5.6. This is an old film lens that has been drafted into digital service. It is weird using a zoom lens after using fixed focal length (prime) lenses for so long. This Sigma isn’t great for flowers although it does have a macro function but it does all right for landscape shots.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Four

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Four
Mixed Dahlias

These Dahlias are mixed just like the ones that I bought this spring. Next year I am getting the named cultivars. The mix was too heavy on Informal Decoratives and not enough unusual ones. The only ones I bought by name were the dark leaved ones and the few that went into containers. The first picture is a homegrown Dahlia. It is from the small cutting garden (two strips, 2.5 feet wide by 10 feet long) in Greenwich that we planted this spring. Dahlias formed the backbone of the garden with Zinnias and Cosmos growing up in between. Even though the space was small I used some Ageratum ‘Artist Blue’ along the edges. ‘Artist Blue’ is great. It is a vegetative type, which is much more uniform then the strains grown from seed.

The Dahlias did really well in their spot and this one has gotten about 7 feet tall. It looks familiar and if there were any spring plant catalogs lying around here I would try and look it up.

This second Dahlia is in the larger Dahlia garden that I tend to. It has been a good producer and the color is really very nice. The plant got about 4.5 feet tall.

These next two flowers were photographed at White Flower Farm. The first one is named ‘Caballero’ and there were only a few references on the net about it. The tag at White Flower said ‘trial’ so they maybe selling it next year. It was a very nice Dahlia, the red and gold goes to together well. The second is ‘Raisha’ and the info on this one was even scarcer. I think both will become more popular.

I am not sure where this picture was taken let alone what Dahlia it is.

These are the 19 classes of Dahlia Flowers:

Formal Decorative
Informal Decorative
Straight Cactus
Semi Cactus
Incurved Cactus
Mini Ball
Novelty Fully Double
Novelty Open Center
Anemone Single
Mignon Single

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Three - Full Flowers

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day Three
Five Full Flower Dahlias

Normally it would be Wordless Wednesday again around here but I did want to give the cultivar names for these Dahlias. Actually three are seedling Dahlias and the others are named. I was reading that when photographing Dahlias it is less desirable to allow the petals to extend past the edge of the frame (unless it is a macro). Armed with this information before going to the Dahlia garden these are my attempts at full flower Dahlias. It is much easier to do with the 24mm lens I found out but the 50mm/1.8 and the 60mm/2.8 were also used on these photos.

Here are two more Seedling Dahlias. They are kept track of by numbers. Some of these seedlings will be make appearances as macros later on.

This next flower is a Dinnerplate Dahlia called ‘Kidds Climax’. This is one that we have had in the garden before and it is a beautiful, large and easy to grow Dahlia. Of all the flower classes of Dahlias Dinnerplate is probably one of my favorites. They can be so dramatic kind of like a more colorful and textured Sunflower. The Cactus types are probably my second favorite.

This Dahlia is special since the foliage is a dark purple. The orange flower really stands out against the foliage. This is the first year that I have grown a lot of the purple leaf types and they have been outstanding. When I say a lot it means about 24 over three different gardens. They did well in the ground and in containers and just kept on blooming and are still growing strong now. This cultivar is ‘David Howard’.

Yesterday’s Wordless Dahlias were:
1. ‘Sharky’ / Ball Dahlia

2. ‘Hollyhill Joker’s Wild’ / Informal Decorative

3. Seedling

4. Seedling

5. Alpen Cherub / Collarette Dahlia

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day One - Red Dahlias

Dahlia Festival 2008 – Day One
Red Dahlias

Since this is my Ruby Tuesday post for the week today’s Dahlias are all red. The deal was supposed to be for pictures with only a little red in them, oh well. The first flower was photographed at the Paul Callahan Dahlia Garden in Oyster Bay, New York. I have to admit I love the flowers that have the white tips. This cultivar is the Informal Decorative Dahlia ‘Bert Pitt’.

Thanks to Ruby Tuesday I am no longer afraid to try and photograph red flowers. They still don’t come out all of the time but at least I am trying. This next Dahlia was photographed at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut. It is a prominent mail order nursery that specializes in new and hard to get varieties. They have a pretty extensive garden at the farm. ‘Black Wizard’ was one of the darkest red Dahlias I have seen in a long time. The color is close in the photos but it looked even darker from further away. The closer you get to the center of the flower the darker it gets. ‘Black Wizard’ is a Dinnerplate Dahlia although it seems to have Cactus type petals too.

This next Dahlia was marked ‘Striped Vulcan’ but I am not too sure. It looks more like plain old ‘Vulcan’. I couldn’t find a real definite answer. It was pretty regardless of the name.

This last one has been growing in a pot at the Estate. The plant stayed small but it had pretty good sized flowers. It might have stayed small since it is in one of the few pots that don’t get regular water. The label said ‘Chocolate’ and it turns up after a search that there quite a few Dahlias with the word chocolate in the name. So which one it was is a mystery.

Thanks for visiting. For more Ruby Tuesday and red pictures visit the teach @ Work of the Poet a little later today.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Festival of Dahlias 2008-Preview

Festival of Dahlias 2008-Preview

Over the next several days this site is going to be featuring Dahlia photos. Since many of the photographs are from Long Island the first Dahlia is appropriately named ‘Long Island Lil’. Dahlias seem to grow so well on the Island (along with everything else). Many of the flower pictures are from the Mid-Island Dahlia Society’s Eastern Trial Garden so you will be seeing a lot of seedlings and varieties that are under evaluation. The seedlings were amazing and most will probably go on to be cultivated varieties.

The Dahlias at work have done very well. A profusion of blooms and not too many fungus or insect problems. They all were unnamed varieties (no tags) but it turned out to be a pretty good mix. So the Festival of Dahlias will have some homegrown flowers also.

Decorative Dahlia
Dahlia 'Long Island Lil'

My impression of ‘Long Island Lil’ is the color is superb and at 40 inches the plant is stout and good size. The flower almost looks like a Ball Dahlia but is a little more open.

This is another Dahlia from the test garden. It is named ‘Islander’ and I am not sure if it originates from Long Island or not. The color here again was superb and not one that you see commonly. The flowers were absolutely huge (guessing 8-10 inches across).

This is how I kept track of the different varieties.

Last night I went to private concert in Manhattan by Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Susan Tedeschi. It was great show and I was able to get right up to the front. Some of the dancers were almost pushing me into the keyboards. She is extremely talented and very attractive.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rudbeckia 'Tiger Eye Gold'

Rudbeckia 'Tiger Eye Gold'

The Rudbeckia has been stunning this year. That little dry spell we had seemed to do wonders for them. Rather than try and write a lot about Rudbeckia here is a link to the Rudbeckia Fact Sheet/National Garden Bureau. There is a great slideshow of different Rudbeckia species and cultivars. They are calling 2008 the Year of the Rudbeckia and I have to agree.

That website was really the only one that had information on ‘Tiger Eye Gold’. It is a new variety of Rudbeckia and the first one that is a F1 Hybrid.

I am out of here early for some pictures and also have a social engagement tonight.

This is a Black and White Dahlia picture I got at the Trial Garden last week.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shasta Daisy ‘Becky’

Shasta Daisy ‘Becky’
Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky'
(lew-KANTH-ih-mum) (soo-PER-bum)
Synonyms: Chrysanthemum x superbum, Chrysanthemum maximum

There was a good second flush of blooms on ‘Becky’ after we cut it back. The foliage has seen better days but the flowers are nice. This was the first picture I shot yesterday. The next shot is posted below. I love the fall light for taking flower pictures. It seems to slant down and illuminate the flowers just right.

‘Becky’ is a strong bloomer with big flowers. I posted before that ‘Becky’ might have an unpleasant scent but I didn’t notice it and was only inches away. I am definitely smelling one up close tomorrow.

This is kind of an abstract of Canna x generalis 'Australia'. I might have the opportunity to reshoot this since it is growing in a big container at work. I planted it with an orange flowered variegated type (Canna americanallis var. variegata 'Pretoria') and they mixed very well. There is also CleomeSenorita Rosalita’, Blue Wave Petunias and some golden type of Licorice Plant. 'Australia' is beautiful and has looked good all season. The leaves get really dark, almost black, after they have come out. The flowers are a nice red.

These are the only Cannas that I grew this year. That is down from 100 to 300 in previous years. They hadn’t been performing well, the deer had been eating them and some seemed to have Canna virus.

It did get quite cold here last night, not enough to frost, thankfully. The temperature was 43 deg. F at my house and about 46 at work.