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Monthly Archives: June 2009

When I can’t find inspiration in my own landscape, all I have to do is step next door! My neighbor Nancy has a wonderful garden and, in addition to being a dear, dear friend, over the years she has provided a wealth of gardening tips and how-to’s. Thanks, Nancy! 🙂

Although situated right next to each other, our gardens can sometimes seem worlds apart (her landscape receives so many more hours of sun and therefore, tends to be a bit ahead). For example, both our gardens contain ‘Endless Summer’, a variety of Mophead Hydrangea, but, while mine are still in the beginning bud stage, hers are already putting forth their sumptuous blooms.

“Harlow” (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’), Old Hollywood Glamour Series, Nikon D300, 70mm, F/2.8, 1/1600s, -0.3EV, ISO 200, SB800 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.7EV

There is something so timeless about hydrangea blossoms and one in particular just knocked me out! I adore the sweetheart shape painted in delicate hues of cream and blue with the slightest touch of purple.

Just screams to be part of the Old Hollywood Glamour series, doesn’t it? 

“Reflection” (Clematis viticella ‘Betty Corning’) Nikon D300, 200-400mm, 400mm, F/10, 1/50s, -1.0EV, ISO 640

Some clematis blooms are large and showy. Others, like the variety ‘Betty Corning’, are small and delicate.

But don’t let small fool you….this clematis vine is a strong climber and prolific bloomer! Despite being cut back severely every spring, by the end of June, it has completely engulfed my copper trellis with hundreds of bell-shaped, nodding flowers, and will continue to produce blooms all summer long.

Teardrop buds open first as narrow bells which then widen and flare to reveal ruffled edges.

Blossom colors range from the palest lavendar to a mauvy-violet and their slight, sweet fragrance attracts butterflies.

A longtime favorite in my garden, ‘Betty’ is one small powerhouse that delivers BIG!

Mother Nature is certainly trying our resolve!

Despite hanging upsidedown and covered in raindrops, the peony does not disappoint.

“Sugarplum Fairy” (Herbaceous Peony ‘Double Pink’) Nikon D300, 200-400mm, 280mm, F/14, 1/40s, -1.0EV, ISO 640

The light was striking this sprinkled bloom just right. Add in the curled leaves, the gracefully bowed stem and those red-edged sepals, and WOW! she is truly a beauty!

Hosta (or Plantation Lily) is a very common, easy-to-grow perennial for shady areas. I have several varieties in my garden, but one in particular literally stands above the rest!

‘Sum & Substance’ has enormous leaves that are slightly ruffled and deeply veined. Each spring, they unfold in grand fashion, drawing attention to an otherwise uneventful corner of the landscape. 

“Tai Chi Ball” (Hosta ‘Sum & Substance’) Nikon D300, 200-400mm, 200mm, F/5.6, 1/160s, ISO 400, SB900 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.0EV

Walking the garden with my pruning shears (performing some peony cleanup from all the rainfall), I noticed how the soft light from above was illuminating the ruffled edges. Getting down low not only delivers more depth and texture, but also reveals just how graceful these giants are.

And that, as they say, is that. 😀

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