Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rear view

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

Rear view of a Black eyed Susan flower. Double Wordless Wednesday special.

Koi Fish
Cyprinus carpio

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lobster Claws

Lobster Claws
Heliconia x pabstii

These are such cool flowers. The bright orange/red parts are bracts (modified leaves) and the actual flowers come out of the white bits. There really wasn’t a lot of information about this species of Heliconia available. I would love to be able to grow some of these. It is such a broad genus that really brings some spectacular flowers to the world. Since I read that they do pretty well in containers it would be nice to score one for the estate.

Sunday again so bonus snapshot. This is picture of an Acacia tree in bloom.

Sweet Acacia
Acacia minuta
(a-KAY-see-uh) (min-YOO-tuh)
Synonyms: Mimosa Bush, Sweet Wattle, Huisache, Acacia farnesiana

One thing I learned about this tree is that it is native to parts of the Southern United States. Watch out for those thorns!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stained Glass

Stained Glass

While looking at a gardening job in Westchester County I came upon this piece of stained glass. It was a panel inset along the front door and there were 5 other scenes but none were showing the light and color like this one. I quickly asked the prospective client of she minded my taking a picture of it and she said go ahead.

This picture was shot with the rarely used Sigma 17-70/ 2.8-4.5 lens and the Nikon D70s camera. It sure is weird using a zoom lens after all the prime (fixed focal length) lenses I have been using. I was sometimes forgetting to use the zoom and continued to “zoom with my feet” when I didn’t have to.

Here is a bonus fine art shot for Saturday. From the MOMA’s giant Picasso Collection.

Pablo Picasso, Spanish
Violin and Grapes, spring-summer 1912
Oil on Canvas

This is another Sigma lens shot this time the 28-200mm/3.3-5.6. It is a pretty good lens for the hyper-zoom category. This lens is a film days relic (old) that made a pretty good and smooth transition to digital.

Friday, July 27, 2012

From the Archive: Chihuly Glass at Fairchild

Chihuly Glass at Fairchild

Just to keep the July streak going here are a couple of old pictures. At the time it seemed I was bitchin’ about how much Chihuly glass I was seeing but now I kind of miss it. The big yellow piece was truly amazing and well set in it’s position. After blogging for several years I think this might be the latest daily update ever.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oranges and Lemons Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower
Gaillardia aristata 'Oranges & Lemons'
(gay-LAR-dee-uh) (a-ris-TAH-tuh)
Synonyms: Common Blanketflower

For the first time in a long time I saw this flower for sale. It was quite popular for awhile and then dropped completely off the radar. People must have realized that it is not really a perennial and that hurt sales. Personally I have planted a lot of these and not once have they made it through the winter and returned. It could be that the Connecticut climate is too harsh I am not really sure but I think winter drainage maybe the key to its cultivation. The color scheme on this flower is beautiful and the plant grows nicely but it irks me that they sell it as a perennial. That makes it a very expensive annual and in my opinion not worth it.

Yesterday I saw the most humongous Dragon Fly at work. Since the house is located near and partially in a swamp they get a lot of strange bugs and I had never seen a Dragon Fly that big before. He was having a little problem flying and a yellow jacket was bothering him. He fought off the yellow jacket and eventually flew away. His head was close to penny sized and the body was about 3.5 inches long. Of course I didn’t have my camera with me so you are going to have to take my word on it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

White Daylily

Hemerocallis 'Joan Senior'
Introduced 1977

Rare White Daylily

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hardy Blue Aster

Hardy Blue Aster
Symphyotrichum 'Blue Autumn'

Monday, July 23, 2012

Peach Trailing Verbena

Trailing Verbena
Verbena 'Lanai Peach'

This flower seems to illustrate a growing trend towards coral, peach and apricot flower colors. They are everywhere now and are easy to work into the landscape. This Verbena is growing in the container garden and has done well. A few of the pots were not getting hit with the irrigation water and the Verbena fought it off and is still looking good. When planting ‘dry’ pots we usually use a mixture of Verbena and Lantana and sometimes Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora).  

Ugh it is raining here again this morning. We have had over four and a half inches of rain this month, which is unusual. It stopped work on Friday but will not today. It just makes everything harder and less comfortable to do.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Purple Tropical Waterlily

Purple Tropical Waterlily
Nymphaea cv.
These are tropical water lilies. They were growing in Southern Florida last winter. The kind of transparent purple color was pretty amazing. This picture was shot with my Coolpix 8400. It is a good compact camera and I remember how excited I was to get an 8MP camera at the time. The pictures it took were huge and nice too. The 8400 has a very good lens on it.

Here is the bonus snapshot for Sunday. I don’t know why but I have been thinking about this building a lot lately. A little digging provided this shot that was never posted here before.

Key West Art and Historical Society
The Custom House, 1891
Key West, Florida

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Peace Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid Tea Rose 'Peace'
Synonyms: B├ęke, Fredsrosen, Gioia, Gloria Dei, Madame Antoine Meilland, 3-35-40
Introduced in the U.S.: 1945 by Conard-Pyle (Star Roses)
Size and Petal Count: 6 inch flowers with 43 petals
Fragrant? : Yes, strong

Well something happened to my ‘Peace’ rose and a few other varieties and they grew these enormous sized roses on small bushes. This flower was easily two or three times the size of a regular Peace. It really looked like some abnormal burst of energy had come out. I was a little afraid for the plant since the flowers were almost as big but it has seemed to settle back into its routine of producing normal sized flowers. The roses in general look good and have been holding out despite the heat and humidity. Yesterday was kind of a statistical oddity in the fact we got over an inch of rain and the temperatures were only in the high 60’s. Felt a bit more like September than July.

Here is a bonus snapshot for Saturday. Here is 28 of the 32 cans anyway.

 Campbell's Soup Cans
Andy Warhol, American, 1962
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
32-20 by 16 inches (51 × 41 cm) canvases
Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan, NY

Friday, July 20, 2012

Patriot Salmon Geranium

Zonal Geranium
Pelargonium x hortorum 'Patriot Salmon'
(pe-lar-GO-nee-um) (hor-TOR-um)

The Geraniums have been doing nicely despite the heat and lack of rain. Normally we wouldn’t have made such a big planting of them but the client insisted and it turned out nicely. This salmon colored one has been mixing well with some red, white and a few orange colored flowers. Modern Geraniums seem so much better than the types we used in the beginning of my career. Truly a classic and livening up my summer nicely.

In a certain sign my life has come full circle recently while talking to a client she mentioned her 15 year old son had begun playing the guitar and that he was saving up for a Gibson Les Paul. That of course reminded me of the two summers I had spent saving everything in the early 1980’s to buy my Stratocaster. Still remember all those summer days of pushing my lawn mower all over the neighborhood to get the money and the guitar, which I still have and cherish (turned out to be a pretty good investment too). So I mentioned that she should bring him over to band practice sometime and have the young guy play with us. It was one of those things that I thought in the back of mind that probably wouldn’t happen but it did. He came over and jammed with us. At first I thought it might be a little awkward but it ended up being a lot of fun. He brought a youthful excitement that we had never seen in that band room before. He is a pretty good player and will probably be useful for a few songs live.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

White Virginia Spiderwort

White Virginia Spiderwort
Tradescantia x andersoniana
(trad-es-KAN-tee-uh) (an-der-soh-nee-AH-na)
Synonyms: Widow's-Tears

A lot of people consider this plant an invasive weed but I think it can be quite useful under the right conditions. The problems start when it likes its spot and takes off from there. We have found that it can be good under shady moist conditions and sometimes seems to be the only thing that will grow in certain spots. The ‘normal’ Spiderwort has a nice blue flower but this white strain has been a pleasant change from the ordinary. Plant this flower with care,

In a clear case of be careful for what you wish for the thunderstorms roared through our area again yesterday. While not being personally impacted there were quite few trees and wires down. The rain poured down and seem to soak into the ground nicely.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Princess Flower Bud

Princess Flower Bud
Tibouchina urvilleana
(tib-OO-kee-nuh) (ur-VIL-ah-nuh)
(syn. Glory Flower)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hybrid Camellia

Hybrid Camellia
Camellia lutchuensis ‘Spring Mist’
(kuh-MEE-lee-a) (lu-chu-EN-sis)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hardy Sunflower

Hardy Sunflower
Helianthus sp.
(hee-lee-AN-thus) (AN-yoo-us)

This beauty is already blooming along with some Asters and mums. Fall is upon us. No, just kidding, but some flowers seem to be pushing the envelope a little. Helianthus is a reliable plant that can brighten up the fall border.

We finally got some rain yesterday and even though it was a thunderstorm its copious amounts of rain were welcome. Everything seems much refreshed outside this morning and our little dry spell seems over for now.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

African Daisy

Cape Daisy
Osteospermum ‘Crescendo Yellow’
Synonym: African Daisy

 This post was going to be about Columbine when I realized the photos had been used previously. Instead this fine group of Cape Daisies made it instead. They seem to be blooming well and I am starting to think they are more heat tolerant then they are given credit for. Straw colored flowers are not my favorite but these seem to be able to hold their own. They are making a bright, vivid color display without much work.

Since it is Sunday here is the bonus shot.

Washington Crossing the Delaware
1851, Oil-on-canvas
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

This famous painting is only partially rendered here. It was pretty good sized painting (liked 20 by about 12 feet big) and this was as wide as the lens went. There is quite a bit of history behind this painting, It is a replica of the original, which was lost during a World War II air raid.

Here is the Wikipedia Story of the painting.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hybrid Compact Dahlia

Hybrid Dahlia
Dahlia ‘Midi Malaysia’
Dahlina Series

When I went to look information on this flower there wasn’t much. The main quest for knowledge was the Dalina series and again not much luck. We have been growing them for a few years now both in containers and the cutting garden. The compact plants are free flowering and easy to grow. We deadhead ours but that is probably not even necessary. There is a really nice mix of colors and they start blooming weeks ahead of the other types of Dahlias.

The band show went pretty well with only a few technical glitches. I remembered to relax and have fun. There were a few old friends that made the trek out to the venue and it was nice to see them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Purple Coneflower

Eastern Purple Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

I will never understand why this flower is called ‘purple’ coneflower and not ‘pink’ coneflower. The Echinaceas have been doing well this year and we actually planted some new ones. The perennial part of the population seemed to have been decimated by a few of the previous winters but last winter was warm and dry and those are the conditions they like. We planted a big group of my personal favorite ‘Ruby Star’ and a couple of Echinacea 'Hot Papaya', which is kind of a ghastly bright orange. The 'Hot Papaya' is a big hit and the client loved them.

Funny how things work out like that sometimes. Like today, I have been waiting to perform for about a month and finally it is show day but when I woke up this morning there was some sort of sting on my left wrist. It is kind of swollen and extremely itchy. Luckily I still have full range of motion and hopefully it will not effect my playing.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pastel Water Lilies

Water Lilies

This is an unusual shot just for the fact that the Nikon D70s and Nikon 80-200mm/2.8 lens was used. I still love that old camera and it still works great. There is really no comparison to my newer, bigger camera but it works and under the right circumstances will turn in a great picture. It is amazing how much digital photography technology has come since the D70 was issued.

As a member of a really big photography forum people are always asking abut the D70 because it is one of the cheaper used DSLRs available. I usually post the same thing in response. “It is a great camera with a few shortfalls including low light performance, small file size and a small LCD screen.” The lens that came with it, a Nikon 18-70mm/ f/3.5-4.5 AF-S DX is also quite serviceable and still finds its way into my camera bag sometimes. Even though the lens is not full frame it occasionally finds it way into my camera bag and onto the D700, which automatically senses it and shoots a smaller photo. In my opinion one of the better kit lenses ever issued by Nikon. It did well down in Florida last winter and took some nice shots.

Everything has been kind of leading up to our band show on Friday night this week. I had to setup my stuff at the band room last night and then tear down and unload it at home last night only to throw it all back in the car tomorrow and set up and tear down at the venue. Lucky I love to play and don’t mind the work. I really do need to find a way to slim down my keyboard rig. It can be a nightmare to setup/tear down but I am the one that wanted a Hammond Organ.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ice Plant

Ice Plant
Delosperma sp.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Paphiopedilum Orchid

Paphiopedilum Orchid
Paphiopedilum venustum var. album
(paf-ee-oh-PED-ih-lum) (ven-NUSS-tum)

The name of this Orchid is sure a mouthful. It was wonderfully exotic in appearance and lucky a picture of its tag was shot for later reference. The color scheme was different but certainly eye catching. This species is native to India and the Himalayan mountains. It is easy to cultivate at home but expensive to procure. The heavily mottled foliage is an added bonus.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Pink Shrub Rose and Sheffield Chrysanthemum

Shrub Rose
Rosa cv.

We have been tending to this rose for the past several years and still think it is a great variety. The flowers are simply huge and very aromatic. I have a feeling it might actually be a climbing rose since it gets quite tall but it is really kind of jammed in its corner so it is difficult to say for sure.

The rose season has been pretty good here so far. Thankfully more and more of the modern types have some heat resistance bred into them. There was a great crop of roses available in the big rose garden on Friday.

Sunday means a bonus shot here on the digital flower pictures blog. This one was taken last autumn and I am posting it because some of the Sheffield mums at work are growing enormous and are going to be great this fall. This is truly a beautiful perennial that seems to be rarely grown. Much superior to the typical kind of annual mums usually planted. They were potting up some Chrysanthemums at the large annual farm last week.

Hardy Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield'
Synonym: Dendranthema ‘Hillside Pink Sheffield’

These were shot with my compact camera a Nikon P6000. It shoots such giant pictures and has a pretty good lens.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

White Blazing Star

Blazing Star
Liatris spicata 'Alba'
(ly-AT-riss) (spi-KAH-tuh)
Synonyms: Button Snakeroot

This seems to be an under used very hardy perennial. The bottlebrush type flowers are borne in spikes providing a great vertical accent in the border. The ‘normal’ color is kind of a pinky-purple and the white type is seen less. For the most part they are low maintenance plants that don’t need staking and are reliable summer bloomers.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Canna Lily

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

This plant came in marked ‘Red President’ but it isn’t. That is surprising since it is from one of the mega nurseries that starts with the letter ‘M’. Lucky it turned out to be a nice color and it didn’t have any affect on a color scheme for the planting. We have slowly begun growing a few more Canna Lilies again after having bad results for several years. I do love their bold foliage and the flowers are kind of an added bonus. Quite a few Canna varieties seem to be self cleaning these days and that is helpful in keeping them looking nice without extra work.

I finally finished the ‘farm’ we have been working on. If I never have to cut another landscape timber on an angle again that will be okay with me. Now the scramble will be trying to get some decent vegetable plants to fill the beds.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Russell Lupine

Russell Lupine
Lupinus polyphyllus 'Russell'
(loo-PIE-nus) (pol-ee-FIL-us)
Synonyms: Russell Hybrids Mixed

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Toto Gold Dwarf Black-eyed Susan

Dwarf Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Toto Gold’
(rud-BEK-ee-uh) (HER-tuh)

Monday, July 02, 2012

Royal Red Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush
Buddleia davidii ‘Royal Red’
(BUD-lee-uh) (duh-VID-ee-eye)
Synonyms: Buddleja davidii, Orange-eye Butterfly Bush

I am not sure why this is called ‘Royal Red’ because it is more purple then anything else. So far the Butterfly Bushes have been doing well this season and living up to their reliable reputation. While pruning some nearby Japanese Hollies this specimen was overwhelming me with its fragrance. There didn’t appear to be too many butterflies hovering around it and in general our butterfly population seems a little low this year.

We had a dwarf Butterfly Bush that I pulled out of someone’s house and it was left down by the garage and the other morning I noticed a couple of butterflies feeding on it. I was able to catch and release one.

It is easy to tell it's a new month as new folders have to be made to store this blogs files. Happy July!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Thailand Orchid

Vandachostylis ‘Thailand’

 This Orchid picture was processed a long time ago but never posted. My hard drive needed some cleaning today and it popped up again. After looking for some information I realized why it hadn’t been posted. Information on this particular Orchid is hard to find. So we will just enjoy at as a festive, kind of jaunty spike of flowers.

Since it is Sunday here is the bonus shot. A group of Coconuts that were ripening on the vine. Shot in Coral Gables, Florida on a brilliant winter afternoon. 105mm/2.8 Nikon micro lens.