Study of Summer Snowflakes

26 03 2010

I photographed Summer Snowflakes (Leucojum Aestivum) at Green Spring Gardens last year (see that posting here, along with a nifty photography tip!), and then planted a dozen bulbs in my own garden—and they’re now in bloom again here! I think they have a Calder-esque look to them, don’t you?—like little mobiles or elegant sculptures. I especially like the tension of all the converging leaf lines combined with the curving of the flowers—so graphic! Today was such a good and creative day (even after I had to put away the camera and get back to my paying design work!) Here’s wishing all my days could be like this one!

Addendum: Last year, when I was trying to identify them, I thought they were SnowDROPS. These are actually SnowFLAKES. The Snowflake is a taller flower that normally has more than one flower per stem. Snowflake petals are even and have green spots on each end. Snowdrops have helicopter-like petals and the green appears on the inner petals.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Your guess is as good as mine.

25 03 2010

No plant label on this beauty at Green Spring Gardens…so I’m stumped. Wanna hazard to guess what it is? It was in the woodland garden area and it was blooming in the shade. The blooms were small, too (maybe 1-1.5 inches), perched atop reddish-orange stems. I had to lie down on my side (in the mud, thank you very much) to photograph the downward-facing blooms. Oh, the things I do for you people!

😉

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Spring Beauty

25 03 2010

One of my favorite little spring flowers at Green Spring Gardens is Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’—also known as Spring Beauty Scilla, Wood Squill or Siberian Squill (Liliaceae family). Tiny and delicate bright porcelain blue flowers grow on 4-6 inch stalks from bulbs in early spring in full sun to part shade. Tough and extremely cold hardy (Zones 2-8), this low-maintenance plant naturalizes easily by bulb offshoots and through self-seeding. Until this morning, I had never seen the underside of these shy, downward-facing blooms. The wind had flipped back a few blossoms, revealing their “faces.”

I also photographed a white form, ‘Alba.’ Green Spring Gardens also grows a striped squill, Puschkinia libanotica. The website tulipworld.com states that although this striped form is hardly known, it is one of the best bulbs for beginners because it can be grown almost anywhere as long as there is proper drainage. And their price is right, too—40 bulbs for just $9.71—can’t beat that!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Striped crocus

25 03 2010

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens this morning. There’s just something punchy about the combination of orange and purple, isn’t there?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A new visitor to the garden

25 03 2010

I spotted this pretty girl (I assume it’s a girl because of the pink collar, but you just never know) walking across the shed roof outside my office window. In the glare of the morning light and without my glasses on, at first I thought it was our regular visitor and neighbor’s cat, Indy. We’re guessing she might belong to our new neighbors, but we’re not sure. Michael saw her on their front porch before she came to the back yard. I got closer and realized it wasn’t Indy. She stayed on the roof and approached me when I came up to her. I petted her once, then she began hissing, then she let me pet her again, then she hissed again. Testy little thing, she was. Ah well, she made a great photographic subject and she hung around on the shed roof for quite awhile.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hellebores in bloom

25 03 2010

As promised, new garden photos—I shot these early this morning in our front yard garden. After dropping off (yet more) donations to the Salvation Army, Michael and I spent an hour photographing blooms at Green Spring Gardens. More flower photos to come!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Parents, plants and partying

25 03 2010

Best parents in the world, shown at right. It’s true. It’s really, really true. Wouldn’t trade ’em for nuthin’. Check out the latest photos I’ve posted on our wedding blog here.

Speaking of blogs…check out my dad’s blog, The King of Texas. He waxes rhapsodic about his family, revisits his childhood (with amazing recall for details), comments on current events (political, celebrity, media and more), and aims to right grammatical wrongs (one visitor at a time) with his occasional lessons on the subject. Check out his archives for some of his essays. I introduced him to blogging almost a year ago and he has become a prolific poster. He has always loved to write and it shows in his lengthy and detailed essays. I just knew it would be a great creative outlet for him. I realize I’ve created a monster, but I am so proud of my grasshopper! Whether you agree or disagree on any particular posting, he welcomes feedback of any kind (but thrives on kudos in particular), so don’t hesitate to comment—he always responds.

Out in the garden…my hellebores, snowdrops and crocus plants are in bloom—after a long, cold, way-too-much-snow winter. I predict some flower photos appearing on the blog shortly. Michael and I cleaned up most of the front yard (gathering six bags of debris!) on Thursday and my friend Tom helped me with a good portion of the back yard garden on Friday. There are lots of empty gaps in the garden this year, so there will definitely be some restructuring of the various beds in an effort to refresh things. I bought a slew of bulbs at Home Depot last night for the front yard garden (liatris, crocosmia, tigridia and lilies). I’m waiting to plant when I’m sure there’s no danger of frost! I also want to try out some new perennial choices so I’ll have some new specimens to photograph this year.

Speaking of flower photography…check out my buddy Ed Vatza’s stunning photos here of the elusive Himalayan Blue Poppy, which he photographed at Longwood Gardens recently. Wish these beauties weren’t so temperamental—they would be in my garden in a heartbeat if they were easier to grow!

And on to the partying…Nanda, one of my Garden Club Weedettes, hosted a knitting party late this afternoon (with wonderful Indian munchies). Yours truly was introduced to knitting today. Boy, was that ever a challenge! I think I’ve gotten the hang of it (sorta/kinda), but it’s definitely seems harder than my basic crochet skills. I’ll post a few photos of my newfound knitting friends and my work-in-progress (I think it’s a scarf—hard to tell at this point!) shortly. Sigh…as if I needed another hobby.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Same time, last year: Pink Poppy

24 03 2010

I promise to get out and shoot some new blooms soon. There are some lovely hellebores in bloom in the front yard, but today was just too windy to shoot flowers. In the meantime, here’s a shot taken this day, last year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

flowerpinkpoppy





Plant shopping!

24 03 2010

Because of the various gaps in my front and back yard gardens (due to the age of the garden and our crazy winter weather), I’ll need to do a bit more planting than usual this year. We also took out two butterfly bushes that grew too big for the space, so that left two big gaps in the side garden. (Note: When the tag on the plant states that a butterfly bush grows 5-8 feet wide, do not ignore it and buy the plants just because they are “today only, just $5 each!”). I speak from experience: if you have a townhouse garden, you do not have the room for this monster—much less two of them!) They will be relocated somewhere else where they have room to spread.

I just ordered some replacement plants from Michigan Bulb Company, Spring Hill Nursery and Dutch Bulbs this week and got some really great deals, particularly with their “buy x, get x free” specials. I’m adding things that I would love to photograph this year and most species that I haven’t grown before. I’ll add few more things like herbs (basil, mint and oregano) for my kitchen garden. I also bought inexpensive bulbs from Wal-Mart this week, too (Liatris, Crocosmia and my favorite, lilies!). I’m filling in the gaps with these great deals and since they’re all perennials, I should have easy sailing for a few more years.

From the Michigan Bulb Co., I ordered (left to right, top to bottom, photos from catalog): Sparkle Meadow Rue, Green Wizard Rudbeckia, Foamflower, Montana Skies Delphinium, Toad Lily Mix, Twinkle Toes, Double-Decker Coneflower, Licorice Mint, Petite Delight Bee Balm, Blue Fringe Daisy, Helenium Mix and Blue Mist Shrub

From van Bourgondein (dutchbulbs.com), I ordered (left to right, photos from catalog): Gloriosa Rothschildiana (gorgeous!), Habeneria Radiata/Egret Flower (I’m really excited about growing and photographing this unusual beauty—not an inexpensive bulb, but I’ve been wanting one ever since they debuted—tell me this isn’t one of the coolest plants you’ve ever seen!), and Hardy Gladiolus Atom (love the white piping outline—wait, is that a 3 point reverse rule around those petals?!)

And finally, from Spring Hill Nursery, I ordered (left to right, photos from catalog): Coral Drops, Lemon Fluff (how cute are these?) and Anchusa Azurea

Wish me luck with my green thumb and be on standby for photographs throughout this spring and summer!





Same time, last year: White Spoon Osteospermum

24 03 2010

Originally posted March 23, 2008

This is an Osteospermum, also called African Daisy, Cape Daisy or Spoon Daisy (because of the spoon-shaped ray florets). I believe this might be the cultivar ‘William.’ I photographed this bloom in the Main Conservatory at Longwood Gardens earlier this month.

Learn more about growing Osteospermums at www.osteospermum.com.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

longwoodwhitebloom





Published: A Passion for Purple Flowers

3 03 2010

I recently wrote an article for flowershopnetwork.com for their monthly online newsletter. All but three of the photos in the article were shot by me (shown below); the others were purchased from istockphoto.com. The Flower Shop Network Newsletter is a free monthly e-mail featuring articles based on the knowledge of floral professionals across the country. Once a month, they provide interesting information about all things floral. You can view their newsletter archive and sign up for an e-mail blast here. To read my article, click on the link below:

http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/passion-purple-flowers/