I would imagine…

29 11 2011

that sales of SanDisk Extreme III cards will soar after this story makes its rounds. Thanks to photographer extraordinaire Chase Jarvis for posting this story on his blog below. Even if you’re not a photographer, it’s still a fascinating story!



Sigh…yet another gadget on my wish list!

27 11 2011

Thanks (yet again) to my friend, F.T., for sending me info about yet another gadget I am now drooling over. It’s the TimelapseCam 8.0 from Wingscapes, and for what it does, I think it’s a steal (and wouldn’t it make just the best Christmas present ever, hint, hint?). Can’t you just imagine how cool it would be to see the garden growing when you’re not looking? Or following what your cats do when you’re not at home?

Happy Thanksgiving

24 11 2011

Today, we’re heading down to Lake Land’Or in central Virginia (just an hour away) to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Karen, her aunt and a friend who are visiting from Wilmington, N.C. Here are some photos of the view from Karen’s lakehouse; originally posted 11.12.2008.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Published: Anything But Ordinary: Inspiring and Unique Flowers

23 11 2011

As a gardener and as an artist and photographer, I have long been attracted to more unusual plants—those that are showy, quirky, alien-like, and over-the-top—anything but ordinary. Any plant or flower that makes me ask,“what in the world is that?” has a place in my garden! Many of these flowers can also be used in bouquets, adding a touch of the exotic and unusual to any arrangement.

In the link below, you can read my latest column for the Bloomin’ Blog, a monthly newsletter published by the flowershopnetwork.com.


You can see my previous columns in the links below:




Saturday sky

22 11 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Missing mom

19 11 2011

Today marks the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing. She survived Stage II ovarian cancer for 11 years. She never gave up and never turned away anything her doctors offered to get her into yet another remission, relieve her pain, and keep her with us year after year. She is the strongest woman I will ever know. I shared many stories about my remarkable mother last November in my blog post here.

I wear one of her gold rings on my right hand every day. It has five tiny diamonds set into a gold band that crosses another band. I like to think she bought it because each diamond represents the five members of our little family. I have been surprised at just how comforting it is to wear it and then in the same moment, I am made painfully aware that it is no longer gracing her hands. It is just one of many rings she wore faithfully, earning my father’s lifelong nickname for her—Diamond Lil.

Every night, I sleep on her satin pillowcase—the one she used when she had her hair styled at the beauty shop when we were younger. I talk to her late at night when I can’t sleep, which is often. I miss her fried chicken and shopping with her at outlet malls. I miss hearing her dish on the latest legal case, missing child, political happening or celebrity scoop. I miss sharing the Star tabloid from the San Antonio Sunday newspaper. I miss hearing the comforting “I worry about you, doll” as she hung up after each phone call.

When I look in the mirror, I see her smile and very fine hair. I believe I inherited her compassion. My father says I inherited her very forgiving nature. More than anything, I hope I inherited her strength.

Janie Alta McLean Dyer, 12.26.1931–11.18.2010

Goodnight, sweet garden, goodnight…

16 11 2011

Well, sort of…I’ll still post photos of plants that I photograph in the winter months (such as the bulbs I force every year indoors), but alas, my garden has gone dormant and new flower and insect photos will become few and far between. I will be going through my botanical archives in winter to seek new treasures I may have overlooked in my initial culling process, though.

On the subject of gardening, I just began writing a regular monthly column for flowershopnetwork.com. I just completed an article entitled, “Anything but ordinary,” which will be published shortly. You can see my previous posts in the links below:




If you’re interested in things other than gardening, head over to my “everything including the kitchen sink” blog. I’ve got posts on everything from travel, graphic design, art, and entertaining to fascinating people I’ve come to know. You’ll see the same gardening posts that are on this blog as well. I just thought you might want to know what I’m up to when you don’t see plant postings for days on end!


Alas, poor Borders, I knew you.

16 11 2011

Were you a life-long Borders groupie like me? If so, you might enjoy my farewell to the defunct store here.

Vertical beauties

2 11 2011

When my friend Senthil was visiting in September (to be photographed for the cover of the upcoming November/December 2011 Hearing Loss Magazine), Michael and I dropped him off at the U.S. Capitol building so he could get some photographs. I went over to check out the sprawling vertical garden display outside the U.S. Botanic Garden, which is in view of the Capitol.

Apparently the exhibit has been in place for a couple of years and I just got to see the very end of the exhibit. I can’t find anything on the web regarding who designed it or any details on the types of plants, how-to’s, etc., but I do have some photographs to share. It was really a sight to see—and had I the room to build something like this in my own backyard garden, it would happen in a nanosecond. I shot some closeups so you can see the details. The wood frames have coco fiber “shelf baskets” held into place with wire screen. The plants are tucked either directly into the liner baskets or through holes made in the side of the baskets.

There were a lot of plants that I recognized immediately, including vegetables and ornamental plants, plus herbs such as oregano, sage and basil; various coleus plants, licorice plants, flowering annuals, sweet potato vine, ferns, ivies, catmint and catnip, just to name a few. Read more about vertical gardening here.

Michael and I saw these Woolly Pocket living planters in the gift shop at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden last week. They’re made from recycled plastic bottles and come in unlined (for outdoor use) and lined (for indoor use) versions, along with wall anchors. You can line an entire wall with these pockets (which come in a multitude of sizes and colors), fill them with a variety of plants, and achieve impressive results!

But the type of vertical gardening that makes me swoon are the “succulent gardens” shown on Flora Grubb Garden’s blog here and their main website here. Jaw-dropping beautiful pieces of living art—they remind me of landscapes as seen from the air. Flora Grubb sells the tray components to achieve these looks in your own home or on a garden wall.

Authors and gardeners Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet recently published Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces, available here. Author and garden photographer Derek Fell has written Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space, available here. And on my list of books to add to my gardening library is green thumb artist and French botanist Patrick Blanc’s tome The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City, available here. Want to see some spectacular living walls? Visit Blanc’s website here.


1 11 2011

Unidentified Orchid photographed in the Conservatory at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.