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.

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Sigh…the final harvest

22 10 2008

The temperatures are finally starting to feel more fall-like in Virginia. A few nights ago, we gathered up the three passion flower vines and brought them into the studio so they could continue their growing indoors through the winter. I cut the last of the catnip and made our cat, Jasper, a very happy boy this afternoon. And although there are still a few things in bloom, the garden is growing weary and fading fast. The only things blooming now are daisies, butterfly bushes, yellow mums, and balloon flowers in the front. And the only things blooming in the back yard garden are a red cardinal plant and one solitary Marguerite daisy. It’s nearing that sad, sad time when my garden goes dormant. I’ll put the garden to bed for the winter by next week.

When the evening weatherman reported impending frost a few nights ago, Michael ran out to pick the remaining (green) tomatoes (for his homemade tomato relish), as well as the rest of the green beans. With flashlight in hand, he picked what he could find easily in the dark, then I assisted by shining one of my studio modeling lights through the window. To add to the harvest, I found another dozen beans today on a vine hiding by the heat pump.

Without further delay, I present to you the final bean harvest—enough for dinner for two…and a beautiful poem by Irish poet and playwright Louis MacNeice (1907-1963), followed with a quote by one of my favorite writers, May Sarton.

The Sunlight on the Garden

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

—Louis MacNeice

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In the garden the door is always open to the holy—growth, birth, death. Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle, and in the garden we are never far away from death, the fertilizing, good creative death. May Sarton

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.