Georgia sky

29 05 2011

I shot this landscape last August when I was visiting my friend Carmen in South Carolina. We were visiting her sister-in-law and nephew and his wife on their farm in Commerce, Georgia.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Name that flower!

28 01 2011

I photographed this lovely plant in August when Carmen and I visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I couldn’t find an identification label, so I have no idea what it is and I hadn’t seen it before. Any of you plantaholics out there want to give this challenge a whirl?

IDENTIFICATION UPDATE: Fellow blogger and landscape designer extraordinaire John Black suggested it is Clematis armandii. I took a look at various sources on the web and he’s right! (Thanks, John) John is principal of Verdance Fine Garden Design in Palo Alta, CA. His work has been featured on HGTV’s Landscape Smart and Landscaper’s Challenge series. I interviewed John back in May 2010 about what it takes to be a landscape designer. Read his insightful, witty and inspirational answers here.

Check out his wonderful blog too: http://www.averdantlife.com/

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





White Ginger Lily (Hedychium coronarium)

18 08 2010

White Ginger Lily, native to India, is a tropical perennial and related to culinary ginger. Photographed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 8.15.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Skipper butterfly on White Ginger Lily

18 08 2010

Unidentified type of Skipper butterfly on the very fragrant White Ginger Lily (Hedychium coronarium). Photographed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 8.15.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Water lily leaves

18 08 2010

Photographed in the lily pond outside the Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 8.15.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

18 08 2010

This beautiful spider, Argiope aurantia, is commonly known as the Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Writing Spider, Banana Spider or Corn Spider. This common orb web spider (orb means the web is spun in a circle) is a female. Females are about an inch and a half long; males are about 3/4 inch long. And despite their menacing size and appearance, they are considered harmless to humans. Click here to learn more about this spider and how it builds its web to catch prey. Photographed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 8.15.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Passion Flower (Passiflora caerulea)

18 08 2010

Photographed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 8.15.2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Nicotiana

2 08 2009

I photographed this Nicotiana flower a few weeks ago at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. Nicotiana, an annual plant, is a member of the tobacco family. Also known as Tobacco Flower, Flowering Tobacco, Jasmine Tobacco and Ornamental Tobacco, this most-fragrant-at-night plant is native to warm tropical and sub-tropical areas of North and South America. Although this plant is considered an ornamental, it does contain high concentrations of nicotine. The trumpet shaped flowers attract hummingbirds (and ants, as evidenced in the photo below). Nicotiana is easy to grow from seed, begins blooming in early summer, and will rebloom if deadheaded. The five pointed florets bloom in red, white, pink, maroon, rose, yellow and lavender. The plant is poisonous, so keep away from children and pets.

Whenever I think of tobacco (the smoking and chewing kind), I’m reminded of the summer my sister Kelley, and my cousin Deanna and I were paid 5 cents a stick to unstring tobacco leaves for my Uncle Roscoe on his farm in Georgia. The dried tobacco leaves (or ‘backer, as it is sometimes called in the south) were strung two across along a stick that was about 3-4 feet long. We were charged with untying the leaves and putting them in piles. The sticks were hung from the rafters in a barn that also housed Roscoe’s beautiful black stallion and a few other horses—most memorable was a slow-moving, spotted Shetland pony named Champ. When we rode horses (never with our parent’s blessings), I inevitably ended up with Champ. His incredibly slow gait thwarted any fantasy I had to look like that model with the wind flowing through her hair as she galloped through a field of daisies on the package of some feminine hygiene product. My sister got to ride a horse aptly named “Shotgun.”

The three of us worked for a few hours (in a hot barn in the Georgia heat) and I remember making barely a couple of dollars for my efforts. I’m not sure what minimum wage was when I was 12 years old, but I’m pretty sure we were paid well under that amount that day! We didn’t care—we just wanted enough to buy Cokes from the vending machine he had outside the riding arena (complete with bleachers for an audience). We thought it was so cool they had their own outdoor coke machine. The soda came out in the cutest little bottles and I think they were just 10 cents each. My cousins were all avid competitive horse riders and had a slew of trophies on display in their living room—so many that one time they gave each of us one (not that we had earned it, but who doesn’t love a shiny trophy?) and they didn’t even miss them!

And while on the subject of Georgia tobacco…there’s an interesting account here about “Growing ‘Backer on the Wiregrass Plain.”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Nicotiana