Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolli-Lolli-Lolli

18 06 2012

Blooming in my garden: Globe thistle (Echinops ritro). My friend and neighbor, Michael P. (a.k.a. “Grasshopper,” since he’s my newest photography protégé), loves to come over to my garden in evening after he gets off of work. It’s usually way past the time that I would shoot, but he manages to get some decent shots despite the low light levels. This afternoon, Michael and I invited him to join us for a field trip over to Green Spring Gardens, followed by dinner. By the time we got back to our neighborhood, it was close to 8:00 and he began shooting in my front yard. I joined him, although it went against my nature to continue shooting in that low of light. I was surprised that I could get some decent shots (of course, I’ve got the D300 pumped up to 1000+ ISO to get them) of my Globe thistle and Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum). Earlier in the week, Michael R. had tied up the thistle because they were drooping and in doing so, he created this little lollipop skyline. I love the whimsical Dr. Seuss-ian look of it! More to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Eye candy, batch #2

11 12 2011

Pulled from the archives of my personal refrigerator magnet poetry, I give to you my handcrafted attempt #1:

January snow blanket melts
cold February moon gone
March winds a memory
a luscious light envelopes
tiny crocus petals whisper spring
most delicate green grass emerges
rain sweetens the earth
bird song filters down
from the impossibly blue blue sky
warm breezes weave through
a gorgeous tapestry of color

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Published: Anything But Ordinary—Inspiring and Unique Flowers

23 11 2011

As a gardener and as an artist and photographer, I have long been attracted to more unusual plants—those that are showy, quirky, alien-like, and over-the-top—anything but ordinary. Any plant or flower that makes me ask,“what in the world is that?” has a place in my garden! Many of these flowers can also be used in bouquets, adding a touch of the exotic and unusual to any arrangement.

In the link below, you can read my latest column for the Bloomin’ Blog, a monthly newsletter published by the flowershopnetwork.com.

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/unique-flowers-photos/

You can see my previous columns in the links below:

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/got-the-blues/

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/passion-purple-flowers/

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/fall-garden-flowers/





Green Spring Gardens portfolio

30 09 2011

I just updated my Green Spring Gardens-only portfolio on my Zenfolio site. Green Spring Gardens is an endless source of photographic inspiration to me, so I’ve dedicated a folder exclusively to images shot there. Check out that gallery here.

As we’re heading into fall, there are still a few plants left to photograph in my own garden, such as the tiny Speckled Miyazaki Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta ‘Miyazaki’), Autumn Joy Sedum (Sedum telephium) and Shasta Daisies (Chrysanthemum maximum) that are blooming in the front yard. Even my Globe Thistle (Echinops Ritro) has started putting out blooms again, which I find odd at this point in the gardening season—I suppose it has something to do with the inordinate amount of rain and consistently temperate days we’ve had here in Northern Virginia. Beginning a week ago, the Heavenly Blue Morning Glory vines in the front yard have produced a single, bedazzingly blue bloom each morning, mingling with the garish red and yellow combo of the Butterly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) plants nearby. The Morning Glory vines reseed each year with no assistance from me, so I stopped planting new seeds a few years ago!

Although the three vines have been stretching along the grape arbor, I still see no signs of blooms from my new Passionflower plants, but I still hold out that hope that all gardeners learn to cultivate. I planted two Passionflower plants in one pot to trail up the grape arbor outside my patio doors and one in another pot with a trellis near the edge of the patio. Sharing the trellis are at least three green bean vines—unexpected sprouts from a neglected seed packet discovered on my potting bench. (Read my posting about that discovery in “Against all odds” here.) I have since harvested a dozen green beans from those tenacious little sprouts (which translates to “don’t quit your day job to become a green bean farmer”). A photo of my meager bean harvest is to come…

Learn “How to Grow Your Garden Photography Skills” in my recent photo feature for Nikon’s Learn & Explore section here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: Blue than blue

11 09 2011

Originally posted 2.2.2009

Remember that 1978 hit song, Bluer than Blue, by Michael Johnson? Check out the video on youtube. Kinda low budget video, isn’t it? Ah, well, it’s the song that matters, right? Another song of his that I love is, “The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulder.“

Let’s see—I’ve received three requests in response to my “what color collage next” question. One requested a collage showing variegation. One was a request for the color teal. Uh…thanks for the challenge, gals! And the third one was for blue, which just happened to be the color I was working on! (Jan of Thanks for Today blog and I were on the same wavelength.) I’ll work on those first two (more challenging) requests, but in the interim, here’s a collage of nothin’ but blue. Blue isn’t a really common color in the garden, yet I was surprised I had enough images in that color to create this collage. I would love to be able to grow the extra-heat-sensitive-needs-cool-rainy-summers (which we don’t have in Northern Virginia) lovely sky-blue Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia), a native of southeastern Tibet.

Other blue flowers include:

Statice
Sea holly (Eryngium-–which I grow in my garden—and it is a beauty)
Hydrangea
Delphiniums
Chicory (shown below)
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella—shown below)
Cornflower
‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glory (shown below)
Forget-me-not
Bearded iris
Himalayan blue poppy (there are other shades of blue poppies as well)
Scabiosa (beautiful pale blue; I’ve grown them but they flop over too soon!)
Scilla
Veronica Speedwell
Globe thistle (Echinops)—I have several of these in my front garden
Muscari (grape hyacinth—some varieties lean more toward blue than deep purple)
Pride of Madeira (leans toward purple-blue—unbelievably beautiful plant—wish it would grow in our area)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

bluerthanblue22





Blooming in my garden: Purple Coneflowers

27 06 2011

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) photographed against a backdrop of Globe Thistle (Echinops Ritro). And yes, it appears to be more pink than purple—the petals can actually range from pink to lavender on Purple Coneflowers. I had to share my photography time with quite a number of Bumblebees today (taking care to stay out of their industrious way while crafting my images).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blooming in my garden: Globe Thistle

19 06 2011

Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.