Tag Archives: native plants

“Rock Garden Waterfall” – Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington

“Rock Garden Waterfall” - Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlingto

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan

A change of pace from all my recent flower and butterfly photos, though if you look closely, there are still flowers present. Can you find them?

I did set out to photograph flowers this day and have plenty to share at a later date, but I do like a good waterfall and the serenity small cascades like this create for me, even knowing it is man made. I used a slow shutter at 1/10 of a second to slightly blur the movement and had to go hand-held because I did not want to carry a tripod all day. That did pose a challenge because it was very bright and I had to shoot at f/32 to keep the water from being blown out.

This stepped cascade can be found at the rock gardens, which are part of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. The rock garden is one of several gardens within this large complex of garden exhibits and is nestled in the base of a valley, forming a bit of a bowl. Much of the stone is native limestone and some material has been moved into place to create a garden with large limestone boulders and many stepped paths which run up and down the hillside. I enjoyed the inclusion of many native plant species, which those who are not hiking the backwoods trails would never experience otherwise. Including Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), which are the small pink flowers visible near the base of the higher cascade. They are a native plant and are members of the geranium family. The crushed leaves can be used as a mosquito repellant, handy at this time of year).

The waterfall pictured here, feeds into some smaller stepped cascades and eventually winds through the lower gardens as a meandering creek which flows beneath bridges and around some wonderful large trees.

At this time of year, the garden also features some exquisite blooming dogwoods, which I have a real attraction to (more photos of those to come).

If you happen to be in the Burlington area and like plants, I would highly recommend this as a destination, but plan on a day, since it is a large complex that spreads over several properties.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/10 sec, f/32.0, ISO 500

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“Spring Beauties”

“Spring Beauties” - Close Up

“In a rich moonlit garden, flowers open beneath the eyes of entire nations terrified to acknowledge the simplicity of the beauty of peace.”
― Aberjhani

Can you think of a more appropriate name for these delicate spring flowers, in tones of pink and purple? The Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) in my area seems to prefer the bases of Beech trees as their habitat, yet some small patches grow in the open. Most of the plants I came across ranged between nearly white to pale pink and patched with striped fuchsia. This particular specimen was light blue with purple tinges in the flower buds, thus the photo.

I enjoyed the slight ‘glow’ of the stems, as the filtered afternoon sun lit up the forest floor. The light this day was spectacular and really showed the colours and textures well. Apart for their unique colours, this small colony sat apart for others and allowed me to isolate them for other plants, which are becoming more abundant as temperatures rise in the forest.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

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“Northern Sweet Coltsfoot” – Whitevale, Ontario

“Northern Sweet Coltsfoot” - Whitevale, Ontario

“The most fulfilling adventures happen when you start your journey without knowing where you’re going, because only then are you free to experience the unexpected detours you’re meant to take.” 
― A.J. Darkholme

Ah, yes, the unexpected, one of my greatest delights. I set out to make photos of fish spawning in a local creek and come across a large, beautiful cluster of spring flowers I have never encountered before. They looked a lot like the familiar Coltsfoot that I see daily now along the creek-bed and in ditches on the roadside. This plant seemed to have the forming leaves of the familiar coltsfoot and the stem of a coltsfoot, but the flower-head looked like an immature Milkweed. This struck me as odd, as I am familiar with most of the native plant species I encounter. Could this be some species that was planted in someone garden and escaped?

I also have a ‘thing’ for wildflowers and local plants, so tend to switch from traditional landscapes to the miniature landscapes that I find on the forest floor, along river basins, and on hillsides, as I travel the countryside.

I made this photograph and looked it up when I got home, a practice I have been following for some years to educate myself on the plants I come across throughout the year. This one surprised me, as I did not know there was such a thing as Sweet Coltsfoot. It all makes sense now and an unexpected encounter became a learning moment for me.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 122 mm
1/1250 sec, f/2.8 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)