Category Archives: Flora

Nature’s Little Wonders – 6

“Ouch”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

“When you see red, shoot” … especially in the garden. The leathery red leaves of this Oregon grape popped out from the background. The Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is a multi-season star of the garden. Its dark green leaves provide a strong contrast with its bright yellow spring blooms. These turn into blue berries in the late summer/fall. In the winter, the leaves turn to various shades of orange, burgundy, and red.

We have planted several mahonia among the pines and spruces of our conifer grove to provided a multi-season complimentary contrast.

Nature’s Little Wonders – 3

Oakleaf Hydrangea
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

The glow of this back/side lit expired hydrangea bloom stopped me in my tracks. It was like if it was a bright red stop sign signaling me to stop and pay attention to what it had to offer. Each fall, I face a hard decision to deadhead the spent blooms for a better bloom next year, or let them be to provide special winter interest. We solved the problem this spring by planting several additional plants in the lower part of the garden.

A Little More Meadow Color

“Meadow Impression”
Heatherwood Summer

As the temperatures hover in the high 90’s, our new meadow continues to display a variety of color. I long to be able to get our among the flowers and become one with my camera and the beautiful blooms. For the next several weeks, I will need to be content with viewing alongside and from above. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.

“Beardtongue”

“White, Pink, and Burgundy”
Heatherwood Summer

The “Eastern Smooth Beardtongue” (Penstemon laevigitus) is one of our garden’s first bloomers. its three foot tall burgundy stems host brilliant white and pink flowers in the middle of the meadow.

Small beautiful vignettes like this help me focus on what is right with this world as I let go of the many difficult things we are all facing. Beauty is all around us, we just need to open our eyes and hearts to recognize it.

More Meadow Color

“In the Meadow”
Heatherwood Summer

Here is to more color in the meadow. This time we’ve added a little orange to the yellow and purple. The patches of color are separate, but gently blend into one another. The yellow provides a little buffer between the orange and the purple. What a summer treat our new meadow brings us.

Monet’s Yarrow

Yarrow in the Meadow”
Heatherwood Summer

This image continues the theme from my previous post. The colors in our new meadow are striking. Adjacent colors were actually laid out using a color wheel. Here, opposite colors were planted next to each other to create the color contrast. Here again Monet’s perspective comes to the rescue.

Monet’s Interpretation

“The Meadow”
Heatherwood Summer

We just finished carving out and planting a new meadow in the lower section of Heatherwood. The colors are already bursting out for its first summer season. Reds, purples, yellows, blues, oranges, and all different shades of greens are scattered about. We have a lot of bark covered ground showing through most of the areas. It will take a few years for the perennials to fill in. We have patience and are enjoying the individual plants as each one breaks into bloom. Hopefully we will have a flow of changing color throughout the summer and early fall. This is just a start. We will record the activity of the meadow and adjust as we go along. It will also be a “Never Ending Journey.”

I created this image today. It was my first time out photographing since I had my foot operation. I’ve been hobbling around for the past three plus weeks. I still can’t put any weight on my foot, so I got a little creative and hopped on my lawn mower and drove around our new garden meadow. I stopped and recorded many images from above. Getting the best perspective and composition was very difficult, and sometimes impossible. But, I just had to get out with my camera. When I started processing the images, I noticed that they were all a little out of focus. I guess the high frequency vibration of the lawn mower didn’t help my unsteady hand. So, I decided to cheat a little and convert the images into a blurred impressionistic versions. Thank you Topaz!

Isolation #2

“Past, Present, & Future”
Cherokee Dogwood
Heatherwood Autumn

This is another example of “Isolation.” My mission for this photo excursion was to collect isolated macro images that represent the early autumn of our Japanese Garden. I am in the process of preparing annual image collections of how our Heatherwood Garden changes from season to season throughout the year. For this specific photo shoot, I walked around the Garden and tried to collect compelling images that would represent the details of our autumn garden.

The uniqueness of this image is that is illustrates the yearly life cycle of a dogwood tree bloom. The yellow protrusions are the remnants of the spring blossom sepals; the leaves are turning to their autumn color before they fall for the winter; the red berry is the fruit for the wintering birds, and the purplish bud is the future blossom for next spring. The dew drop adds additional interest while the tips and edges of the leaves draw the viewers eye to the subject.