Saturday, 17 August 2013

One, Two, Three, Four ... Poppies

I have a small raised bed underneath an apple tree at the bottom of my garden. I use it for courgettes an cucumbers but this year we had a very bad and very a late spring, and consequently my plants for this position did not get a very good start.In fact I ended up with one courgette and no cucumber plants. Even now in August, I am not sure I am going to get any produce from this plot.

However, because I did not weed it as my crops were not growing I have had a great display of poppies and violas. I usually put the old compost from my flower baskets on this plot as soil conditioner, with the output from my compost bin, this makes a great growing medium. The violas definitely came from self seeded plants from the baskets but where the poppies came from I simply don't know. They were however a wonderful, delicate shade of mauve.

As ever, I was taking pictures with my digital camera of the flowers in the garden and the largest poppy kept on flowering. I took a photo of the first bloom on the plant; then a second; a third and finally caught the fourth in bud. I thought this made an interesting series and so I am sharing it with you here.

The photos are fair but not great, the shade from the apple tree was a problem for my camera. Perhaps it could have been used better (a poor workman blames his tools, I know) but even after all this time I still use it on the auto setting. Perhaps I should experiment?

Answers on a postcard please!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Springtime Garden Flowers

A simple and straight forward title. I really enjoy pottering in the garden (at least when the sun is shining) and what's more this provides me with an endless range of subjects for my lens during the year. In spring and summer particularly of course we have the colour of the flowers which line the borders in abundance.

Although we are now in high summer and thinking about holidays by the sea, I am taking the opportunity to show off a few of my spring flowers. They herald the coming of the new year and the fact that the holiday season (still thinking about it!) will soon be upon us. So here they are, My springtime favaourite - or at least a few of them.

Shrubs and perennials are what I mainly grow in my garden, low maintenence plants which just require a quick pruning or division to propagate new individual plants. Weeding becomes the only real work.

To start with one of a beautifully coloured hellebore,
I had this as a "moveable" plant at first. I grew it in a
large pot. But I left it in one place too long and the roots
must have decided that they liked the ground and now it is 
a permanent fixture.

Now this is a real beauty, Forsythia.
Brilliant yellow flowers in early spring
without being hidden by leaves which come 
after the blossom. And cuttings are so easy.
One year I used some pruned sticks as supports 
for my peas after they had been lying around for 
a long time. They actually started growing and 
sprouted new leaves - I was amazed, life after death!

A Japanese Quince, unfortunately not an edible variety.
Each year the bush is filled with these tight little red 
blooms, before forming hard fruits.

You may not immediately ecognise this as a Magnolia,
but it is a variety called Magnolia Stellata. Or the Star 
Magnolia because of the shape of its flowers. A very 
welcome early flowering shrub, a little short lived but
beautiful flowers when they are on the plant.

Just to be different, this Christmas cactus (aka Easter cactus, 
depending on the weather?) was on my mom-in-laws kitchen
windowsill for many years. As she passed away recently we
gave it a home and it is still flowering away happily in our kitchen.

I will be posting a few more photos of the flowers in my garden and maybe even some of the photomanipulations which I have created using them. Its all great fun. And look out for some of the wild life in the garden coming up. Birds, amphibians (frogs and toads) and insects including some beautiful butterflies.

Keep taking those photographs and remember - HAVE FUN