Just another day in paradise

10 07 2019

Meet Moo, one of several cats living in the garden paradise of my friends Ed and Joni in Kentucky.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Moo in Garden





iPhoneography: Green Spring Gardens

9 04 2016

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 6s / Snapseed

GS Rock closeup 2 WB

Gazebo WEB

GS Rock Garden closeup 1 WEB

 





Celebrate Home Magazine: Spring!

6 03 2016

It’s almost spring and I thought I’d share the spring issue of Celebrate Home Magazine again. Barbara Kelley and I created this magazine in 2012-2013 as a personal project and had so much fun doing it! Click on either of the links below to download your FREE pdf copy of this issue.

This issue is jam-packed (and there’s even a jam-making feature with my friend Sophia Stadnyk!), so download today and get started reading.

Single pages version: Celebrate Home Spring 2013

Reader spreads version (my favorite!): Celebrate Home Spring 2013 Spreads

Order a print copy (at cost, plus shipping): http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/540569

You can also view it on issuu.com here.

On the cover: What says “spring” more than colorful tulips? I was photographing this bed of flowers and was standing on the edge of the wall when this little girl, clad in a princess skirt with sparkly shoes, came running around the corner. I got this one shot and she was gone. Serendipity!

CHM Spring 2013 cover





Profiled in Washington Gardener Magazine!

21 11 2014

Many thanks to publisher Kathy Jentz for her profile on me in the November issue of her Washington Gardener Magazine. Double click on the link below, then click on the arrow and the pdf will launch. Kathy’s profile on me starts on page 18.

http://issuu.com/kathyjentz/docs/washingtongardenernov14/0

 

WGNov14cvr





On Assignment: Rooftop terrace #1

7 10 2014

A few weeks ago, I photographed two beautiful new terraces on the top of an association client’s building. If I worked at this place, I’d find it awfully hard to come back inside after a lunch on the rooftop! This is the smaller of the two terraces…photos of the larger one to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. APA Terrace 1





Re-post: Concrete leaf casting

7 08 2014

Originally posted July 2008.

This is my fourth most-visited post of all time with 21,984 visits on this blog and the second most-visited post on my gardening-only blog (www.gardenmuse.wordpress.com) with 47,834 visits. That’s a total of 69,818 visits for this one craft project!

My friend Debbi and I have been making these concrete leaf castings for several years now, and my Garden Club members have also tried their hand at it. We have used Portland cement type 1 for our earlier creations, but then started making them with Quikrete instead. Several artists recommend using vinyl patch instead because it’s stronger, lighter in weight and picks up more detail from the leaf texture and veining. It’s also more resistant to flaking and cracking associated with traditional cement mixtures. The next batch I make will be with the vinyl patch product!

This site here has step-by-step instructions (plus a youtube video). The steps are the same no matter which product you’re using.

Click here for Craig Cramer’s blog posting, “The Secret to Great Leaf Casts.” He recommends using Quikrete. Click here for another site with an extensive gallery for inspiration. David, the artist, recommends waiting 30 days before painting your creations. (I’ve never waited that long—don’t know if I would have the patience!) He mixes Quikrete with his concrete mixture, but I’m not sure what the ratio is. At the very least, his photo gallery will endlessly inspire you!

Since most of the leaves we create are smaller, we don’t often do the chicken wire reinforcement. Larger elephant ears do require a bit of reinforcement, though, and we have made some of those (the larger the leaf is, the more likely you’ll need two people to move it when it’s dry!). Most of the ones we have done are made with leaves from hostas, pokeweed, grape leaves, caladium leaves, and smaller elephant ears. Leaves that have nice, deep veins work best. If you want to hang your leaf on a fence or wall, insert a curved piece of clothes hanger or thick wire (formed into a loop) into the back before the leaf is cured.

Artists Little and Lewis  suggest using powdered pigments to color your concrete before creating the leaves. Read more about their approach with hosta leaves here. They have created some really beautiful (and large!) ones using Gunnera leaves, which grow well in the Pacific Northwest.

We haven’t tried the “color-in-the-concrete” approach yet. We do ours in the natural color and then paint after curing is done. Our favorite style is to paint the front and back with black acrylic paint, then rub on powdered metallic powdered pigments (the type often used in Sculpey jewelry projects). We used the Pearl Ex powdered pigment series, and we find silver, gold, bronze, blues, greens, and purples work much better than the pastel colors. We only apply the additional coloring and metallic powder to the front. The back remains black only. Check out Pearl Ex pigments on the Jacquard Products website.

I buy my Pearl Ex pigments from Michael’s or A.C. Moore. They sell them in sets of 12 different colors, or you can buy a larger bottle of one color. It doesn’t take much to cover the leaf. We use a soft cloth (and end up using our fingers) to rub in the pigments, which are very concentrated and go a long way. We find it best to paint the leaf with black acrylic craft paint in order for the metallic pigments to be intense in color when they are applied.

The metallic pigments are stunning and you can get a variegated look using various colors! If you try this style, you’ll need to seal the front of your leaf with an outdoor spray sealant to keep the pigment from rubbing off. I seal the front of the leaves with Krylon’s Make It Last!® Sealer, which has a satin finish and dries (for handling) within two hours.

Don’t expect the colors to hold up 100% in direct sunlight over a few years, though. The paint will chip a little but you can always paint over it and do it again to freshen it up. They still look good chipped and faded, though…sort of a shabby chic, relic-look! And you can try a new color scheme the next time around. Remember to seal after every repainting. Even if you hang or display yours indoors, you’ll still need to seal the pieces so they can be handled. And they certainly won’t fade as soon if they’re used as indoor art.

If you want a solid colored metallic leaf, you can use inexpensive acrylic craft paint instead of the powdered pigments. First, paint the front and back of the leaf solid black (the leaf is porous so it will soak in the black) and then paint the entire front with your colored metallic acrylic paint. After everything is thoroughly dry, seal the front of the leaf with the Krylon Sealer.

The good news: supplies for this project are CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP and the results are incredible! The downside? Those bags of Quickrete, etc. are HEAVY!

Whichever method you decide to try (Portland cement type 1, Quikrete, Quikrete + vinyl patch, vinyl patch only), I’d love to see your results and will share them on this blog!

Note to those of you who want to try it and live near me—if you buy the materials and lug them into your yard, I’m happy to come over and instruct! 

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Spring 2013 Celebrate Home Magazine: Artist-in-Residence

4 04 2013

Camilla and Jim Houghton’s laid-back Florida home is featured in the spring 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine, now available for FREE download in the links below. Read my interview, “Artist-in-Residence,” starting on page 12 of this issue.

The more clicks we get, the better we do with promoting and getting advertising! We thank you for your support.

Single pages version: Celebrate Home Spring 2013

Reader spreads version (my favorite!): Celebrate Home Spring 2013 Spreads

Order a print copy (at cost, plus shipping): http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/540569

You can also view it on issuu.com here.

Photography © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

ArtistInResidence





Spring 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine now available for digital download!

4 04 2013

The spring 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine is now available for digital download in the links below. Click on either of the links below to download your FREE pdf copy of this issue.

This issue is jam-packed (and there’s even a jam-making feature!), so download today and get started reading.

The more clicks we get, the better we do with promoting and getting advertising! We thank you for your support.

Single pages version: Celebrate Home Spring 2013

Reader spreads version (my favorite!): Celebrate Home Spring 2013 Spreads

Order a print copy (at cost, plus shipping): http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/540569

You can also view it on issuu.com here.

On the cover: What says “spring” more than colorful tulips? I was photographing this bed of flowers and was standing on the edge of the wall when this little girl, clad in a princess skirt with sparkly shoes, came running around the corner. I got this one shot and she was gone. Serendipity!

CHM Spring 2013 cover





Origami paper cranes

4 03 2013

Colorful 2,500 Origami paper cranes hang like a chandelier in the Cottage Wing of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Conservatory

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

ColorfulCranes





Agastache

31 08 2011

Agastache bloom photographed against a backdrop of native prairie grasses at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, 8.25.2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Drum roll, please…I’m featured on Nikon’s website!

24 08 2011

Look what I’ve been up to lately with Nikon.  😉  I’m featured on Nikon’s website—click on the link below:

http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Techniques/gr35ffdt/1/How-To-Grow-Your-Garden-Photography-Skills.html





Come, sit, stay

23 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Whimsy in the garden

22 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lilytopia 2011

28 05 2011

From the Lilytopia signage:

About the Designer: This breathtaking exhibition of lilies was created by Dorien van den Berg, the famed and world-inspired designer from The Netherlands. Dorien was born in The Netherlands and at the age of fourteen was introduced to flower exhibition at the renowned Keukenhof, The Netherlands. She was inspired by these shows and focused her studies on horticulture. She traveled the world and learned different flower arranging styles in Brussels, Vienna, America, Japan and other countries. Years of experiencing different cultures and learning new flower arranging styles have made Dorien what she is and what she creates today. For Longwood Gardens, she carefully selected materials and lily cultivars that create a design that balances color, texture and form to transform the Conservatory into a true LilyTopia.

Lilytopia 2011 showcases over 11,000 cut lilies and 1,500 calla lilies. Learn more about Lilytopia behind-the-scenes in the following links:

http://www.marthastewart.com/270900/lily-glossary?video_id=0

https://longwoodgardens.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/countdown-to-lilytopia-2011/

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The coolest bathroom hallway EVER

28 05 2011

I shot this photo below of the restroom hallway in Longwood’s new East Conservatory Plaza. It is the largest “living wall” in North America, and was designed by famed British landscape architect Kim Wilkie.

This is the first time I’ve seen a living wall planted with ferns and other greenery (28 plant species and 47,000 plants in total!)—rather than succulents. (I blogged here about the gorgeous living wall of succulents on the facade of the Anthropologie store in Huntsville, Alabama). Watch the video below to see how the project came together and see the Longwood Gardens blog here for more information.





Large-flowered buttercup (Ranunculus macranthus)

6 04 2011

Correct identification: Large-flowered buttercup (thanks, Brian). The label near the plants reads, “Prairie Goldenrod,” which is another plant entirely!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Butchart Gardens Flower fly

24 03 2011

I found this image in my archives recently—photographed at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island north of Victoria, Canada three years ago. If you’re a garden lover or love to photograph gardens, put this place at the top of your “to visit” list. It is spectacular!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





And finally, Purplelicious Installment #4

6 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Last year I wrote a newsletter article for the FlowershopNetwork.com. Check out “A Passion for Purple Flowers” here.





Sunset over Victoria Harbour, B.C.

27 02 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

This is one of my favorite sunset images, shot from the ferry as we entered Victoria Harbour in British Columbia on a trip we took with my friend Sue and her mother in fall 2008. See lots more photos from that wonderful trip in the links below:

Lavender, shopping, cheese, wine, a whale, and yet another sunset

Virginia creeper-clad Fairmont Empress Hotel

Never too many flowers

Dahlias as far as the eye can see…

In the pink…

Shine on, shine on harvest moon…

Butchart Gardens, Passel #1

Butchart Gardens, Passel #2

Visual and aural overload at Pike Place

Cabin in the woods

If it’s Thursday, this must be Bloedel.

There’s a baer in them thar woods!

Wildlife in Spokane

Sunsets over Bainbridge Island





After the rain…

15 09 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Colorful borders at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

14 08 2010

Earlier this month, I visited Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia. While I usually only post my signature “plant portrait extreme closeups” on the blog, I also photograph more “record shot” images of gardens as well. There were many new borders in the garden—a smorgasbord of interesting plants, colors, contrasts and textures. Enjoy!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Ganzania (African Daisy)

30 07 2010

I’m not sure what the purple flowers in the background are, but they certainly look like a type of Clematis. Love the combination of orange and purple—exceedingly garish, yet perfectly lovely. The weather was stellar today and great for photography, even if only for an hour out of my busy design workday! (Special thanks to Teresa Blankmeyer Burke for pointing out that it might be a Ganzania!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





In bloom at Green Spring Gardens

19 07 2010

These are images from my very brief photo outing at Green Spring Gardens this morning. When I arrived, the sun was out and the sky was just a wee bit cloudy. Just 25 minutes after I got there, down came the rain. I’m lucky I got these few images before the weather changed.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden today: Passion Flower

13 07 2010

I’ve been tending to this same Passion Flower plant since 2006—so this makes the fifth year I’ve been able to over-winter it in my studio office! As I was photographing this flower, I heard a creaking, croaking sound. Could there be a new frog taking up residence in our teeny, tiny pond again? I couldn’t find him, but I certainly could hear him! I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that I can get a shot of this new garden inhabitant.

Also blooming in the garden today: 22 bright pink and green downward facing lilies (they’re stunning en masse!), three huge white Casa Blanca Lilies, large clusters of Purple Coneflowers, two groups of Shasta Daisies, and one beautiful deep purple and white Dahlia. I’ll get some photographs of those this afternoon.

Passionate about Passion Flowers? Check out the links below to see more images shot in my garden over the past few years.

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/its-about-time/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/backyard-blooms/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/meanwhile-in-the-garden/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/lady-margaret/

For more information on passion flowers:

Passiflora Online is a comprehensive website with growing tips, FAQs, plant ID, hybrid and species images, pollinators, and much more.

Plants in Motion has videos of a passion flower in bloom and also short clips of bees visiting the flowers.

Tradewinds Fruit has a great database of passion flower blossoms. Click on the “related species” section on the left of the site to see a wide variety of passion flower plants.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Just updated my online photo galleries!

2 07 2010

I’ve added more than 50 new images to my Botanical Portfolio on zenfolio.com. Many of the photos were shot in my own front and back yard townhouse gardens, while others were shot in gardens across the U.S. and Canada. In every city I visit, I make an effort to visit a botanical garden or nature preserve to capture new images. I recently added the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) and Boerner Botanical Garden in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to my roster of gardens I’ve visited. Both were worth the visit, but Mitchell Park really needs to do something about the exterior entrance of their conservatory. When we drove up, we noticed weeds growing up through cracked sidewalks and the shallow ponds on either side of the door were drained with weeds growing in them. We almost didn’t stop to get out because the place really looked abandoned. The inside, however, is a completely different story—beautiful, lush, and well-maintained. We read in their brochure that they recently renovated the place and added LED lights to the domes so they can be viewed at night in the Milwaukee skyline. I’m sure it’s beautiful lighted at night (never mind that it’s not actually open at night unless there’s an event), but they really should have set aside some of those funds to fill the ponds with water, plop in a few inexpensive water lilies and 49 cent WalMart goldfish, and do some weeding and cement repair. (Psssst! Hey, Mitchell—I’m available for consultation and implementation!)
http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

And to see why I love my local Green Spring Gardens so much, visit my Green Spring Garden photography folio and see the plethora of photographs I’ve shot exclusively there over the past four years.

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p787446313





In bloom today at Green Spring Gardens

1 07 2010

We’ve had two days of strangely cool weather here in Northern Virginia—which were preceded by a long row of 90+ degree days! It actually feels like spring today (and it’s July—unheard of!), so I got out for an hour to shoot at my favorite local garden (and donate 40+ gardening books to their library while there—don’t feel sorry for me, though, the loss hardly made a dent in my stash—I’m almost embarrassed to say).

I’ll concisely identify the plants below later, but I think that #1 is an allium—possibly Allium stellatum x nutans or something similiar (located in the lovely rock garden at the visitor center circle driveway), #2 is on the tip of my tongue (please stand by), #3 is a Ptilotus exaltatus ‘Joey’ or Pink Pussy Tail (also in the rock garden and a plant that I’ve not seen before today), #4 is one of my (and the bees) favorites—Purple Coneflower (Echinacea), and #5 is a type of Clematis. I’ll be diligent and get back to you with exact identification on the questionable ones.

The imaginative gardeners at Green Spring Gardens have added a new feature to the gardens near the visitor’s center—a wonderful summer-sky-blue stucco-textured wall atop a brick raised bed. They’ve mounted several “living sculpture” framed boxes filled with various succulents on the wall and the raised bed contains other desert-loving plants. It looks very southwest inspired and adds a great pop of color to that area of the garden. I’ll get photos of the blue wall feature on my next jaunt. The garden was buzzing with both bees and people—artists from a local art club set up to paint, joggers and walkers were out in full force, kids on tricycles circled round, and a group of kids on a field trip flooded the garden. Enjoy this most unusual weather while you can, folks—it won’t last long!

ID UPDATE: I’m pretty confident that the top photo is a Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum). These plants prefer sun to part sun, thrive in average well-drained soil, and are drought tolerant. They self-sow aggressively and need deadheading to prevent them from doing so. Deer resistant and hummingbird friendly! I had so much fun photographing these plants that I’m going to try to add a few to my own garden next year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.







And one more to call it a night…

28 06 2010

Here is one more shot from my photo field trip to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on Saturday morning. It’s a good thing we went earlier than planned (thanks to my friend Jeff, who forwarded an e-mail stating the lotus blooms were peaking earlier than usual). We were surprised that there weren’t as many full blooms close to the pond edges to photograph. Most of the ones that were accessible were past their peak and already losing their petals. I really could have used a Nikkor 200mm micro lens (it’s on my wish list, but it’s about $1700-1800) to reach the ones in the pond (really, wading boots would be much cheaper than that lens). The water lilies, however, were in beautiful form!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Water Lily and Duckweed

28 06 2010

This hardy water lily might be a Nymphaea ‘Rose Arey’, but I’m not positive. I photographed it at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens this weekend. View my past posts on the gardens in the links below:

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/early-morning-at-kenilworth-aquatic-gardens/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/kenilworth-park-and-aquatic-gardens/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/kenilworth-gardens-7222007/

https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/my-kenilworth-bounty/

http://www.cindydyer.com/KenilworthGardens/


© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Dragonfly on Lotus bud

27 06 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blue Dasher Dragonfly on Water Lily

26 06 2010

Serendipity! I was photographing this water lily at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens early this morning and was silently praying that any one of the myriad dragonflies buzzing about would land and pose for me. And it was so. Michael was talking with a woman by the water lily ponds near the park entrance and she mentioned that she and her husband visit the gardens often, most recently accompanying a photographer friend who had just gotten a new long and pricey lens. She said that he set up his tripod with his camera, attached the long lens to it, then turned his back. (You can see where this is headed, can’t you?). Off went the whole contraption into the shallow water lily pond—lens, camera and tripod! He immediately insisted everything was okay with the camera and lens. (I can just imagine I would say the same thing—not so much to calm my nervous friends, but more to keep from breaking down right there and sobbing!) Um, yeah…let’s hope he was right—-but I’m just not sure digital equipment can survive a dunk in a pond without needing some kind of intervention afterward.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.