Tag Archives: garden

“Hanging On”

“Hanging On”

“Ants always eat sweet food … but none of them haven’t diabetes ?”
― Ali Ghasaby

Among the residents of peonies are, of course, ants. Ants of all sizes and shapes thrive on the sweet nectars the peonies offer from bud to blossom. It would be a rare occasion when I bring a peony blossom indoors that an ant does not emerge at some point. It’s a given.

As I photographed my post-rain peonies, I took the opportunity to try my hand at photographing the ant as it clung to the edge of a leaf. Since I was shooting handheld, I had to adjust my aperture up a bit, which meant I sacrificed depth to get an acceptable shutter speed. If I had to do this again, I would have bumped my ISO, and closed the aperture a bit more, but this is how I learn. There will be more ants.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/5.0 ISO 100

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“Henbit ”- Lamium amplexicaule L.

“Henbit ”- Lamium amplexicaule L.

“As I leave the garden
I take with me a renewed view,
And a quiet soul.”
― Jessica Coupe

This lovely purple flowered plant was given to me by my grandmother many years ago and is well established in the garden. For years I called it Bee-Balm, being uncertain of what it really was. It always reminded me a bit of nettle or overgrown Creeping Charley.

One of the joys of photography, which I have mentioned before, is that it allows me the ability to look at things more carefully and to use internet tools to search images. So, I now know that this plant is called Henbit or Henbit Dead-nettle. That explains my perception of it being some variety of nettle. Honestly though, I’m a bit disappointed in the name. It seems so dull for such a beautiful plant.

The plant is a great attractor of bees and hummingbirds, though a bit unsightly till it puts up flowers. The flowers are quite long lasting and we enjoy them through most of late June into July. It’s also quite photogenic and has given me a break from my peonies, which continue to provide their enjoyable fragrance and beautiful blossoms.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0sec, f/32.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Purity”

“Purity”

May you understand my love–because it is the only thing I have that is really mine, the only thing that I will be able to take with me into the next life. Please allow it to be courageous and pure; please make it capable of surviving the snares of the world.”
― Paulo Coelho

A simple title that describes my first impressions of this single, rain speckled, white peony blossom. Yesterday rained heavily and quite steadily, less than ideal conditions for peonies. So, I spend some time early in the morning salvaging a few of them to photograph and remember, before they get battered too badly.

Needless to say, this has been a spectacular year for my peonies and I’ve enjoyed photographing them at their peak. The raindrops are just an added bonus.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.8 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Peonies in a Jar”

“Peonies in a Jar”

“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ”
― Colette

Here’s an assemblage of several of the peonies I’ve shared over the past few days, placed in a convenient mason jar. I do have a few more formal peony vases that my grandmother used, but I have not done a large blossom harvest yet. It’s been more of a select and cut as individual plants began to bloom, which has been a daily activity for the past week or so.

Though casually placed, I think they make a nice bouquet, showing the different colours and sizes in a single image, and the aroma is absolutely wonderful. The half quart jar also gives a reference point to gauge the size of the blossoms from. Some are quite large.

As I write this post, I can see several more ‘subjects’ ready to open. And, when the rain hopefully stops later today, I can get out and harvest them for the studio.

Since many came from my mother-in-law’s garden and her health is not great, I plan to document them all in a photo album. All that will be missing is the scent.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1.6 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Marvelous Magenta”

“Marvelous Magenta”

A heavy sort of beauty,
yet delicate to the eye.
The peony welcomes the late spring sunshine,
and bears the burden of its rains.
Nourished, yet strained,
she bows to the beginning of summer.
– Ed Lehming

The peonies keep coming, and despite the rains, they are holding up quite well. As I’ve said before, how they hold up their heavy flowers is a real marvel. As I clip blossoms to photograph them, I am challenged to find a way to hold them up to photograph them. They either droop or pull the supports over. They are that heavy.

The blossom above is probably one of the heaviest so far. It’s thick magenta blossom is much larger than the earlier varieties which have been blooming in my gardens for the past few weeks. As you can also see, there are sub-blossoms ready to bloom as well, but they will yield smaller flowers.

This is my first year of really paying close attention to my peonies. Probably because they are all blooming around the same time. Since they are almost all from my mother-in-law, some have taken a few years to establish enough to come to full bloom. I had not realized that similar coloured blooms are actually different varieties. Such is the joy of gardening and learning.

My next challenge will be to figure out the names of these heirloom peonies.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1.6 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Pink Bliss”

“Pink Bliss”

“Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss.”
― John Keats

What more can I say, I am enveloped in pink. It is the  colour theme of the season, the transition from whites to pinks and purples.

Our peonies, are redolent in pinks and magentas. The gardens, filled with pink ruffles, brilliant white ecstasy, and magenta glory.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Pink Ruffles”

“Pink Ruffles”

“Everything passes. Joy. Pain. The moment of triumph; the sigh of despair. Nothing lasts forever – not even this.”
― Paul Stewart

The ‘fancy’ pink peonies are blooming at last. The flowers this year are massive and I frankly have no idea how the weight of the blossoms is supported by some of the stalks. Were it not for surrounding vegetation and a fence, they would surely collapse under their own weight.

I’m hoping to enjoy them for at least a few days, before the heat of day takes its toll or a rainstorm adds so much weight that the just fold over. Perhaps it’s the brevity and uncertainty of their beauty that makes them so precious?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com