The changing of the angle of the sun as the days pass from spring to summer cannot be ignored. This is the time of year that certain gardeners, whilst trying to capture the true beauty of the flowers outside begin to suspect there is something wrong with the camera. The colors aren’t true, the image is not as clear as in early spring. Why can’t the way the garden really looks be captured? Some flowers, such as the daylilies, do pose prettily for their portraits, as the case of Golden Globes above, backed by purple Monarda didyma ‘Blue Stocking’. Even the earliest rays of the sun peeking over the eastern property line as they fall upon petals and leaves are too harsh for the old camera, the Canon Powershot A720 IS to do its best work. Oakleaf hydrangea ‘Alison’ is turning tawny pink as the season shifts. Only able to point and shoot is a big drawback at this time of year. And there was that tumble down the daylily hill with camera in hand as the sheepskin lined flip flop could not hold a sliding foot on the steep embankment as yet one more variety needed recording for posterity. The hand held the mini tripod tightly that is screwed to the bottom of the camera, but there was a hard landing with the same hand breaking the fall. Hmmm, that might explain the lack of blooms on Brocaded Gown, now that the thought of the exact spot of the near disaster is remembered. It might also explain the camera not working to expectations, or it could be the light. Maybe it is time to get the new camera, the Canon Powershot sx1 out of the box. Or not. There is no wind as the dawn breaks. The sky is blue, or is it? Are there particles in the air that affect the camera’s eye? Ozone alerts have been issued for the very young and the elderly recently. My own breathing has been labored if long periods are spend out of doors, especially if the steep hillside has to be climbed several times. Could it be the Ozone levels compromise that early morning quality of light that has been such a boon to previous image taking expeditions? The yellow cherry tomato sails like a kite with the fruit as ballast high above one’s head as the bright light washes the colors away. Looking through the arbor at the tall pines that demarcate the eastern edge of our land, the paintbrush of light colors the boughs with a golden tint. The area of the garden that has proven to be the most challenging to capture is the black garden. The dark leaves of the purple leaf birch, mid left in the image, are nearly invisible to the camera even in the softest light of earliest morn. Later as the sun rises higher these same dark leaves have vanished completely. The idea of the black garden seemed interesting at its time of inception, a replacement for the constantly dying lavenders that were supposed to be reminiscent of Provence. The introduction of red flowers, like the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ have helped define the space. Moving to the other edge of the property by the pond, the light is seen hitting the bench and new granite lantern. This is a dark and shady spot when the surrounding trees have leafed out. The shade has extended steadily as the once tiny birches and dogwoods have grown into gangly teenagers. Is fall just around the corner? The turning leaf on the newest witch hazel, Hamamelis intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ seems to suggest just that. In fact, leaves are falling on certain water sensitive trees like the river birches and Yoshino cherry tree already. This has happened the last two years in midsummer as the lack of rainfall stresses our area. Dahlia ‘Night Queen’ flowers face the rising sun in homage to the life giving rays. The tree limbs seen above the darkness of the Emerald Arborvitae hedge are bathed in the new morning yellows as the orb in the sky rises higher. Sun and shadow, light and dark playfully prance across the hardscape as well as the plant life. A section of wrought iron railing salvaged from a renovation job brought to us by offspring Gardoctor bears our favorite motif, acorns and oak leaves. Sweet peas were planted with the intention of fragrant flowers twining the curving metal. That turned out to be a total bust, but the iron wired to the wooden ramp that leads to the garage deck is ornament enough. Ornamental millet, Pennisetum glaucum ‘Jester’ shines with the diamond lighting condition. Another dahlia faces the day bravely. It is not possible to tell which way the flowers are going to point when planting these tubers. Or is it? Do they point to the east to catch the warmth and light?
This is the second installment of About The Light. Click here to read the post for May. It was about this time last year that the health of the camera was questioned as the images seemed less than crisp. That is when we read the owners manual. It may be time, past time if one asks The Financier, to get to know the new camera better. Photo tip of the month: Stand over the subject when taking a photo to cast a shadow with your body to offset the blaring midday sun’s light.
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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