Monday, June 22, 2009

The Plant-Geek and the Camera....

I recently stole an idea from a family member & made the mid-year resolution to spend one afternoon (1-2 hours) a week with my camera **Thanks Sandy!!**. Sounds easy, but turns out it's harder than I expected. There's always so much to do..... blah, blah, blah....

This week I believe I have found the key to accomplishing this task. For you see, I spend many of my Monday mornings in a pensive or broody mood. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's just because it's Monday... Maybe it's because my weekends are pretty hairy... Maybe it's because it's my first piece of solitude in a good couple of days... Whatever the reason, it's my typical mood for a good couple of hours. Today it occurred to me to try and lift the mood by doing something just for me for a couple of hours. Then, of course, what to do...... what to do......

AAHH HHAAHH!!!! I'll go play with my camera!!!!! YAY! My husband gave me an incredible camera for Christmas last year. It's an Olympus E-510. It's this cool little D-SLR. To be honest, I'm still learning how to use the damn thing! Besides taking pictures of my kids, my favorite thing to do with it is to play with the macro-photo settings and take plant geek pictures. I even bought a set of Promaster magnifying filters for it.

Here are a few of the pictures that I took today. I'll include what type of flower they are and any goofy things I know about them.....

This first one's a Hollyhock, no surprise there. I know, I know it's such an old fuddy duddy in the horticulture world. But I just love these flowers. They're big and bold, they feed pollinators prolifically, they're so tropical feeling and they plant themselves. I do rip out a lot of seedlings of these little guys every year, but I don't mind that! I get to be surprised this time of year when the buds start to open and I get to see what colors they've been hiding. For you see, my hollyhocks are heirloom varieties and open pollinate. I started with three colors: white, pastel pink and a really dark purple/black. This year so far I've been treated to a white and a magenta pink. Last year I had a couple of peach ones and a really red one. Stunning.

This second one is bright, bright, bright, bright, bright. It's a Moonbeam Yarrow. Yarrow is native for us, as many of you might know. But if you put it in your flower beds it will often take over and crowd out many other plants. This is a nice compromise. This hybrid yarrow hasn't moved from it's original spot in my yard. The foliage is bigger and gray-er and the flowers are lemon yellow. It's my intention to move a couple of dark purple flowering salvias over here this fall. I think that will just be beautiful!! Yarrow is fantastic for that hot, hot, hot space that you don't really want to water much. Also, deer and other wildlife don't eat it. Hardy everywhere!!

I HEART Columbine! Don't you? We used to eat the native variety of this species when we were kids. I have the greatest memories of my sister and I sucking out the little honey ends in the mountains of Atlanta (ID). This one seeds a little, but not bad. It prefers a mostly sunny position with some afternoon shade. The afternoon shade is what will give you a prolific blooming season. Too much shade, though, and it will grow too tall and fall over when the flowers start to appear. If anyone has a yellow/red native one or a yellow or blue columbine, I have a couple extra that I would swap!!

I just love taking pictures. Hopefully I'll be able to keep this weekly thing going & then I can show you the silly things I think are important! ;)

*jenn ;)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jenn....
    Love the flowers. Just wondering about the Hollyhocks..... did Grandma ever teach you how to make dolls out of them? Also I remember Grandma having Columbines in her yard as well!

    Great blog :D