Did You Ever Notice…

Lilium Mrs. R. O. Backhouse

Lilium ‘Mrs. R. O. Backhouse’

Did you ever notice, as you go out into the garden to try to capture an image of something that looks really pretty to the human eye….

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….That the camera sees so much more?

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When the pixels are loaded onto the laptop, it is a much more detailed and fascinating universe out there.

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For example, the difference in not only the petal reflex and petal color, but the fuzzy pollen appearing from once smooth and silky stamens on Lilium martagon x ‘Mrs. R. O. Backhouse’ as the blooms age escaped me. I never noticed that before, but this is only the second year for her growing here. The promise is made right here and now to be more observant. And/or to take more photos.

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Last year there was a lily experiment of sorts, click here to read the story about it. A mixture of the scented asiatics was planted in a raised box behind the shed, to be sorted, dug and replanted in appropriate beds later on after the bloom colors were identified. This red with yellow center batch went into the Black Garden, where reds and oranges help better spotlight the dark foliage and flowers. Or is it the other way around? I never noticed there were freckles, too.

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Backing away, standing in the adjacent Yellow/White Garden, the reds certainly do stand out, especially against the white blooms of Viburnum nudum, written about here.

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Looking down on the seed grown Digitalis parviflora ‘Milk Chocolate’ from five feet above, the reddish hue of the confection cannot be seen. Squatting low for some quick clicking is more revealing.

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It is much better to study the form and colors from the comfort of the lazyboy and the laptop later.

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Backing up a bit, the white Astilbe ssp. that has been divided and spread for over ten years as a good weed suppressing filler under the deciduous azaleas might even steal the chocolate thunder from the foxgloves….

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….Although it might struggle to be noticed with the lilies coming along. This one is Lilium ‘Buff Pixie’, moved from the side of the Daylily Hill where it was being consumed by Hemerocallis foliage. This is a much better venue for it to perform. Need more pixies, obviously.

June 1, 2013 old 024 (2)
The Gravel Garden, story here, is a spot that is good for close up plant inspection when on foot or zooming with the camera while seated in the blue chairs under the golden elderberry. Verbascum chaixii ‘Album’ has managed to stay alive for several years now and the bees delight in filling their saddlebags with the orange pollen, even if the camera thinks the purple stamens are more worthy of its focus.


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19 Responses to Did You Ever Notice…

  1. Carol says:

    I agree, the camera helps us see our flowers so much better. I love the spots on lilies.

    Hi Carol, thanks for your vote of support. While I love all the lilies, those freckles do seem endearing.

  2. Gail says:

    That’s so true that the camera always sees so much more and there’s always a sweet surprise. Your lily experiment has been a beautiful success. xoxogail

    Hi Gail, thanks for visiting. The lily experiment was one of the better successes!

  3. Barbarapc says:

    You know, sometimes I become exasperated with the focus that my automatic digital choses, I see something, the camera sees something else it’s little electronic eye wants to sit on. But you’re quite right, often after you’ve taken the photograph and have the luxury of sitting in a chair to review them, there’s a whole other world you’ve been missing. For me, I’m always amazed by the tiny little creatures that are often front and centre just sitting there waiting for their 15 minutes of fame.

    Hi Barbara, thanks for adding to the conversation. You are so right about those little creatures hiding out in plain sight of the camera lens that we do not see at all. They are on nearly every bloom here, it seems.

  4. Rose says:

    Gorgeous close-ups, Frances! I agree I’m often surprised by little details when I download photos, especially the little insects that I hadn’t even realized were there. Love all your lilies, but that astilbe–wow!

    Hi Rose, thanks. I find the tiny spiders are often hidden in the petals of flowers, so cute! It is going to be a great year for the astilbe, the first since they were divided to one knobby root per hole a few years ago.

  5. Cyndi says:

    Your gardens arae so beautiful and I am learning about my photography too from you. I angle better and try to remove background not wanted in the pictures! They are much better now, thanks to you!
    Smiles, cyndi

    Smiles to you, Cyndi. Thanks for visiting and the kind words. Practice, lots of it, helps with the garden photography. Keep on clicking!

  6. I think you need more of the chocolate foxglove for it to make an impact. And it needs either foliage or flower nearby to echo that flower color, which is very interesting.

    I agree, Kathy. Funny thing is, there were over 20 seedlings planted in that spot, nice sized, too. The first year only one bloomed. The next year a couple more. This year is the most that have ever bloomed at one time. The color is fun, the red astilbe helps pick out the red.

  7. Dee says:

    Faire, your garden makes my heart sing.~~Dee

    Thanks so much, sweet Dee. A singing heart is a good thing.

  8. Your close ups are beautiful! And I agree about what the camera sees that we miss in real life. I like to use my macro lens to capture the texture of petals that appear just as a certain color to the naked eye, but are complex structures of whorls, hairs, bumps, etc. up close. Almost like using a microscope! Again, thanks for sharing your “up close and personals”

    Hi Shenandoah, thanks so much. My newer camera has a poor macro setting, but the zoom can do a decent job with some things. My older camera has a fabulous macro, but it is slowly dying, sad to say. I love the whorls, hairs and bumps, too! Nice phrasing!

  9. Jen Y says:

    I take so many pictures of my garden! It’s like enjoying it all again when I upload them & browse through them.

    My husband has been painstakingly backing up all of our family photos for us & as he plowed through my 100’s of garden photos (I sometimes lazily drop a poeple pic in a garden album when I’m in a hurry) I asked him if he thought I took too many flower pictures. His answer – it’s free basically. It gives both of us a lot of joy to go back through the years & see the changes & we can always buy more memory. :o)

    I agree that seeing them on my desktop shows me things I missed. It pulls my focus in & surrounding distractions fade.

    By the way – I didn’t know there were scented asiatic lilie? I’ve just started adding some to my garden in the last few years. Have you ever done a posted on scented lilies? If you have I’d love to read it. If not – I hope you will!

    I’ve followed you for a long time, love your garden though I rarely post.

    Hi Jen, thanks so much for your loyal readership, I really appreciate you! The garden photos are precious here as well, like being able to go back in the time machine and see how things have grown, or even what is no longer around. I did a scented lily post last year, https://fairegarden.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/sweet-intoxication/.

  10. Lola says:

    So pretty. I agree the camera does pick up what the eye doesn’t see.

    Hi Lola, thanks for visiting.

  11. The joys of playing with the camera… 🙂 Thanks, enjoyed that – as usual!

    Hi Jack, thanks for stopping by, nice to see you.

  12. Lynn Hunt says:

    Love the chocolate foxglove! I use two cameras and sometimes the cheaper one surprises me with a better shot. Also I am perplexed that I shot I thought was going to be brilliant in every way turns out to be rubbish. And one I didn’t have high hopes for is a star! Always keeps me coming back (:

    Hi Lynn, thanks for sharing. Your photos are sublime! My vision is so poor, I have no idea what might be a good shot and don’t even check the screen when taking pix. I need to see them big on the laptop to judge, but am often surprised, too.

  13. Christy says:

    I just love everything! I think that red and yellow lily is out of this world! Here’s a funny Verbascum story…I planted “Southern Charm” seeds a couple of years ago. When they started coming up I thought they were weeds so I kept pulling them and then wondered why the Verbascums never germinated. Well, this year I had a new rule that I wasn’t going to pull anything until I knew what it was or what it looked like when it matured. Because of this new rule, I now have lots of “Southern Charm” Verbascums!!! Hurray!!

    Hi Christy, thanks for adding to this conversation. I love Southern Charm, but it hasn’t performed well in my garden. Maybe seeds would do better.

  14. That digitalis with the white astilbe is just a breathtaking combination! Your whole garden is so beautiful. I am jealous of your lilies. I have lots of Asiatics, but they are not fragrant. I had a few ‘Casa Blancas’ which are wonderfully fragrant, but they didn’t come back this year. Terrible bummer!

    Hi Jason, thanks for stopping by. I am sorry about your Casa Blancas, but advise you to try some orienpets. I have tried several times to grow Casa Blanca, it is not happy here, but many other fragrant lilies are. Keep trying them all!

  15. Yes, I have noticed that before. I often wonder about the photos I’m filling my camera card with, and then some of them must capture the light just right–and of course the plants are SO photogenic! Your Lilies and Digitalis are stunning!

    Hi Beth, thanks for joining in here. It is all about the light with the photos, isn’t it?

  16. spurge says:

    I have the same experience – I always learn more about the plants by studying photos I take later. Your lilies are all just stunning! And that combo of chocolate foxgloves with white astilbe is so perfect.

    Hi Spurge, thanks for visiting. I never look at the photos when out there taking them, just delete the poor ones on the laptop. I got lucky with the milk chocolate and frothy milky astilbe! HA

  17. This is Kevin Delgado from Country Living Magazine! I stumbled upon your garden while looking for gardens in the midwest. We would love to open up the possibility of featuring your garden in the magazine! Contact me at kevindelgado@hearst.com.

    Hi Kevin, thanks for contacting me, what an honor to be considered as a possible feature in your fine magazine. Country Living is one of my favorites. However, this garden is quite humble and I am very protective of my privacy. Also, it is in the southeast, not the midwest, if that matters. I do so appreciate your comment!

  18. Alberto says:

    I also think that photos are a powerful medium to help us seeing and considering things that we don’t notice in person, maybe because our senses are distracted by other things. I love your chocolate foxglove and I love the colours you mixed with it: white, orange and that pale lilac of a penstemon (?) make a perfect colour scheme.
    I have verbascum chaixii too and I love it, lucky me it self seeds around because it doesn’t last for more than a couple of season in my heavy soil…

    Hi Alberto, thanks for stopping by. You are right, that is a Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ seedling that has lavender flowers. The Verbascum is happy in the gravel garden, we also have clay soil here.

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