A cornucopia of colors

3 11 2013

Kingstowne Lake shoreline, Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Come join me at “Art on the Avenue” on October 5!

14 09 2013

ArtontheAvenueI’m having my very first art fair show at the annual “Art on the Avenue” is a regional multicultural arts and music festival on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray (Alexandria), Virginia. (No RSVPs are needed!)

The event is Saturday, October 5, 2013, from 10-6. This festival was voted “Best Art Event in Northern Virginia” by readers of Virginia Living Magazine. More than 300 artisans will be exhibiting and selling their creations and there is music and food as well. I’ve been to two of these events and the weather was nice both years—a great time to be outdoors (and supporting the arts!). Visit www.artontheavenue.org for more information as well as a list of vendors.
You’ll find me at Booth E104, which will be located between Oxford and Uhler, down from Cheestique (love that place!) and across from Taqueria Poblano and Yoga in Daily Life. Look for a black and green banner that reads “Garden Muse.”

I will be selling both new and older botanical images in:

Gallery wrap photo canvases (variety of sizes)
Matted & framed photographs
Matted photographs
Greeting cards
Photo necklaces

Directions by Metro:
Your best bet to the festival! Braddock Road is the Metro stop nearest Art on the Avenue. Each half hour, starting at 10:00 am until 6:00 pm, there will be a FREE DASH bus going to and from the corner of Bellefonte/Mt. Vernon Avenue and the Braddock Road Metro Station. Look for the sign that says “Ride Me to Art on the Avenue.” Or you can walk — it is a 15 minute walk to the Festival from the Metro stop. Simply exit the station and turn right to Braddock Road. Follow Braddock Road under the underpass to the next light and turn right onto Mt. Vernon Avenue.

Driving Directions: Click on this link for a map to Mt. Vernon Avenue: http://artontheavenue.org/?page_id=39

If you’re in the area and can make it, stop by to say howdy or introduce yourself (and pick up a free bookmark, too)!

While you’re there, register to win a free 20×30 gallery wrap canvas (your choice) from my existing inventory!





Some of my favorite fall photos…

23 10 2012

These were taken at Lake Land’Or back in 2008. The shot of the dock with the cloud reflections is one of my all-time favorites of this place!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

ladysmithcollage1





Reflections of fall

23 10 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Scenes from an exhibit reception, part 1

18 04 2012

WOW. That’s how I can sum up my photography exhibit reception on Sunday at Green Spring Gardens. My friend Martha says her favorite moment was when I came by her and simply said, “I am just soooooooooo happy.” I kept repeating it like a Stepford character. I’m just soooooooooo happy. Really, I am just soooooooooo deliriously happy! Sales and attendance were way beyond what I expected (or dared to hope for).

Remember, the show is up for two more weeks—you have until April 29 to see it if you haven’t already done so. For more details and directions, visit my show site: www.gardenmuseshow.com! FYI—I will have an etsy.com store up and running soon. I’ll be selling matted and framed images, greeting cards and jewelry (and any other crafty endeavor that strikes my fancy!). Stay tuned for more info on that venture. More photos to come from the reception…

Reception photos © Ed Fagan, Columbia Photography

Martha, my friend who came up for the weekend from San Antonio, Texas, confidently pitches the “buy all eight greeting cards for $20 and get a nifty floral gift bag” deal to a potential customer.

Above, from left: dear friends Holly and Tom, yours truly (with my trusty Coolpix) and lovely Sue-in-blue, who flew up from Huntsville, Alabama

With a lot of help from family and friends (Karen B., her daughter Margot, my sister Debbie, sister-in-law Nancy, Karen W. and Martha), the table decor—inspired by spring and all things gardening—became the perfect backdrop to showcase Barbara‘s wonderful sweet and savory appetizers! The only downside—putting all those decorations back in their place in our townhouse.

Above, left: The view of the banquet tables from the “savory” side. Right: Barbara Kelley, caterer extraordinaire, displays her Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes, topped off with homemade fondant butterflies made by Karen B., daughter Hannah and me.

Above: The photo pendants were a hit, much to our delight! My friend Paula and I made about 30 of them and we sold more than half of them. I’ll be preparing more to sell in my etsy.com store, which I’ll be working on next month. We hung them on satin cords (longer length), vinyl cording and silver-plated chains and sold them sans chains as well.

Barbara and Hollace made open-faced tea sandwiches and adorned them with edible flowers—which required some cajoling to get attendees to eat. I heard several times, “are you sure we can eat these?” Michael proved they were edible by devouring a complete pink rose (photo to come). Another guest poked at the mozzarella balls (!) and asked if they were real (!) Thank you to Sue for helping me festoon the cupcake stand with garden-inspired fabric and ribbon. We went through a lot of hot glue on that project!

Above: getting the store set up before the crowd comes through the doors. Thanks to everyone who set up the shop—Michael, Karen B., Karen and Joe W., Pete and Nancy, Martha and Debbie. We filled up 3.5 cars with matted/framed prints, greeting cards and buffet decor elements. From left: Holly and her friend Helen examine the necklaces on display; center: Michael explains how to use his credit card machine to Karen B. and her daughter Margot; far right: me explaining something (?) to my friend Leda

Above: seven of the eight 5.5 x 8.5 greeting cards available for sale. Not shown, my “Unfurled” image with a ‘Negrita’ Tulip

Above: another shot of the buffet—tea sandwiches, fruit skewers and pesto pinwheels

Above, left: the jewelry display with my brother-in-law Pete in the background. Peter and his wife Nancy (Michael’s sister) drove up from the Columbus, Ohio area. Right: one of my favorite people—friend and neighbor Michael P. —deciding with “hairy legged” insect photo to purchase (thanks for giving Vault and Whirly Girl a good home, Michael!) Below: lines began to form—how cool is that?

Above: It was so great to see my former roommate (from way back circa 1998 or so) Wendy and her husband Mark—I last saw Wendy at Potomac Mills mall when her son Eli (now 17) was still in a stroller! We reunited on Facebook (but of course) and they truly surprised me by driving down from West Virginia just for the reception! She has asked me to do a presentation to her second grade class on “how to learn how to see” things in nature. Now that I can do!

During this entire process, I have had such a tremendous show of support from family and friends. Since the show went up, I have had guests coming from Florida, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama and Maryland. I am so blessed to have these people in my circle!

In preparation for the show and reception, I’d like to thank a slew of great people:

A very special thanks to Jeff E.—thank you for the kick in the pants to get “exposure for my exposures!”
Dorothy Norpel
, F.R.O.G.S. (Friends of Green Spring Gardens) show coordinator, for giving me the opportunity to exhibit
• Mary Olien and Janet Hammes of Green Spring Gardens for their support of my work and Janet in particular for letting us in early on Sunday so we would have ample time to prepare for the reception (and also for purchasing several images!)
• All the employees and volunteers of Green Spring Gardens who answered questions, fetched a ladder, made a sale, answered my myriad questions and honored my requests
The Green Spring Gardens horticulture staff who are masters (and artists) at what they do—for always having something new and beautiful for me to photograph (not many people know that more than 75% of the images in the show were shot at Green Spring Gardens)
Dad
for his financial input, patient framing guidance and being the best cheerleader/dad/patron of the arts a girl could have
My sister Kelley for helping me select all the images for the show and being the genius behind the idea to name the images
Tom and Holly for loading up 98% of the framed images in their van and transporting and unloading it all—you just don’t know how much I appreciated that!
Dear Camilla for flying up to help me hang up the show and her invaluable creative direction (not to mention her long-time friendship)
• Karen W.
and Michael for helping hang the show from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (thanks also to Karen for constantly promoting my work, whether it’s jewelry making or the exhibit—there’s a reason you’re a key component of the K.I.T.A. club, ya know!)
Carmen and her sister-in-law Ester for driving eight hours from Greer, South Carolina just to attend the exhibit
Mary Ellen
for flying from Wisconsin
My sister-in-law Ronnie and her husband Ed for coming to see us and the exhibit en route from Florida back to their home in Cleveland
My sister Debbie and our friend Martha for hopping planes from San Antonio to share in the big weekend
Karen B.
for helping design the buffet tables, create the table covers and decorations, making fondant butterflies for the cupcakes, sleeving greeting cards and for every single creative project she is willing to tackle alongside me (I enjoy all our creative time together, KareBear) and for her patience in heading up the store
Mo Sherman
for spreading the word to his Virginia and Maryland friends and for being so supportive of my work
Sue
for flying here from Huntsville, AL, helping me make the three-tiered tea sandwich stand and putting matted prints in sleeves (and for her never-ending cheerleading!)
Hannah
for help with creating the butterflies and manning the store with her mom
Margot
for her flower arranging skills, buffet decorating and helping in the store
Paula
for helping me make those pretty photo pendants that were such a hit (and for her and Ken spreading the word of the exhibit to their friends and colleagues)
Nancy
, Pete and Martha for helping frame (assembly-line style) some last-minute pieces
Karen W.
and Joe for preparing and bringing a great breakfast spread to the house Sunday morning so we wouldn’t pass out during the day
All the help transporting to and fro in four separate cars from Michael, Pete, Joe, Nancy, Karen W., Martha and Debbie
Barbara
and Hollace for the amazing reception food—it was colorful, tasty, imaginative, filled with love, and I couldn’t imagine a catered event going more smoothly than this one did—you are a pro, Barbara!
Karen B.
, Margot, Hannah and Martha for minding the store and taking care of sales, wrapping, etc. (I know it was a crazy, unexpected time and I thank them profusely for all their efforts; nothing I can do can repay their generosity of time!);
Michael for running errands to get more change, to the house for more supplies and bringing fans to cool off the place (we learned that they turn off the air at the Horticulture Center on weekends!)
Karen W.
, Debbie, Martha, Karen B., Margot and Nancy for all their help decorating the buffet tables and setting up the store
Jeff S.D. for his constant support and helping me determine pricing (why is this always so hard for an artist?)
Brian for his mentoring and valuable input, always
Kudos and thanks to my hard-working friend Ed for so thoroughly and beautifully documenting that wonderful day with nearly 700 images (shot from above, below, from the side, on a ladder, on the floor and from the ceiling)!

If I have left out anyone in the never-ending gratitude list above, it is not intentional. Finally, thank you to all my local friends, faraway friends, Facebook friends, WordPress fellow bloggers and design clients for being a constant source of support and enthusiasm for this pet project of mine. Thank you to all my local friends who were able to make the reception and for your purchases as well. I thank you profusely and Green Spring Gardens thanks you, too!





From the Garden Muse exhibit: Respite

13 03 2012

Canada Violet (Viola canadensis), photographed at Green Spring Gardens

My exhibit, Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio, will be on display at the Horticulture Center at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA until April 29, 2012. Visit www.gardenmuseshow.com for more information.

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.





Re-post: Water like satin

11 03 2012

Originally posted May 26, 2009. Sunset begins at Lake Land’Or.

The Lake. To — by Edgar Allan Poe (1827)

In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less—
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around.

But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody—
Then, ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.

Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremendous delight—
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define—
Nor Love—although the Love were thine.

Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining—
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

CanoeLakeLandOr





Save the date and mark your calendars for Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio

30 01 2012

My photography exhibit, titled “Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio,” will be at the Horticulture Center at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. It runs February 28-April 29, 2012, so there’s plenty of time to come see it if you’re in the Virginia/D.C. area or are planning to visit this spring.

My reception is Sunday, April 15. So set aside your taxes (if you’re not already done with them at that point!) and come join me at the reception from 1-3 p.m. for some mingling, appetizers and refreshments.

All images will be for sale and 15% of proceeds will go to Green Spring Gardens. I will be preparing a complete gallery of images from the show in late spring. Framed images and matted-only images will be available for purchase after the show as well. Contact me at dyerdesign@aol.com for sizes and pricing.

The website below was done by my friend and fellow graphic designer, Sonya Mendeke. For more info, visit http://smendeke.com/.

For those of you who live too far to attend but would like a sneak preview
of just some of the images in the show, visit my
 “virtual exhibit” at 




You are cordially invited to Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio

15 01 2012

Mark your calendar! My first exhibit in umpteen years will run from Tuesday, February 28 until Sunday, April 29, 2012. The show will be on the ramp in the Horticulture Center at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. I’ll be hanging the show on the morning of February 27 but I’m making the official start date as February 28. The show will be dismantled on the morning of April 30, so my end date is April 29.

The show reception will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, 2012 in the Horticulture Center. Appetizers and beverages will be prepared by Barbara Kelley of Kelley Hospitality (also known as the Sneeze Guard Heiress).

Artwork will be available for purchase (both matted and framed as well as matted and ready to frame by you!).

I’ll be re-posting this announcement regularly as a reminder to mark your calendars and will include updates and additional information leading up to the big event. If you can’t join me for the reception, you have two months (that’s a lot of days!) to get over to Green Spring Gardens to see the show.

For those of you who don’t live nearby and can’t make it, I’ll be preparing an online “virtual gallery” so you can experience the show from afar, so stay tuned. Thank you to everyone for your support!





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.

ladysmithcollage1





Sedum and Lantana with Bumblebee

28 09 2011

Can you spot the tiny “bonus” bug in this photo? Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Eeek…city folks! Run for your life!

10 08 2011

This isn’t the shot I was going for, mind you. We were driving through the farmlands of the Shenandoah Valley and saw these goats behind the fence and since I think goats are adorable, we stopped to get some photos. As soon as we got out of the car, they scrambled back to the barn, ears a’floppin’! So, I got the tail end of goats instead. Look at that goat looking back (the only one not running yet)—probably thinking, “They look pretty harmless to me and they might have snacks. Why the rush? Waahhhhhh…”

Farm animals galloping…this reminds me of the “one that got away.” Picture this: Spring. 1990-ish. A day trip to Harper’s Ferry, camera gear in tow. Michael and I drive by a truly bucolic scene…a tall sloping hill crowned by a bright red barn with crisp white trim. Black and white cows dotting the landscape, white fence in the foreground. Cornflower blue sky, puffy white clouds, lovely trees, bright green pasture. Idyllic!

“Quick! Pull over!” Michael pulls over and I start setting up the appropriate camera and lens combo from the trunk of the car. He crosses the road to lean over the fence and survey the scene. I hear mooing. My hearing being what it is, I assume it’s a real cow. It is not. I am unaware that it is Michael, sounding remarkably cow-like. What can I say? It’s probably something that only city slickers do when they see a farm animal. An attempt to be a cow whisperer, perhaps?

I start to cross the road to capture what clearly will be the best saleable stock shot of a farm EVER. I get to the fence and there are no cows on the hill. Nary a one. Just an immense field of green. I ask, “Where did they go? Spontaneous combustion?” Michael looks over at me sheepishly (no farm pun intended) and says, “Oooh, sorry. They’re all down here.” The cows, hearing his moo, had galloped (bet you didn’t know they could move that fast) down the hill to the culvert below the fence, where you couldn’t see them unless you were leaning over the fence. “Thanks a lot. You’ve now ruined our future earnings on the best farm stock shot EVER.”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Allium Bulgaricum

26 05 2011

Allium Bulgaricum (Nectaroscordum siculum), photographed at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. This ornamental allium is easy to grow, deer-resistant, and hardy to zone 4. They thrive in sunlight and bloom in May and June. Also known as Mediterranean Bells, Sicilian Honey Lily, Ornamental Onion and Sicilian Garlic; native to the Mediterranean.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Spiderwort

23 05 2011

Spiderwort (Tradescantia), photographed at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Red Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

20 05 2011

I’ve grown the yellow species in my garden for years, but rarely come across this red cultivar. Photographed at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Nope, that’s not a rubber snake!

20 05 2011

A few of my friends (Carmen and Gina, in particular) are so afraid of snakes that I can’t even say the word in front of them. I have been instructed to refer to them as “s’s.” I, on the other hand, have no fear of them—unless, of course, it’s a snake that is: a) bigger than me, b) coming at me, or c) rattling at me.

So Carmen and Gina—Avert your eyes! Avert your eyes! (I suppose I really shouldn’t tell them that a female Black Rat Snake lays about 12-20 eggs in early summer!)

I was walking down a trail near the visitor’s center at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens this afternoon and glanced over at a bank of shrubs and immediately saw this little critter—a Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta). I’ve seen plenty of snakes in my lifetime, but I’ve never seen one sunning itself on a shrub, so I thought at first it was a rubber snake some kid left there. Nope—he was the real deal, and he didn’t seem to mind being my subject for several frames. He was no bigger than one inch around, but can grow up to eight feet long—making it the largest snake in Virginia. In my research, I learned that they are excellent climbers and competent swimmers. I already knew that they were non-venomous.

And regarding snakes—I have a huge pet peeve when people automatically want to kill any snake, regardless of how tiny it is or what type it is. If it’s not attacking you or the family pet—why kill it? If I found one in my home, I would capture it (taking extra care if I couldn’t identify it and didn’t know if it was venomous or not) and release it into the wild. If I couldn’t capture it myself or it was a venomous or particularly aggressive species, I would get outside help—but not from someone who would exterminate it. What can I say? I’m a self-appointed steward to all animals!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Ornithogalum Magnum (crown)

20 05 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Ornithogalum Magnum (closeup)

20 05 2011

Ornithogalum Magnum is a perennial plant native to southern Europe and southern Africa. Belonging to the family Hyacinthaceae, it is a member of the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ family. Grown from bulbs, they bloom in late spring into June. The stalks can reach 24″ high with dozens of perfectly spaced white flowers that open as they circle from the bottom of the stem up to the crown. Photographed at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.





Star of Persia (Allium christophe)

19 05 2011

Earlier this month I photographed this plant just as it was beginning to bloom, which is a far cry from the “visually busy” bloom I photographed today. Check out this plant in early bud stage on my previous post here. Aided by my macro lens today, I could see scores of tiny bugs navigating the interior stems—making it a veritable insect superhighway!

Star of Persia (Allium Christophe) plants grow 18-24 inches tall and sport a globe-shaped flower approximately 10 inches in diameter with clusters of amethyst-hued star-shaped blooms. The bulbs are hardy in zone 4 to 9 and after the blooms are spent, the ‘dead heads’ make a great architectural element in the garden. The bulbs are planted in the fall and bloom in late spring to early summer.

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






European Bearded Iris (Iris variegata)

19 05 2011

Iris variegata (native to central and southeastern Europe); photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Milk Thistle

19 05 2011

Milk Thistle or Blessed Thistle (Silybum marianum) is flowering plant in the daisy family (Asteraceae), although the blooms bear no resemblance whatsoever to daisies! The name is derived from the leaves, which are mottled with white splashes and contain a milky sap. The leaves of this particular species are variegated, so it is also known as Variegated Thistle. The plant has medicinal properties, health benefit claims, and has been used for food. Learn more about this plant here.

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Love-in-a-Mist

19 05 2011

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) is a beautiful Victorian garden annual blooming in soft shades of blue, pink, white, and lavender. Because its fern-like leaves look similar to fennel, it has also been called fennel flower. This annual herbaceous plant is in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), readily self-seeds, and is common in old-fashioned cottage gardens. It grows in full sun to partial shade and blooms from late spring through fall. Nigella is short-lived, so for continuous bloom, repeat sowing every four weeks. You can cut and deadhead this plant to keep it flowering longer.

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Foxglove (Digitalis)

19 05 2011

As a biennial, Foxglove plants will only flower every other year. Biennials need more than one season to complete their growing and seed-producing cycle.

This plant is as poisonous as it is beautiful. The entire plant is toxic (roots, sap, flowers, seeds and leaves). The leaves of the upper stem are particularly potent—just a nibble is enough to cause death. I read that some people have been poisoned simply from inhaling the spores exuded by the seed pods that form in the fall. As much as I love the stately blooms, I wouldn’t plant it in my garden. It’s highly toxic to people and pets—and just brushing up against it can cause hives. Yes, many plants have some level of toxicity—but this is one that you really need to learn more about. I’m happy to just photograph it in public gardens (and keep my distance)!

Learn more about this plant, including details on its toxicity, here. Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





‘Butter and Sugar’ Siberian Iris

19 05 2011

Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica) ‘Butter and Sugar’—don’t you just love that name? Makes me hungry for sugared toast! Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Japanese Bleeding Heart

19 05 2011

Japanese Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is a perennial that prefers partial sun to full shade. A good plant for naturalizing, it works well in woodland settings and should be divided every three years. Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Yellow Wild Indigo ‘Screaming Yellow’

19 05 2011

Yellow Wild Indigo ‘Screaming Yellow’ (Baptisia sphaerocarpa), sometimes called Horsefly-weed, is native to the south central U.S. This smooth, bushy perennial has elongated clusters of yellow pea-shaped flowers that bloom from May to September. Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Tall Bearded Iris ‘Indian Chief’

14 05 2011

I’m pretty confident in my identification of these flowers after seeing this one here. I photographed these beauties in a garden located between the original Vienna Library, which is now a museum (circa 1897, relocated to its current location in 1970) and the Freeman House Store & Museum in Vienna, VA. The Freeman House has served as a residence, store, Civil War hospital, railroad station, post office and fire department, and is now a museum and general store. The little L-shaped garden was ablaze in color with Bearded Iris, Poppy, Salvia and Foxglove blooms. The overcast and slightly drizzly weather made for perfect photographic conditions—saturated color and glorious raindrops on petals!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Re-post: After a spring rain

6 05 2011

Originally posted 5/8/2009

Photos taken this morning at Green Spring Gardens, just after the morning downpour. This time I was prepared—I brought a large trash bag to sit on. Unfortunately, when one sits on a slope to photograph a flower, one will soon find one’s behind sliding off the edge of the plastic and one’s pants would soon absorb the surrounding mud and water. I speak from experience. Ah, well. No pain, no beautiful flower shots, eh?

A Spring Rain by Raymond A. Foss

The world is wet today
luxurious, damp, drenched
drops hug the leaves,
anoint the still budded lilac blossoms
before their blooming
rich purple and plum
made richer by their watery skin
New leaves under the weight
droplets heavy, hanging
bowing the white pine needles
undersides exposed to drink
drink in the morning
hushed in the rain
temperature near the dewpoint
sprouts of just planted flowers
eager from the parched soil
new puddles bloom too
on the ground, the driveway
collect and gather
without the smell of summer rain yet
tears splash and spread
silent shimmers, heralds, messengers
in the spring rain

__________________________________________________________

I came across the above poem and it was perfect for this posting. I looked at the name and wondered why it looked so familiar. Apparently I’m drawn to this man’s nature- and garden-inspired poetry because I published (with his permission) another of his poems on my blog in August 2007. His poem was a great accompaniment for my posting about harvesting Concord grapes in our backyard garden. Click here for that post and Raymond’s beautiful poem, Smell of Autumn. I most recently posted his poem, Chartreuse, on my blog in April. Click here for that post. Raymond has written more than 11,000 poems to date and all of them can be found here. Click on “Poems” beneath his photo. Raymond’s blog can be found here.

Thank you for letting me share your poetry on my blog, Raymond. If you ever want to publish a book of your poetry, give me a shout—I would love to design it for you!

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

GreenSpringCollage





Star of Persia (Allium christophe)

3 05 2011

I photographed this Star of Persia (Allium christophe) at Green Spring Gardens this afternoon. These plants grow 18-24 inches tall and sport a globe-shaped flower approximately 10 inches in diameter with clusters of amethyst-hued star-shaped blooms. The bulbs are hardy in zone 4 to 9 and after the blooms are spent, the ‘dead heads’ make a great architectural element in the garden. The bulbs are planted in the fall and bloom in late spring to early summer.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Rhododendron

26 04 2011

The name ‘Rhododendron’ is derived from Greek—rhódon (rose) and déndron (tree). This genus has over 1000 species of woody plants and includes azaleas. Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Columbine

26 04 2011

Columbine (Aquilegia), photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Meadow Rue

26 04 2011

Meadow Rue (Thalictrum ichangense), photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Golden blooms

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia (tree identification unknown)

Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Geranium Daffodil (Narcissus ‘Geranium’)

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





‘Jack Frost’ Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla)

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hellebore bloom

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Afternoon sun on Summer Snowflakes

7 04 2011

Photographed at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia

Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Tulip trio

22 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Fringed Tulips

22 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blushing

21 03 2011

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Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery here.





Pink Tulip

21 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Grape Hyacinth

21 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Spring glow

21 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Check out my newly-updated Zenfolio botanical gallery (with almost 600 photos!) here.





Triumph Tulip ‘Negrita’

21 03 2011

Can you tell how enamored I am with this beautiful flower?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


 





Spring has sprung!

21 03 2011

Yesterday was officially the first day of spring, so it was fitting that my friend Karen and I make a stop at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden while we were out at her lakehouse in Lake Land ‘Or. The botanical garden is just 30 minutes away. This photograph was made in the conservatory, which was just a jumble of spring color.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Dendrobium Orchid

21 03 2011

I photographed this jewel-toned Dendrobium Orchid at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Orchids galore! conservatory exhibit. The exhibit features more than 2,000 orchids, including 500 museum quality specimens. The exhibit kicks off the Garden’s annual spring celebration, A Million Blooms. The Dendrobium genus of orchids contains about 1,200 species and was established by Olof Swartz in 1799. The name is derived from the Greek dendron (tree) and bios (life), meaning “one who lives on trees.”

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.





Pink sheep

21 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Triumph Tulip ‘Negrita’

21 03 2011

Triumph tulips result from crossings between varieties of short-stemmed Early tulips and long-stemmed Darwin tulips. They are hardy in Zones 3-8 and make excellent potted plants. They require full sun and bloom in mid-spring. I photographed this beautiful bloom against a backdrop of bright yellow daffodils in the conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)

21 03 2011

I think this specimen could be Muscari ‘Valerie Finnis’ or Muscari azureum. Anyone care to confirm? I photographed this tiny flower at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond this afternoon. More little spring beauties to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Afternoon at Lake Land’Or

19 02 2011

Yesterday Karen and I could hardly believe it was still just February—the temperature was almost 70 degrees when we were at her lakehouse at Lake Land’Or. I spent considerable time trying to entice the ducks to come to the dock so I could photograph them up close—to no avail. So, I had to be content with capturing lovely abstract tree and water reflections instead. We enjoyed the weather while it lasted—today is incredibly windy and in the 50s.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.