Entering Summer - 2014 - This backyard view from upstairs in the dining room.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Have It In My Hands!

But I've hardly gotten it out of the box, yet!

I want to read the directions before I use it... wonder when THAT will be??

Ta-dah! (drumroll!)



I just purchased a Canon PowerShot SX120 IS.
It's the new model of what I thought I'd wanted (SX 110), so
it has 10.o megapixels
and (!) 10x optical zoom.

I'm very excited.
You can read about it here!


You might watch for some trial-and-error shots.


PS - Is anyone else having trouble reaching their blogspot blogs?? I see the addresses now leave out the "www" prefix. I have no idea if that's what's causing my problems?? I can hardly "find" my blog (or anyone else's that has a Blogspot address.)

Nothing else about this post seems shady except for the problem I'm having with accessing blogs with a Blogspot address!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurrah! I'm Posting Tonight! :-)

No, I don't have my new camera yet.

But a wonderful friend/neighbor allowed me to borrow hers! She has a Canon, so the buttons looked very similar to my old one, but it was enough different that my photos didn't always turn out to be the clearest. However, I'm not going to complain!!! So you can't either! :-)

You get to see every picture I took tonight - and then some! Click on any of them... some of them enlarge Very Nicely!

Yes, this is a Poinsettia. I put it outdoors this Spring, thinking it would surely die. But no. It looks wonderful. I may just try the month-long regimen of dark/light again this Fall. If I don't have red "flowers" for Christmas, out it goes!
(On the left of the poinsettia are my new 'Ed Brown' daylily and baby spider plants...yes, they rooted off the mother plant seen in the top right of this photo. I cannot tell a lie. I find it hard to throw plants away. I'd seen this idea of letting the babies be a groundcover somewhere... so here they are. On the right of the poinsettia are a hosta and a poison ivy plant. There have been a number of these PI pests growing in and around the flower beds this year. Hmmmm.)


My neighbors' fungi. Pretty neat, huh?

This is a renegade impatien. Do you think it hopped the fence between our yards?


These two photos are of Liriope Spicata. Both plants do love to spread themselves around.
They are described as invasive, but until this year (I planted them 6 years ago), they're just filling in their spaces very nicely. Next year I will share. lol. Let me know if you want some! One of these varieties has the lavendar flowers, as seen below. But most of my plants have pink flowers, as seen in this second photo.


Oh! I can hardly wait to show you the tricyrtis that are blooming!

First we have 'Taipei Silk' on the left and 'Moonlight Treasure' on the right. Both new plants.











Here we have 'Tojen' (new plant) on the left and 'Blue Wonder' on the right. I really have trouble when I photograph BW. The real-life blue color doesn't always show true in photos. There was a bright sunset light tonight... perhaps that was the problem?









You can see how bright the setting sun was in this photo. I tried to photograph my new phlox, "Mattie" this evening. It's getting ready to bloom, even though it's not very tall. That should change next year. :-)
This might give you an idea that there's still a lot of color here. 'Rosy Returns' daylily has never quit blooming, while the other yellow "in-front" clumps are reblooming.
Here we have gaillardia 'Fanfare' in the three stages of bloom. New, old, and fuzz. :-)

Looking down towards part of the front beds, you'll see several impatiens. They are ALL volunteers this year. They re-seeded last year, too. Can you believe it??

For Mother's Day, our Church passed out glad bulbs. This is one that is now blooming.

Here's 'Diamond Edge' Sedum in the front beds.


Now, for a change in venue.

I've been reworking some steps between the South side of the house and the Woodland Walk.

This photo was taken November 29, 2008.
Perhaps you can tell, on the left, there were two large jutting pieces of ground edged in Windsor Blocks. If you look discerningly, you can see that there is no room between the blocks and the trees for a lawnmower. I put those jutting stepways in the ground about two years prior to this photo, I think. At any rate, it was inconvenient. Nothing grew in the one you can see.So this spring, I dug that farthest jutting piece of ground out, purchased more Windsor blocks, created a series of steps, lined them with fabric liner, placed homemade stepping stones on them and filled in around them with pea gravel. The job is unfinished in the photo below, which was taken June 21, 2009. Perhaps you can see that there will eventually be room for a lawnmower?

This photo was taken this evening, August 23, 2009. I dug a series of 4x4" tumbled blocks into the ground next to the steps. The extra dirt is slightly mounded to level the area. One wheel of the lawnmower can ride the blocks and we'll be able to mow whatever might grow in this area, all the way up to the South side of the house. I'm not yet finished with the "landscaping, but... there you go.

The view looking back towards the Raised Bed Gardens might give you another perspective of the steps. What do you think?? (I can see that if someone doesn't care for steps, they'll just walk down the little "runway." lol.)

Perhaps you can tell I've also been working on the trail through the Woodland Walk, too?
If you scroll up a bit, you can see a poor little gate standing all by itself. Hopefully within the month of September or so, I'll get another project begun. I'll keep you "posted!"

Nothing Shady here but the shade and the night time outdoors. :-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Did Someone Say "Let's Look at Green?"

Taking a look at foliage

Click on the photos to enlarge.
(Please pardon the bit of red.)


These first two photos were taken June 10.
Above: Sweet Woodruff in the foreground, a daylily on the left, phlox on the right, sedum in the extreme lower right corner, sedum next to the hanging geranium, and Liatris Spicata in the upper right corner.


In the photo below - top left: a variety of sedum, phlox closer to us, daffodil greenery behind the birdbath, and lupine to the right, two clumps of thrift in the foreground with a petunia (reseed) between, to the right of the thrift in the foreground is a lot of another variety of sedum. Past the lupine is a large clump of daylily, a third variety of sedum near the rocks, and upright sedum and another daylily. You'll also see a few weeds and Moss Rose between the little stones. Whew. I should give you all the varieties, but I'm too tired.

These two photos were taken July 4.

It rained. ;-)
In the photo above: Ligularia in front, with a hosta reaching up behind it. To the right, you'll see more hosta, ferns, pulmonaria and a bit more.


Below you'll see fading Grape Hyacinths in the center foreground, a hosta on the left and two different Japanese Painted Ferns on the right. On beyond, a variety of Hostas, Blackberry Lily, Tricyrtis (two varieties), Tripartita, Aruncus, and a Wild Cherry tree branch on the right. What you don't see at the front of this bed is a new Hydrangea, a Daylily, a Pulmonaria, and a Bleeding Heart.


The following photo was taken August 1.

A stand of prairie gives plenty of variety when it comes to green.

This was taken at the Wildlife Safari west of Omaha.
It is connected with the Henry Doorly Zoo.


This is the last photo of anything "green" that I downloaded to the computer before finding myself in need of purchasing a new camera.

This has been a wonderful summer for keeping things green. I'm in love with our weather! :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Aunt MEA

Gardens!

She is a charter member of their local Federated Garden Club (perhaps she may have been instrumental in beginning the club). It has been in existence in this northern Iowa town of 200 or so people for quite a long time.

On July 17th, she e-mailed me with a list of lilies that were blooming and/or nearly blooming: Daylilies, "I especially like those that are large with a crepy texture, trumpet lilies, asiatic lilies, Lady Alice lilies (one 7 foot tall with 30 buds and blooms), several clumps of orienpet and orientals, toad lilies, black beauty lily and a favorite, speciosum rubrum yet to bloom."

Also, "several clumps of Mattie (the phlox she shared with me earlier this summer) (check out this link) are beacons of beauty. 'Laura' is starting, hoping it is good yet at show time, it is such a pretty phlox."

She goes on to describe a blue dahlia 'Blue Bell' that she planned to place on the altar for Sunday.


At the end of June, her town held its annual parade. Last year she was the Grand Marshall.


This year she was asked to ride in the Garden Club float.

Here is 'Lady Alice'

Aren't these beautiful?

This is an unnamed lily.

Here is the phlox (Mattie) that she shared with me!

On August 4, her e-mail described both their Garden Club meeting (at which she spoke) and their annual Show.

She wrote that last year she'd had 16 entries, but this year she had 18 entries. This year she received 10 blue ribbons and two awards of merit ribbons. The merit ribbons were received on her Tropicana Rose and 'Laura' phlox.

I'm a lot like my Aunt MEA. She is a young 90+ years old. I'm hoping to get there, too. She e-mails. I e-mail. She uses the internet. I use the internet. I blog. She visits my blog! ;-) She shops at grocery stores and greenhouses. So do I. She drives to town, buys paint and paints her steps. I do that type of thing, too!
She plays 3-handed five hundred (card game). I've played five hundred, but not for awhile. She tours her flower gardens (I betcha every day!), and I do, too! She likes to find new plants. So do I. She shares her plants and I do, too. She has a great vegetable garden. Well... I may not have a Great vegetable garden, but I've 5 tomato plants, a pepper plant, parsley, chives, and rhubarb! ;-)

She's a wonderful person and I hope to be that nice someday, too. :-)

Nothing Shady here but the shade in both our gardens.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Butterfly Kisses and Flutterby Good Wishes

I borrowed this photo of a Peacock Butterfly (isn't it beautiful)
after a Google Search for butterfly photographs.

Click on the photo to see what happens.

(Is anyone clicking on this photo? There's a great surprise here!)


Have a great day!
(I just ordered my new camera and it is "on the way!" Hopefully I'll be using it within a short period of time... and then I'll let you know what I have.) ;-)

Not shady... just excitedly secretive.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

GBBD - August 15, 2009

Today is Garden Bloggers' Bloom day.
I haven't posted to this meme for quite some time.

Today's photos are not recent.
They were taken July 26 by Mr. Shady of his prairie. ;-)

Prairie



from The Prairies
by William Cullen Bryant

"These are the Gardens of the Desert, these
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
for which the speech of England has no name --
the Prairies. I behold them for the first,
And my heart swells, while the dilated sight
Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! the stretch
in airy undulations, far away..."

Participate in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day by visiting Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August’s 'Picture This' Photo Contest

Gardening Gone Wild is hosting a 'Picture This' Photo Contest.
The deadline is 11:59 P.M., Saturday, August 22.

This is my entry.


This photo was taken "down on my knees" because I owned (at the time)
a camera with 3x magnification. That means that this little fellow wanted his photo taken...
and to accomplish the task, I absolutely had to get very close! :-)

You will enjoy seeing the other entries!
Click here for transport to Gardening Gone Wild.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ooooooo. That hurts.


Here are a couple of questions for the day:

Q. If a tree falls in the woods, and you don't hear it,
did it really happen?

Q. If a camera falls off the trunk of your car and no one sees it,
did it really happen?


Yes, apparently both of them really happen.



And, in the case of the second event, you may Never see it again... even if you look for it.


I guess I'm camera shopping.
I've just been online.

Some of you use terrific cameras (as witnessed by your photos). I'm mostly a "Point and Shoot" photographer that likes to have enough control over things to be able to take quality close-ups and better (than I used to be able to do), clear distance photos. And I really like taking easy movies.

I was partial to the Canon brand, but I'd entertain other suggestions.


Here's the entertainment for the day.
Click on the photo to see a recent project.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Garden Tours!

These aren't photos of my neighbors' yards.
They belong to some of my local gardening friends.

Some friends of mine and I visit each others' gardens once-a-week during the summers.
We've been doing this for several years, and it's really fun to see how things change from year-to-year.

These photos were taken July 8 and July 10.

This is my friend Nancy's yard.


Look who we found "crashing the party!" Do you recognize this fellow?
This is friend Joan's yard. This little tour will take you from the driveway, all around the house and back out in one of the corners of her yard. :-) I know you'll enjoy the tour... we did!

Here's Nancy, sitting on these huge foundation stones... just to give some perspective as to their size!
This Wednesday, everyone comes to my house! :-)

And we had fun! :-) And I forgot to use my camera!

And we had another garden tour (at Carolyn's) this past Wednesday. And guess who forgot their camera? Batting -1000.