There are many photos taken of the gardens here. They are all taken with the auto settings on macro. If we knew how to adjust the settings manually, there would not be the need for the hundreds of discarded shots.
Above is Rosa ‘About Face’One lesson learned about the whole process is to pay heed to the light, the position of the sun in the sky. Cloudy, windless days are ideal but our favorite lighting condition is the earliest possible morning sun. The play of light and shadow intrigues.The striping of brightness on this white flower of Dianthus ‘Little Boy Blue’ adds interest to the form and texture of a solid white bloom with red interior circle that is difficult to capture.The user manual for the new camera, the Canon Powershot SX1 IS has detailed information about manual settings to compensate for over and under exposure due to lighting conditions. I am ashamed to admit that I do not want to fiddle with learning how to do that. So the old camera, the Canon Powershot A720 IS is grabbed everytime we happen to notice the lighting to our liking for garden photoshoots.
Above is Chinese Trumpet Lilium ‘Regale’ in bud backed by Nasella tenuissima in the shed bed.There are classes somewhere out there that could teach me the ins and outs of the new camera. But being a stubborn Taurus and a bit lazy, the mystery of the SX1 will be discovered by the standard method of operation here, trial and error. Time will be spent reading the user manual, we have already done quite a bit of that. More time in the field is needed. But in the meantime, the flowers are budding, blooming and fading. That cycle needs recording now, not later. So the trusty A720, point and shoot will be used for the sake of historical accuracy.
Above is Salvia greggii ‘Wild Thing’, I think, with Erysimum ‘Citron Orange’ smudged in the background.As in art, we don’t know much about it, but we know what we like. I know that sliver of white should not be in this shot, but I like it anyway. I like the gravel path, the arbor in the background, the copper bowl birdbath on the cylindrical flue tile. The groundcover along the rock edge is Achillea tomentosa ‘King Edward’, Japanese blood grass, Imperata cylindrical is reddening.Allium christophii, grown from collected seed sown at least five years ago, is now blooming size. The largest seedlings have been placed at the end of the veggie bed for viewing pleasure. Many photos have been taken of these babies, with less than stellar results. Getting the light right is key. Festuca glauca and Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’ are in the background.In the beginnings of blogging, shots were cropped heavily. No longer. More often than not the photos are shown as taken, with distractions like the garage deck or the chair link fence visible, the big picture, so to speak.
Assorted sedums in the abandoned wheelborrow found on the property above. The metal star came from a shop in Charleston, South Carolina long ago.The goal is to show the garden as if the reader were right here beside me, getting the tour with notes of interest pointed out. Warts and all, like the fake stone planter with the five new dahlia roots within. The plan is to take this whole planter into the garage after the frost zaps the dahlia foliage to dry out and rest over the winter. No digging required. The next year we will bring it into the greenhouse, topdress with something good, like the worm castings we bought bagged at our favorite local nursery Mouse Creek. After all danger of frost it will be returned to this same location. That is the plan anyway. This is off topic, but thought it worth mentioning here.
Above is Papaver somniferum.Although our property is smallish, a little less than a quarter of an acre is the latest estimate, it may appear larger in the photos. The elevation allows for much more to be viewed from one spot giving the illusion of a larger space. Looking down from above, we are actually higher than the rooftops on the knot garden level. The sun rises on the side where the tall pine trees tower, the arbor stands guard and the wildflower corner wishes for more shade. Slowly the light reaches the corner where the original property line meets the added two lots of the garage. The multi trunk silver maple straddles the old dividing line. In our efforts to present the garden as it really exists in the most attractive way possible, different points of view are tried. Like sticking the camera through the rungs of the deck railing to include the Clematis ‘Betty Corning’ now blooming along with the bright spots of Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’. The steps that used to lead down to the house next door that was demolished to build the garage remain. We love the age they add to the garden, in addition to a way up to the top.This post will end with a helpful tip that has been learned from experience for taking photos of your own gardens, try to stand in a shadow while aiming at something in the sunlight. A tree trunk far away, a deck post, even crouching to catch the shadow of a shrub or tall perennial will help with the quality of the photo. Don’t ask for an explanation, for we have no idea why it works. The idea is to offer a monthly feature of light conditions with gleanings of photo tips we have stumbled across. We begin with the merry month of May.
Above is Zinnia ‘Magellen Coral’
(All photos were taken with the old camera, the Canon Powershot A720 IS)
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. I am now gardening in USDA Zone 7a east Tennessee. From 2000 to 2014 I was gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about my gardens since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Visit The Hop Ice Cream Cafe When In Asheville, NC
640 Merrimon Ave.
or The Hop West
721 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina
Older Posts Of Interest:
The story of the day a throng of cedar waxwings descended upon the garden, shown in the header image. (2009)
An awkward title that explains about making those very tall asters, mums and others shorter by cutting them down by half in May. Now is the time! (2011)
A book inspires the growing of lilies from seed. (2009)
How ten lily bulbs became hundreds. (2010)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
A history of all of the faire gardens and a couple of choice tidbits about me. (2009)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
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