Archive for photography

Frost

Posted in gardening with tags , , , on April 24, 2012 by planthoarder

It’s no surprise there’s frost again. Our average last frost is in mid-May. People sometimes ask me whether a particular plant will survive the frost. My unsatisfying answer? It all depends. A plant can be perfectly hardy over the winter, but can be hit back hard after it starts growing. Sometimes it’s as fussy as the degree to which it’s grown. Remember my yellow fairy bells? The long shoots that had drooping bells were devastated by frost. The short upright shoots just springing from the ground are fine.

Sometimes you lose the fruit, sometimes the flowers, and sometimes the leaves. Some plant’s appearance can absolutely shock you. My peony shoots look like the McDonald’s arches most mornings lately, but later in the day they continue their reach for the sky. Whatever you do, don’t dig up and dispose of a perennial plant, especially a shrub or tree, just because it’s lost all its leaves to frost.  Where there are roots, there can still be life.

Today I’ve posted imperfect photos hoping you can see the beauty despite the imperfection. Faithful readers have been kind enough to compliment my snapshots, so I posted a page (Snapshot Dilletante) on my homepage offering my thoughts on flower photography. I hope you feel inspired to take some pictures in your garden. If we can capture a tiny glimpse of the beauty of nature, we’ll have done well.

Shards of Frost

Posted in gardening with tags , , , , on April 13, 2012 by planthoarder

This spring is so nerve-wracking with frost threatening the past couple of nights, especially with all the warm weather tempting flowers to put out tender buds. Thankfully, the magnolias  finished blooming before the frost set in. The veggies in the unheated greenhouse escaped unscathed, but just barely. The next few nights are predicted to be much warmer, so the tomato plants are headed out into the greenhouse this morning. They are very soft from being grown under fluorescent lights so they need some stress, but not too much of a chill, to toughen them up before they go out into the garden in a few weeks. If the nights get too cold again, they’ll be whisked back into the warmth of the house.

It’s been a crazy weather roller coaster, and frankly I get motion sick. At least that’s the feeling I have knowing that the frost came just as the first year of Asian pear blossoms were finishing. Will there be any fruit? I know the rhubarb won’t let me down. The stalks are about 8″ (20 cm) now, I was hoping they’d be at least 10″ (25cm) before I began harvesting. I didn’t grow up with rhubarb. How do you know when to start picking them? Does size matter? I’m more than ready for some rhubarb kuchen so break it to me gently if I have to wait.

With a whole summer full of flowers ahead, I really shouldn’t whine about the few I may have lost to frost or the need to wait for my rhubarb. The peonies enjoy the cooler weather and there are early spring wildflowers even now ready to bloom. As the last shards of frost melt away with the warmth of the sun, we can only appreciate the beauty and the bounty that surrounds us and anticipate so much more to come.

Posy Paparazzi

Posted in gardening with tags , , , on April 3, 2012 by planthoarder

One of the best things about blogging is the opportunity to share the beauty of my flowers and yours. If only you could smell the fragrance of my mom’s mini iris, hiding behind the moss phlox, or see the swaying branches of our weeping cherry. If only I could taste those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes everyone keeps posting! All I can share with you is a few photos, a few sentences. and a love of plants. Someday I should read a book about floral photography since right now I just take a picture of anything that catches my eye. Given that it’s spring, nearly everything does!

Whenever I photograph a flower, I find myself laying in the dirt. The only “bird’s eye view” that interests me is that of a robin looking for worms. Is it my fault all the good stuff is springing out of the ground? Walking around the garden like a miser searching for a lost coin, I’m happier than said miser when I find a pretty flower. Suddenly, I’m on my hands and knees looking for the best angle for my little plant portrait, admiring a blossom dressed in dew and sunlight and wishing I had a macro lens.

My family is frustrated that I can’t wear “nice” clothes, because I’m forever getting them full of dirt and twigs after rushing back into the shed or house for a shovel or my camera. My Love is doubly frustrated that I want to run out to the store with mud on my pants and coat. I don’t mean to embarrass him, really, but I’ll just get my clean clothes dirty when I get back, because, don’t you see, I just have to take another picture.