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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Master Gardeners

This morning I drove out to Holtsville to give a lecture to Long Island's Master Gardeners. They are a large, active group of avid gardeners, it was a true pleasure to spend my morning with them.

The program they had hired me for was my "Perennials for Long Island Gardens". This program features plants that do well in our area (and in similar zones). I love doing this program but for the first time I can say that I was a bit disappointed in myself.

You see, I don't own a digital projector and the Master Gardeners don't have one either so I had to go back to doing an old fashioned slide program. Suddenly I felt like I was driving a horse and buggy!

These images are the actual slides that I scanned a few years ago, that's why they have the black border around them. The first shot is a tropical Hibiscus, they are not hardy here. The second photo though shows a totally hardy, perennial Hibiscus 'Kopper King'.

Since I haven't taken slides in a number of years, the program is missing the latest and greatest, basically some true stars in my garden. Maybe they aren't new plants but if I only started growing them here in the last five years, I only have them captured in digital images.

This Iris cristata luckily is in both slide format and digital format. This image is actually a scanned slide that I cropped and clarified a bit.

What I really love about going digital is being able to add the plant names to the image. Even though these are scanned slides shot many years ago, I was able to use my picasa program and write across the image.

If you've sat through a garden lecture you know how many times people ask to have a botanical name repeated or spelled. With digital lectures these types of questions are avoided and leave more time for questions on division or plant habits.

One plant though I love to see in the slides is this Edelweiss that I grew for a few years here. I know I've said it before but some day soon I'm going to grow this beauty again. You can bet I'll be shooting lots and lots of digital images of it too!

So priority number one for the new year will be buying a digital projector. Priority number two? A better camera of course!