Echeveria in bloom

28 02 2008

Speaking of succulents, check out this really beautiful “succulent homage to Monet” on Sunset magazine’s website below. Looks like an easy project that mimics a lily pond without the real water. I know what my next garden project is going to be this season!

http://www.sunset.com/sunset/garden/article/0,20633,1227738,00.html

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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The Garden Song

28 02 2008

This is my garden club’s unofficial theme song, a catchy and melodic one written by folksong writer David Mallett, and sung by my beloved John Denver on “The Muppet Show.” I just love it because it’s putting me into a gardening-frame-of-mind today.

The Garden Song

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
‘Til the rain comes tumblin’ down

Pulling weeds and pickin’ stones
Man is made of dreams and bones
Feel the need to grow my own
‘Cause the time is close at hand

Rainful rain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature’s chain
Tune my body and my brain
To the music from the land

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
‘Til the rain comes tumbling down

Plant your rows straight and long
Temper them with prayer and song
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her love and care

Old crow watchin’ hungrily
From his perch in yonder tree
In my garden I’m as free
As that feathered thief up there

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless the seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
‘Til the rain comes tumbling down

‘Til the rain comes tumbling down

© David Mallett





Aspens in Sedona

28 02 2008

Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, Arizona…Oct. 20, my 30th “milestone” birthday…Dad climbing an apple tree and shaking apples down for our afternoon snack…perfect fall weather, perfect fall light…fallen red leaves in the dry river bed…vibrant yellow Aspens against a clear blue sky…by far my most memorable birthday, bar none. Thanks, Dad.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Apricot Tulips

28 02 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All Rights reserved.

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Katydid nymph Scudderia on Osteospermum

24 02 2008

How’s that for a title? I photographed this tiny (less than 1/2 inch) little critter in my friend Nanda’s garden. After some research on my favorite “bug identifier site” (http://bugguide.net), I’ve discovered he/she is a Katydid nymph (Scudderia) and looks just like the ones posted below:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/122958
http://bugguide.net/node/view/152833/bgimage

I posted the image on BugGuide.net and got a response (and confirmation about the identity) from John and Jane Balaban in less than two minutes! How’s that for service? Thanks!

And after further research, I’ve discovered that Nanda’s flower is an Osteospermum, hailing from South Africa. The scary thing is I actually had the word “Osteospermum” in my head when I went to research what kind of flower it was. I typed in the word (spelling it correctly the first time, yay!) and my hunch was verified. Apparently I’ve absorbed more information from my massive garden book collection than I had imagined.

To narrow it down further, I think it’s the “Peach Symphony” variety. And where did I find this? On the world’s No. 1 Osteospermum Resource site, of course! http://www.osteospermum.com/

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Purple Salvia

23 02 2008

I shot this image at Butchart Gardens (www.butchartgardens.com) in Greater Victoria, British Columbia. I think it might be the “Mealycup Sage” variety. For information, see http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1174.htm

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

purplesalvia.jpg






Fascinating Orchids

23 02 2008

I photographed these orchids last year at the annual orchid show as the U.S. Botanic Garden (http://www.usbg.gov/) in Washington, D.C. The show this year runs from Feb. 2 through April 13, and I plan on getting over there one sunny day to add to my archives!

Information on growing orchids:

http://www.argusorchids.net/

http://www.orchids.org/culture/culture.html

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

botorchids.jpg





Gina’s Delphinium

23 02 2008

Can you tell I’m growing a bit impatient for gardening season with all the recent botanical postings? I shot this image awhile back in Gina’s garden. This particular Delphinium might be the “Magic Fountain Larkspur.” The flower usually grows much more upright than Gina’s specimen did, but it’s beautiful regardless.

Delphinium, or larkspur, derives its genus’ name from the Greek word for “dolphin” and is suggested by the shape of a gland in the blossoms that secretes nectar. Warning: all part of this plant are poisonous.

Growing information: http://www.gardenersnet.com/flower/delphinium.htm

How gorgeous that shock of red lilies, and larkspur cleaving
All with a flash of blue! when will she be leaving
Her room, where the night still hangs like a half-folded bat,
And passion unbearable seethes in the darkness, like must in a vat.

— D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

ginadelphinum.jpg

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Happy birthday to me!

23 02 2008

Okay, it’s not really my birthday, but I did shoot this image of a prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) with fruit on a birthday getaway with my Dad. This cactus was on the grounds of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona (http://www.nps.gov/cagr/).

To learn more about this edible plant, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prickly_pear

This image is a scan from a 35mm slide (pre-digital camera days, if you can imagine that time); one of several I entered in American Photo‘s 2nd annual contest of reader’s images. It was published in the nature category. I also placed in the fashion/portrait category with a photo of my friend Nicole (I have to find that slide and scan it). Getting published in one of my favorite magazines (twice!) was a highlight in my photography career. I was also one of seven follow-up interviewees for the following year’s competition in their “where are the winners now?” article. A neat twist—Nicole, the model in my winning fashion/portrait entry, shot my head shot for the follow-up profile.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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70% chance of snow

20 02 2008

The weather man got it right this time. Just started snowing…no potting today!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Desktop poet, attempt #1

12 02 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Cactus in bloom

12 02 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Go toward the light…

5 02 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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My lushest garden ever…

4 02 2008

I am so looking forward to another gardening season…I shot these of our townhouse garden in summer 2006. This was one of the lushest growing seasons ever for our garden. The shot of the massive bank of morning glory blooms was taken in the front (side) yard, and the shot with the front steps was also taken in the front yard. All the other photos were from the backyard garden. Not too bad for a tiny plot of land, eh?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Swallowtails for Jennifer

2 02 2008

Just found a few more butterflies for Jennifer in my archives. I photographed these this past summer at Green Spring Gardens in Virginia.

I’m fairly certain these are Eastern Tiger Swallowtails.

See: http://www.nearctica.com/butter/plate1/Pglauc.htm

or http://www.chesapeakebay.net/swallowtail.htm.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

swallowtailsthree.jpg





Raining on my rug

1 02 2008

It’s a very wet day in Northern Virginia, and as I write this, I notice that my “unfinished rug” is getting soaked outside (yet again). This painted (cement) rug has turned into a 3+ year project. I started it with gusto over three years ago, sometimes enlisting help of a friend to help color in my sketches…but mostly it has been me, sitting with my soda, a CD player with Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Denver, Cheryl Wheeler, and Christine Kane to keep me company (and keep me inspired as well), jars of paint, a slew of brushes…trying to make this vision of mine come to fruition. The catalyst for this design was a beautiful piece of fabric. I have long since deviated from my original inspiration; the fabric pattern is engrained in my head, nonethless. Most people think it’s done; I know it is most certainly not. The best weather for painting is in the spring…unfortunately, that is also the time to prepare the garden, plant, and play. So painting takes a backseat and this is why the project is not yet finished.

I knew it was already a success when my friend Norma came by to see me one day last spring, peeking through the locked back gate to see if I was outside. After seeing that it was about to start raining, she called me from her cell phone and left me a message (with sincere concern in her voice), telling me that I better “bring in my rug before it gets wet!” What an extremely nice compliment on this not-yet-finished project.

Every year I make a little more progress. Every year the rug fades a little in the finished areas and I get distracted and have to go back to touch those spots up, the color becoming brighter each time. I vow to finish it this spring, without fail. I will seal it, hoping the elements will be kind.

unfinishedrug.jpg