Unrelated Garden Elements

There comes a time when the writer hits a wall. Some call it writer’s block. I don’t consider myself a writer really, or certainly not a photographer. I am a gardener first and foremost, with a digital camera, a computer and just enough technical knowledge to blog. Luckily, none of those things requires mastery, anyone can do it if they so desire and have the time.

There are no deadlines for the blog other than those self imposed. The subject matter is also totally up to our discretion, but we like to keep it garden related. It always begins with a skip, hop and jump about the garden here or on road trips to other gardens, inspired by the images captured on pixels. A bubble full of ideas will pop inside the cerebral cortex while gazing at the shots loaded onto the laptop. Usually.

But not always.

Creativity is an unpredictable thing, misunderstood and never fully comprehended. I believe that to be a good thing, adding to the mystery. It is the allure of the unknown, that which cannot be reduced to formulas, numerical progressions, it cannot be programmed to be duplicated by artificial intelligence.

Spontaneous ideas happen without interference, like the attractive branching on a Japanese Maple.

Informed, artful pruning can only take you so far, the results vary with the whims of nature. Where the branches decide to sprout, and in which direction, the coloration of the leaves and how many there will be are all out of human control. The pathways in our minds are similarly unrestrained, even with years of study of the craft. Or none.

The words flow from fingertips without forethought, reason or theme. Photos are admired for their simplicity, whether they pertain to the words of the captions or not. They have their own story to tell, unique to each individual who gazes upon them. It is good.

The photos:

1. Mockingbird on the power line taken from over 100 feet away using the zoom. I love his quizzical head tilting.
2. A female Eastern box turtle under the purple peach tree, peeking from behind the lily stalks.
3. The Gravel Garden on color accent camera mode, the chosen color was orange. Artemisia schmidtiana and Dianthus featured.
4. Volunteer Ipomoea quamoclit, Cypress Vine.
5. Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Garnet’.
6. Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’.
7. Various potted Coleus with A. ‘Crimson Queen’ in background.


This entry was posted in Musings, wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Unrelated Garden Elements

  1. Darla says:

    Oh Ms. Frances, these photos are very pretty. Your words read like a writer to me, your photographs like a photographer and most certainly your gardens reflect the passion you have for gardening.

    Thank you dear Darla. This post seems a little too introspective, when it is the outer world of the garden that deserves the attention. One thing I have learned, trying to compose a post when tired is not a good thing. I do so appreciate your supportive comment, more than you know. πŸ™‚

  2. I always enjoy your words and photographs,today is no exception, so please keep them coming!

    Hi Janet, thank you. I simply ran out of steam for this post, is my only excuse. Thanks for the cheering support. Sometimes I need that. πŸ™‚

  3. Valerie says:

    Oh I hear you loud and clear Frances. It is sometimes difficult to come up with something new and witty. Maybe it is the time of year. The flowers themselves are finishing up and so nothing new and shiny to show off.

    Hi Valerie, thanks for coming by. I thought it would never happen, except maybe in the depths of winter when it is sometimes too cold to go outside. Not now, there is tons going on out there with the leaves getting ready to change colors and the light backlighting the hillside. It is me, I am tired. Need to get energized!!!!

  4. gittan says:

    Frances, I have to agree with Darla about everything she sayes up above. Something that really surprises me in this post is that our maples looks green in those pictures… Do they turn green in fall? Mine doesn’t! Dubbel Kram gittan

    Dear Gittan, thanks, so nice to see you. The maples turn greenish, not really green but not as red as spring and fall, during summer. Maybe it is the heat. They will red up very nicely when the day length shortens and the cold creeps in. The new leaves in spring are also jewel toned.
    Kram kram kram,

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I hear ya Frances. I have been in a writing funk since last winter. Ha… Will it ever end?? Busy in the garden is good though. Happy Gardening.

    Thanks Lisa. I am sorry you are in a funk for so long! Being in the garden is certainly a tonic for a tired mind. I just came in from some serious weeding and feel better already. And the garden says thank you. πŸ™‚

  6. barbarapc says:

    When I started to read your post I thought, “Frances sounds a little tired….” I’d say it’s a day to soak up some garden goodness, a little light and have some tea and toast with a good book on a comfy chair. Afterall 8:30 is too early for gin.

    Hi Barbara, thanks for that, it gave me a good laugh! Garden goodness is exactly what was needed. I am still tired, but one section weeded gives me a smile when I look at it. The garden is potent medicine, I needed it! πŸ™‚

  7. commonweeder says:

    Creativity is unpredicatable, and all of our creations are not equally lovely, in the garden or on the page, but all we can do is keep aware, keep thinking, and keep creating – and see what happens.

    Hi Pat, thanks for the cheerup and wise words. You are so right. Creativity cannot be pushed along, it just has to occur. For me, being tired really puts a damper on new ideas and insights. Doing some light weeding on a cool fall morning was just what the doctor ordered. πŸ™‚

  8. Frances, your photos are always wonderful! Great picture of a mockingbird! I rarely see one here in SD but grew up with them in California. I always loved them.

    Hi Gloria, thanks, so nice to see you here. We are having a lot of mockingbird activity here right now. I don’t know where they have been all summer, but they are berry picking from the pyracanthas and others like crazy. So fun to watch them. I didn’t realize they were not in SD. Could it be too cold there?

  9. chen says:

    As always, your writing and photos flow naturally and are so enjoyable. Your maples are structured well (has that ‘timeless look’). Hope your weather is good enough this year to give them a nice fall colour.

    Hi Chen, thank you for those kind words, you are very sweet. The first maple shown is my favorite, the branching seems just right. The next one I have struggled with and just can’t seem to get it going in the right direction. I do hope the fall color is good. It usually is brilliant red after a few frosts. πŸ™‚

  10. dirtynailz says:

    I hear you, Francis.
    I do love that mockingbird, though! Coincidentally, this has been a “mockingbird morning” at my house. The hatch year birds are zipping around and rooting in the planter on my deck. I saved a fledgling that was trapped in a neighbor’s screened porch this summer. Maybe it’s coming around to say thanks.

    Thanks Dirtynailz. I love that you rescued the little mockingbird. They have so much personality, don’t they? I am sure it is thankful to you. πŸ™‚

  11. Victoria says:

    You may think you’ve run out of steam, Frances, but it sounds to me as if you’re firing on all cylinders as usual. This post is really all about why we blog: because we observe. And having observed, we want to explore those observations – analyse them visually, play about with them, see if they are worth filing away for future reference. I think you should retitle it “Portrait of a gardening brain at work” xxxooo

    Hi Victoria, thank you for that picker upper, I do appreciate your kind words. I feel as though the title of the post could be “Portrait of a gardening brain that won’t work!”, but am cheered by your sweetness. πŸ™‚

  12. Patsi says:

    Unpredictable is a good thing.
    The shot with the turtle says it all.

    Hi Patsi, thanks, so nice to see you here. I see the turtles all the time now, they don’t even pull into their shells when I get down close with the camera. The encounters are unpredictable and always make me happy. πŸ™‚

  13. While so much of our lives is structured and we most always feel pressured to perform or accomplish, times of whimsical, unstructured, and when “words flow from fingertips without forethought” are as necessary and therapeutic to our sanity as dreaming. And it can be just as necessary to those who read it. I really did enjoy stumbling on this.


    Hi Steve, thanks and welcome. What you say is so true. Modern life has pressures of all sorts, sometimes it feels good to just let things fall where they may. I am glad you enjoyed your visit here. Do come again! πŸ™‚

  14. Frances add writer to that list of attributes as despite being tired you have a gift with words. BTW I think you’re a great photographer too πŸ™‚

    You are very sweet, Rosie, thank you for those kind words. Being a blogger only, not a paid writer does give me a lot of flexibility. Sometimes I think about the blogging, “Who do you think you are, giving advice and such”. I do appreciate your opinion of my photos, too, even though I am a point and shoot on auto kind of photographer. I got lucky when buying the Canon A720IS, it makes me look like I know what I am doing. πŸ™‚

  15. Being a ‘little tired’, made you introspective, made this post sparkle. Different. We make our rules when we blog. If you need time off, Go play in the Garden Frances ;>)

    Hi Diana, thanks so much. I am somewhat more energized now, after some quality garden time. It is amazing how refreshing work can be when it is something you love so much. I appreciate your kind words very much. πŸ™‚

  16. Carol says:

    I enjoyed walking through your garden, “hearing” your random thoughts on creativity. It was fun.

    Hi Carol, thanks for joining me. I was a bit scattered today and needed the company! πŸ™‚

  17. Gillian says:

    Walking through your garden is such fun and I am glad you still do it even if you dont have an idea of where it will go – or a “theme” to follow. Isnt that what a walk in the garden is?, we walk and the garden talks to us!

    Hi Gillian, thanks and welcome. I am so glad you walked along with my during this mental lapse! The garden is certainly the most potent of medicines, it cures what ails us. πŸ™‚

  18. Joey says:

    A lovely post on random thoughts, dear Frances. Happy October gardening πŸ™‚

    Hi Joey, thanks so much. We welcome October with open arms and mind! πŸ™‚

  19. Nothing like some serious weeding to make us feel better… however I’m resisting the urge. I’m trying to convince myself that I like those weeds that somehow have escaped my grasp. But the reality is that I am also too tired and it is still too hot in my gardens. Maybe it’s good that summer is coming to and end. And may I add that your Writers block had some mighty fine words in there, my dear.

    Hi Meredehuit, thanks so much for those kind words of encouragement. I needed that! I have tried to be kind to the weeds all summer, but now that it has cooled some, certain ones have been scheduled for the chopping block! I hope you get some cooler weather soon, it really perks up our spirits. πŸ™‚

  20. Lately I’ve been sort of feeling like the same images and thoughts come to mind over and over again. I walk around the garden and it seems like the same flowers are blooming at this time that were at this season last year, the blog is repetitive. I just don’t feel that inspired.

    I walk Ruby and amazing ideas pop into my head but I can’t keep them until I get back to the computer. . .

    I think that probably the people who come to my blog are bored by it all. . .

    I think this is a malaise that visits all of us at times. Even so, I always find something interesting and beautiful when I come here. So possibly you need a little rest and some nice tea and things will be better again.

    Maybe I should take a bit of my own medicine. . .

    Hi Hands, thanks for the suggestions and sweet words. It does sound like you need to follow it as well. It seems that blog reading and writing has slacked off in my world. Perhaps winter will get it back up to speed, since the gardening will become less and less but never nil! Isn’t that the way with those brilliant ideas? I have thought of a little recorder of some sort to speak into that catch them before they disappear! πŸ™‚

  21. Beautiful Frances! The creative process is such a mystery. It keeps us so alive and thriving. Lovely post! ;>)

    Hi Carol, thank you. You are so right about the process, no one can figure out how to duplicate it, thank goodness for that! πŸ™‚

  22. Rose says:

    The Japanese maple is so beautiful, growing as it wishes rather than being ordered to a certain way by the gardener. Glad you posted all these lovely photos, Frances! Good thing blogging is free of deadlines and rules–I’ve been trying to post for two days but discovered I’m out of photo space. Waiting for Google to realize I’ve purchased more…a human would have figured that out by now:)

    Hi Rose, thanks. The freedom to do what we please when we please how we please is what makes blogging such a good creative outlet. About that photo space, if you shrink your photos, they will appear the same but the space will hardly be used at all. The trade off is that they cannot be clicked to enlarge. I have barely used any space at all since I began shrinking mine two years ago, and I post a lot of pictures, big ones too.

  23. I love spontaneous and some of the best things happen when they were unplanned.

    Hi Heather, thanks for visiting. You are so right, surprises and serendipity make life fun! πŸ™‚

  24. skeeter says:

    For someone with Writers Block, you pulled off a good post girl πŸ™‚ It is amazing how we dont have anything in mind but once looking at a few pictures, we have an entire story to tell. And yes, sometimes the pictures say it all. Have good day!

    Hi Skeeter, thank for that, so nice to see you here. I normally can look at the photos and see a story, choosing the ones the best tell the tale. Lack of photos, lack of motivation, just plain lack had me grasping for words. I appreciate your kind support! You too have a wonderful week as fall comes around! πŸ™‚

  25. Steve says:

    Hey, Frances, kick back, drink a Mai Tai and take that unheard-of week off. Walk in the country without your camera. I so identify with what you’re saying about the writer block. It happens to anyone and everyone. The difference in what you have and others who also cry about their dilemma is that you have a body of accomplishment it might be time to enjoy. I suggest you do something really stupid. Yeah. I know that will work!

    Hi Steve, thanks for those good suggestions. I did go out into the garden without the camera and did some detailed weeding, violets in the dianthus, a very tricky business to remove. Not thinking about a story, or anything else beyond getting each bulblet of those dadburn violets helped my get in a better frame of mind. As for the older posts, I do look at them often. There are quite a few! πŸ™‚

  26. RobinL says:

    Frances, you are quite introspective today! Sometimes our garden blogs will be a random collection of photos, with no theme, and that’s okay too.

    Hi Robin, thanks for the support, so nice to see you here. I should have thought of that, but my brain was taking a siesta! πŸ™‚

  27. You can always let the photos do the talking as it’s less to do with the camera and more who’s behind it. A visual narrative.

    Thaks Rob. Why didn’t I think to just do Wordless Wednesday? Oh, right, it involved thinking, something I was incapable of that day. I am better now after a little R and R in the garden. πŸ™‚

Comments are closed.