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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Daylily Show!

As predicted there were tons of daylily stars in the garden today. This is Tom Polstons 'Hawaiian Coral' which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

Sunday July 11th is the Long Island Daylily Society's annual flower show where you can see hundreds and hundreds of daylilies on display.

While I won't be entering individual daylily scapes, I am registered to enter in two design catagories. The first is a mass design with the theme "Monet". The second is a table setting and that theme is "Water Lilies", a theme that I find hard to be creative with. To me, daylilies and water lilies are such different creatures that my brain doesn't want to try to fit one into the other's catagory.

This is daylily 'Zip Boom Bah' and the color in this photo is quite accurate.

Most people don't realize how much work is involved in putting on any type of flower show. I have not had the spare time to devote to the daylily club in the past few years but I will be working at the show. From 8:30 to 10:30 am I will enter my designs and then work the classification table with my long time friend Gene. When the judges are on the show floor at 11:00, I'm free to leave. At that time I'll be heading over to Martin Viette's to take a peek and see what treasures I might find there.

Once I've scoured the sales areas at Martin Viette's it's back to Planting Fields for me. If I remember, I'll pack a picnic lunch and spend an hour or two walking the amazing grounds. The weather is supposed to be lovely by afternoon but I will wish for a few passing clouds so I can take lots and lots of photos.

Today was perfect picture weather. I took 150 photos in the garden and many of them are wonderful. As soon as I finish this post I'll put a few up on my othe blog Melanie's Perennials. This photo shows a double Platycodon (Balloon flower) that has been hard for me to grow but well worth the effort.

The flower show at Planting Fields is open to the public at 1:30 pm. Once you park in the main parking lot you'll have to walk to the Hort Center, it's a bit of a walk but a lovely one. Maybe I'll see you there!


Friday, July 10, 2009

A Hummingbird in the garden!

Wednesday morning I was standing in the corner of my unfinished kitchen garden trying to take a photo of the incredibly tall Monarda and Echinaceas when I heard a strange sound. It was a vrrrmmmm noise and it passed so close to my ear that I thought my hair moved.

To my utter delight, I saw my first ever (in my own garden) hummingbird! It was the most magical moment and I just stood there forever watching it flit back and forth.

Thursday morning Don went out there with my camera. Sure enough, the hummingbird was back and this is as good a photo as anybody could hope for.

There are two new varieties of Monarda blooming in the front yard and I think they might actually not be red! Hooray!!! One is more pinkish and the other (not yet photographed) is lavender!

Hopefully lots of people will get to see them in their glory tomorrow. Today three delightful visitors came to see the daylilies, tomorrow the garden will be spectacular. It appears that I will be selling quite a few more plant material than I originally planned so stop by, you never know what kind of bargain you'll get.

Tonight I spent two hours walking the track at the highschool and never got to live-head the daylilies. That means I'll be out there super early tomorrow morning.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The right angle

When taking photos of blooms in your gardens, there are many different angles from which you can shoot. The most common angle is head on, an "in your face" kind of shot.

This daylily is 'Lounge Lizard' by Curt Hanson of Ohio. I am just head over heels in love with this plant, it's got all the bells and whistles, great blooms, scapes and bud count. The silver edge is just icing on the cake.

The full frontal shot though can miss quite a few details. See here, taken from the side you will see the amazing curls of the sepals. This is so incredibly cool!

Most unusual for me is to zoom in so tight that I crop out parts of the flower but I was in the mood to experiment. I have to admit, I thought I'd hate this technique but instead, I'm crazy about it. I like this photo so much that I might try printing it out to put in a frame.

One last photo, this is a follow up to yesterday's post about the right light. This afternoon I just happened to notice the sun coming through the Begonia grandis (Hardy Begonia). Isn't it beautiful?

Tomorrow my Mom is coming in from Florida. She is the worlds best weeder and I just can't wait to see her whip my garden back into shape.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The right light

The past few days have been increasingly frustrating for me when it comes to taking photos in my garden. It prompted me to post about garden photography. I'm not by any means a professional photographer but my photos have been chosen to grace the front cover and inside of chapter of a gardening book a few years ago and they've been posted here for a few years now.

First of all, I use a simple point and shoot digital camera. It's not even a newer model but it has an excellent zoom lens which was my first criteria. So fair warning, my tips are not applicable to the super deluxe cameras that are out on the market.

Lighting is a big key factor in garden photography. The absolute best light is a good cloud cover. Full sun or early morning sun is very hard for me to work with.

The opening shot was taken in full late afternoon sun which can sometimes be used to your advantage. The flower is Campanula punctata which is just a pale creamy pink on the outside. What's cool about this shot is that the bloom is almost translucent and the spotting you see is actually on the inside of the bloom.

Here's the same flower taken on a cloudy day (see the sky?) and from underneath so you can see the spots. By the way, those power lines just totally ruin the photo. Never forget to look around inside your frame and make sure that there aren't other distractions in the background.

Working in the shade can bring another set of problems. I took quite a few photos of my Hydrangea blooms in hopes of getting one with enough clarity to crop and zoom. This isn't close to what I'd like to have but good enough to share.

Blues and sometimes magenta pinks are just impossible to capture. In the days of film, it was very hard to be able to capture the blues and I'm still having the same problem with digital cameras. In real life these blooms don't look like they have some terrible fungus growing on them. Yuck!

Here I was able to capture the color pretty well but unfortunately the strong dappled lighting coming through the trees creates shadows that distract you from the true beauty of these Hydrangeas.

By the way, forget the roses, give me Hydrangeas any day. My next garden is going to be chock full of these luscious, romantic blooms.

Last week I was complaining about the never ending rainy season we were having. One advantage though was the hundreds and hundreds of photos I was able to take.

So cross your fingers for me, I'd love just a half hour of cloud cover in the morning so I can take some more pictures to share with you.