Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gaillardia

The brightly coloured daisy flowers of Gaillardia grandiflora, Blanket Flower, are a long blooming choice for hot, dry areas. They are very drought tolerant, do well in containers and make excellent cut flowers.  Cutting them back hard in early September, forces new leaf growth and prevents the plants from blooming to death.



They bloom from June to September in well drained soil. Their spread is 30 cm (12") and are a wonderful choice for borders and meadows. 

Gaillardia grandiflora are hardy from Zones 2 - 9 in full sun.   A work horse in my dry, sandy garden. Give them a try in your garden.














































Thursday, July 14, 2016

Plant Profile - Nigella

Love-in-a-Mist has gauzy, fern-like foliage with starry flowers of clean blue.  It contrasts beautiful with plants of rigid form such as irises. It prefers to grow in full sun and the soil should be of average fertility, light and well drained.

It grows 40-60 cm (16-24") tall and has a spread of 20-30 cm (8-12") in flower colours of blue, white pink and purple.  This plant resents having its roots disturbed, so direct seed in spring.  Love-in-a-mist has a tendency to self-sow and may show up in unexpected spots in the garden for years to come.  




This attractive, airy plant is often used in mixed beds and borders where the flowers appear to be floating over the delicate foliage.  The blooming may slow down and the plants may die back if the weather gets too hot for them during the summer. 

The stems of this plant can be a bit floppy and may benefit from being stalked with twiggy branches.  Poke the branches in around the plants while they are young, and the plants will grow up between the twigs.

Give it a try in your garden this season











Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Signs of Spring!!!


THE SNOWDROP
by Lord Alfred Tennyson


Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid,
Every as of old time,
Solitary firstling,
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the gay time,
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses,
Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid!


These small delightful signs of spring are blooming in the garden
and I am beyond happy to see them.
Hope it is a sign of an early spring, 
they are very early flowering
in my garden.







Friday, December 18, 2015

A Study of Shadows

Light is extremely variable and each type of light will give us very different results. Light can be soft and diffused or hard and directional.

We can quickly learn how light behaves in certain situations. When the sun is behind our back, we can see how space becomes shallower, the colours are more distinct and vibrant and the lines sharper. When we look into the sun, we can see silhouettes and shapes of the object. The colours are muted. When light comes in directionally from the left of right, it gives the subject a strong three­ dimensional quality.

Light, like colour, also has temperature. Warm light is yellow or red and cool light leans to blue. As the day progresses, each change in the colour of light creates a new image. In the morning light tends to be pink and yellow, midday light is bluish­ white, while in the evening it has a warm yellow and red glow.

Essentially, there is no good or bad light. Each type of light has its own qualities. Having an understanding of the properties and qualities of different types of light allows us to be better prepared to make the best use of the available light.

The best way to study the light and how it influences the world around us is to start a personal project. Go to a garden and locate an interesting subject. Walk around it and see how the relationship between flowers and foliage changes with the direction of the sunlight. Notice when your subject looks flat and two­ dimensional and when light adds texture and depth. Take multiple pictures of each side for a reference. Do this same exercise on an overcast day and then at different times ­in the morning, midday and evening. To take your study even father, do this exercise during each season – spring, summer, autumn and winter. Observe how the light, mood and feelings change.

Each of us naturally will be drawn to a particular light condition. Regardless of whether the light is soft, subtle, and diffused or obtrusive and harsh, it is always present, moving and ever changing.

My subject for this project was 'Egbert' a hard boiled egg. He was photographed in many types of light and at different times of the day. My results follow...

Egbert mid day-shadow is very dark, small and sharp


Here Egbert is in the shade from the house. The shadow is soft around the edges and darkest just beneath him. Highest value of light is on the top of the egg.



This was taken in doors beside a large slider in the early afternoon. The shadow on the floor is dark, crisp and slightly elongated. Also the shadow on Egbert splits him in two and is very harsh.


This is taken on a deck containing a gazebo, with late afternoon sun. Egbert's shadow is longer and gets fainter. Also the shadow on the egg  compasses almost half of him.


This was taken outside under an awning but on the white frosted glass table. It it late afternoon, 5 pm and the shadow is very long but still dark. Not as crisp as the midday shadow and there is still a harsh shadow line on the egg



 Same location as the other image only taken later, 6pm. The shadows are softer on both the table and Egbert.


Same location, but on an overcast day, mid afternoon. Even with the reflection from the white table the shadow is very soft, but darkest just under Egbert. Overall soft shadow on the egg.


Same day and time but on the deck, there is no reflection from the white table.  The shadow is soft but disturbed more and darkest just under him.

These findings help with the direction or the quality of a shadow when adding it to composite of two or more elements. And when portrait outside.