Blue wild indigo

15 05 2017

Blue wild indigo or Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis), photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Baptisia Purple web

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AHS 2010 Great American Gardeners Awards

18 06 2010

Last Thursday, I photographed the 2010 Great American Gardeners Awards, hosted by the American Horticultural Society at their headquarters on River Farm. Did you know that River Farm was just one of George Washington’s five farms? He never actually lived on the farm, preferring to rent it instead. This beautiful property offers a stunning view of the Potomac River and there are so many things in bloom this time of year.

Click on the link below to go to my main blog and see the award descriptions, winner biographies, and photographs. I just love meeting and photographing these movers and shakers in the field of horticulture! This year was no exception—go take a look below:

http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/ahs-great-american-gardeners-awards-2010/





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.






Yearning for blooms

26 01 2009

I just came across this lovely intense pink water lily I photographed in July at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Sigh. How much winter is left?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

pinkwaterlily-blog





In the pink

26 09 2008

Here are just a few more shots of Osteospermum ecklonis I photographed at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia last Thursday. Speaking of “in the pink” —click here to learn where that phrase originated.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Butchart Gardens, Passel #1

22 09 2008

Thanks to Baker-Watson of Fish and Frog—Turtle and Blog (and a frequent visitor to this blog) I now have a name for my huge collection of vacation images….a passel of photographs! Thanks, Baker.

Here is (mini) Passel #1 with images from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. We couldn’t believe how much was still in bloom in the Pacific Northwest. I shot almost continuously from 11:00ish a.m. until the shuttle came at 4:45 p.m. We only stopped to grab a very quick lunch at Butchart’s Blue Poppy Restaurant. The salad we shared was garnished with sunflower sprouts—baby sunflower seedlings about 2+ inches high that tasted like sunflower seeds…very tasty. I must admit I had a brief twinge of guilt eating them—that handful we consumed will never reach their full sunflower glory.

I shot over 4 gigs of photos in this one garden. Now that’s a passel of photos!

Plant Identification:

#1 is a Cleome or Spider Flower
#2 is a Japanese toad lily (Tricyrtis affinis, possibly)
#3 is the back side of a Japanese anemone, I believe
#4 is a Lace-Cap Hydrangea

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





I will be the gladdest thing

21 07 2008

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Afternoon on a Hill”

I ventured out to Green Spring Gardens this morning at about 9:30. Even at that time, it was already getting too hot to stay out long, so I shot less than 50 images total (and that’s quite low for me). There were some really beautiful flowers in bloom this morning, particularly the thistle flowers, which were humming with bees.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. www.cindydyer.wordpress.com





Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

20 07 2008

Bright and early this morning (too early), Michael and I headed out to photograph the sunflower fields at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, MD, then headed over to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to photograph the Lotus blossoms. We first learned about the sunflower fields from my friend Nanda, who went to see it after reading about it in the Washington Post here. We’ve gone the past two years and have gotten there either before the blooms appeared or too late in the day when they’re spent and facing downward. This year, thanks to advice via e-mail from fellow blogger and local photographer Patty Hankins, we finally got to photograph the flowers at their peak! (Patty shot some really beautiful images; you’ll see them on her blog). I’ll be posting the sunflower photos later.

After an hour and a half of photographing sunflowers, we headed to Kenilworth in Washington, D.C. And once again, we arrived during the Annual Waterlily Festival and the Lotus Asian Cultural Festival (I thought it was next weekend). Since it was later in the morning than we had expected to get there, it wasn’t the optimum time for photographing Lotus blossoms because of the harsh sunlight. Despite that, photographing the myriad dragonflies ended up making it well worth the trip anyway!

To see the Lotus blossom images I shot at Kenilworth in 2006 and 2007, click here and here.

Here’s an article from the Washington Post about this “oasis in the city.” If you’ve got the room (and the pond!) to grow these beautiful flowers, read these growing tips from Doug Green. And take a look at Patty Hankins’ Lotus blossom photos and glean some great photography tips on her blog here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Purple overdose

17 06 2008

In an effort to keep my sister Debbie entertained (and it’s not hard to do, I’m happy to say), we drove up to the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival in Fairfield, Pennsylvania. An annual event, the festival is hosted by Madeline and Tom Wajda, owners of Willow Pond Farm. The 32-acre, family-owned herb farm is located fifteen minutes west of Gettysburg. Willow Pond Farm offers nearly 100 certified organic varieties of lavender on three acres. Three of the varieties, ‘Madeline Marie’, ‘Rebecca Kay’, and ‘Two Amys’, were developed at the farm. There are also a dozen demonstration gardens—culinary herbs, edible flowers, antique roses, mint, scented geraniums, salvias, medicinal herbs, biblical plants, and dye plants. There is also a silver “moon” garden, a sun garden, a shade garden, a butterfly garden, and a 200-foot-long perennial border.

I had the opportunity to talk to author Susan Belsinger. Susan co-authored The Creative Herbal Home with with Tina Marie Wilcox. Susan wrote three of the books in my personal library—Not Just Desserts, Gourmet Herbs, and The Garlic Book. Check out the other titles in Susan’s bookstore.

Author Tina Marie Wilcox has been the head gardener and herbalist at the Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, since 1984. She has collaborated with Susan on articles that have appeared in The Herbarist (published by the Herb Society of America), The Herb Companion and Herbs for Health.

She is also a contributing editor of The Herb Companion, an excellent resource for all things herbal. Susan said the magazine was recently redesigned and is even better! Since I sometimes have a hard time finding the publication at local bookstores, I decided to finally sign up for a subscription on the spot.

We sampled the lavender lemonade, chocolate and lavender scones, and lavender cookies. You can order culinary lavender from Willow Pond Farm. There were about a dozen vendors offering a variety of products such as soaps, lotions, garden crafts, pottery, jewelry, French linens, teapots and accoutrements, and food. This year there were several free “cooking with lavender” sessions as well as several fee-based workshops on a variety of topics—nature leaf painting, making herbal teas, photographing your garden, making herbal cordials, and making natural dyes ($15 each). There is a “make your own lavender wand” craft session for $7.50. Willow Pond Farm also sells a variety of lavender and herb plants. And for just $5, you can cut your own lavender straight from the field!

Debbie’s husband Bill did a search on the Web to see where we were and discovered that there was a (much larger than the one we went to) Blanco Lavender Festival taking place at the same time in Blanco, Texas. Blanco is about 45 minutes from their home in San Antonio. There are eight lavender farms on the Blanco Lavender Festival tour. Three guesses where I’ll be next June!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Butterflies & Gardens, Issue #2

31 03 2008

I just completed my second issue of the newly-redesigned “Butterflies & Gardens” quarterly newsletter for Happy Tonics. You can download the 4-page pdf file here: www.cindydyer.com/ButterfliesGardens2.pdf I design and produce all work for Happy Tonics on a volunteer basis. This issue has many of my photos as well as a few contributed by my friend, Jeff Evans. Jeff shot the last four images included in the banner on page 1 and also the monarch caterpillars shot on page 4.

A little background on how I have become connected to Happy Tonics: a few years ago I purchased milkweed seeds on eBay from Mary Ellen and we became instant friends. I learned about her background and mission and decided to offer my design and photography services to her cause. I donated design and postcard printing costs for one project and have just completed this second issue (redesigned) of the publication. I’m also working on an organization logo and a plant identification poster. Mary Ellen and her organization, Happy Tonics, (http://www.happytonics.org/) have begun establishing a monarch butterfly and native plant sanctuary near Shell Lake, Wisconsin.

Read here about her efforts: http://www.superiorbroadcast.org/butterfly.htm

© Cindy Dyer, Dyer Design. All rights reserved.

happy-tonics-2.jpg





How Can Something This Beautiful…

12 09 2007

be so destructive? I know when I first sent this photo out to Debbi (our resident Rose Queen), she probably passed out in shock when she saw it. One must admit that they really are beautiful, despite how destructive they are. I photographed this mating pair at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA. I’m happy to report that I have never seen one in my own garden (and therefore I don’t have to deal with critter elimination!).

japanese-beetles.jpg

© 2007 Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Popillia japonica is a beetle about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) long and 1 cm (0.4 inches) wide, with shiny copper-colored elytra and a shiny green top of the thorax and head. It is not very destructive in Japan, where it is controlled by natural enemies, but in America it is a serious pest to rose bushes, grapes, crape myrtles, and other plants. These insects damage plants by eating the surface material, leaving the veins in place, producing a curious, but alarming “transparent leaf” effect on its victims.

For more photos of this insect, visit http://bugguide.net/node/view/473/bgimage

Excerpt below from The Urban Pantheist.

In 1916, America’s most densely populated state (New Jersey) became the first place in North America where a certain exotic Asian scarab beetle was found. This beautiful but destructive animal is now well-known to gardeners in the eastern states, and is becoming familiar in more places every year. Increasing amounts of regulation and use of biological controls (a bacterium and parasitic wasps) are the official weapons in use against the Japanese beetle. Still they seem to have a robust population in areas where they occur, including urban centers that have the plants the adults feed on (over 400 species documented) and grassy soil for their grubs to overwinter in. And they continue to spread, being found in San Diego for the first time in 2000, and at an airport in Montana in 2002.

Japanese beetles are often encountered in what appears to be mating groups. Females produce sex pheromones that attract many males, who compete for the opportunity to mate in large clusters. According to one researcher, relatively little mating actually occurs in these groups. Males will guard their chosen female from other males until she is ready to lay her eggs. At least while clustered, they can be easily picked off of plants.