3 Consecutive Photos

When I visited Molbak’s nursery this early spring, to hear a lecture by David Perry, he asked everyone in the audience to take out their cameras and look at the 4th picture from the beginning of the ‘roll’.  He asked, why did you take it?  What was it you were trying to capture?  What do you feel?

When I visited the Hardy Plant Society of Washington‘s borders at the entrance to the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, I was caught by the Eremurus x isabellinus ‘Cleopatra’ rising from the back of the border.  I captured these three images in succession.

Closeup of orange Eremurus spike
Eremurus x isabellinus ‘Cleopatra’
Two orange eremurus spikes
Eremurus x isabellinus ‘Cleopatra’

It’s easy to understand why I took the first photo. Because I’m so nearsighted, I notice the close-ups first.  Then, I widened the shot to get a little more color contrast with the green background, and finally, I tried to get an overall effect of the Eremurus in the garden, so you can see how big they get.

Orange eremurus spikes in a garden setting
Eremurus x isabellinus ‘Cleopatra’

Unfortunately, I should have leaned just one half-step to the left to hide that telephone pole better.  I also focused on the middle ground to give the effect of looking through a lot of the spikes, but I’m not so sure how that worked out.

Of the three, I like the first image best.  What kinds of photos do you like taking?  The Closeups?  The Vignettes?  The Overall Effect?  Do the photos you take match the idea you had in your head?



Vocabulary Lesson: Bulbils

As I catch up on tagging my photos, I’m going to publish a series of mini-posts demonstrating interesting horticultural vocabulary.

Allium bulbils at Joy Creek Nursery
Allium bulbils at Joy Creek Nursery

On my very brief visit to Joy Creek Nursery on Sunday, I came across their Allium walk, and noticed these little bulbils forming on this Allium head.  As the bulbils age, they should turn brown, with a little paper covering.  Save and sow them immediately in your standard potting soil, with a little grit on them.  DON’T FORGET TO LABEL THEM.  You can plunge the whole pot into your nursery bed, and then forget about it.  Although slow to germinate, you will get larger bulbs with time.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2014

It’s been a heckuva month, filled with far more busy tasks than fun ones.  Then my computer went poof, and it’s taken nearly a month to restore everything from backups, to reinstall applications, and to import, rename, and tag the images I took while the system was down.

I’m still not quite up to speed, but I did have a chance to go visit The Dunn Gardens with some dear gardening-buddies.  We chanced upon this tender Thalictrum occidentale deep in the Upper Ravine Glade.  Its dancing tawny stamens dangling from creamy sepals reminded me of Chinese tasseled lanterns, joyfully celebrating spring.  I’m looking forward to completing all of my indoor tasks, so I can start renovating my garden!

Thalictrum occidentale
Thalictrum occidentale

Linky-love to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – MAY

Rhododendron tomentum

Enjoy the silvery tomentum on the sides of these glossy leaves of Rhododendron degronianum subsp. yakushimanum, and its thick, tawny indumentum on the undersides of the leaves.  Originally discovered on Japan’s Yaku Island and brought to England in 1934,  the first ‘Yak’ was displayed at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1947 and started the craze for Rhodies.   Cultivars of Yakushimanum tend to have a compact habit, this Rhododendron is a good choice for small Northwest gardens.  [Thank you Pam Pennick for starting Foliage Follow Up.]
Rhododendron degronianum subsp. yakushimanum | #eTilth

Miniature Mysteries

I’m looking forward to reading “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert.  The intellectual 19th century heroine, Alma Whittaker, carefully studies the life of mosses, giving her insight into evolution, and the modern world.


I found a present-day Alma looking closely at the carnivorous plant display at the Woodland Park Zoo, with its spidery Drosera binata, the delightfully menacing Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula), and the unusual red bloom on the Pinguicula laueana.  I wonder what she will go on to discover.


Soest Pots

Today, a two-fer, blooming now at the Soest Gardens, Center for Urban Horticulture

Rudbeckia, Rhus
Aeonium and Sedum
Aeonium, Imperata, and Sedum