Category Archives: Photography

alpine home Switzerland alps

Fairytale Places I’d Like to Live

Not much is happening in my garden these days, so I thought I’d share some interesting photos I came across at the Free photo sharing site, Pixabay.

These fairytale places contain elements I would require to be truly happy and at peace.

1. I would need a beautiful view, preferably with mountains and / or water.
2. Lots of land, with room to roam and explore.

That’s about it, except maybe fertile land with room for a nice vegetable and flower garden. With room for animals, I’d probably have a lot of those too.

I prefer a small house, but maybe not quite as small as this little red house in the Alps. I wonder where those outdoor steps are leading?  And quite honestly, I’d like to have a window or two in my house!

alpine home Switzerland alps
Alpine Home in Switzerland, Photo shared at Pixabay by Fotoworkshop4You

I like the idea of having to cross a cool bridge to get to my house. I’m not sure that little building is a house or a barn, but this bridge is awesome, and the river looks interesting.
Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 3.52.29 PM
Okay, in this shot you can’t see my home (haha) but this is the view out my front window. I can watch my sheep graze in the meadow.

English countryside England
England, landscape – contributed to Pixabay by tpsdave

Now this little wood home, or cabin, is right up my ally. Looks to be the perfect size, with a porch and mountain view.  Could those be fruit trees of some kind in the backyard?

small house cabin with porch
Wood Cabin, contributed to Pixabay by Tappancs

And below, a picture of my horse!

Hope you enjoyed my journey through dreamland.  I did get some work done today too.  This was just a quick escape … which we all need now and then.

black horse with long white mane
Iceland Horse, by contributor Blaer at Pixabay

All of these photos can be found at Pixabay.com

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red rose open petals macro

Sunday Morning Garden Photography

Is there anything better than a quiet, peaceful (and fairly cool) Florida morning? Sure, lots of things, but today I enjoyed the cloud cover as I checked on my gardens this morning and took some photos with my iPhone.

hibiscus
Hibiscus Colors

The hibiscus is blooming profusely and I noticed today that some of the flowers are a lighter color than others. They look pink here, for some reason, but they are really light orange. I was too lazy to use my graphics program to fix the color – look at the photo below to see a more true version. …….Still, the beauty is apparent.

sunflower stalk
The Sunflower is Growing Tall

In New Hampshire I always had sunflowers growing in my garden during the summer. They sprang up on their own, known as “volunteers”. I just let them grow where they were and planted my vegetables around them.  In the Fall, little goldfinches and chickadees would land on the big heads and eat the seeds.

Because I don’t feed the birds in Florida, no sunflower seeds will voluntarily grow after being buried under the winter snow, so this one I had to plant. In fact I planted a lot of seeds, but this one the only one growing. Animals (squirrels) probably ate the other seeds.

sunflower
Big “volunteer” sunflower in my northern garden
red rose open petals macro
Open Rose

My rose bush is doing fine so far. I am seeing roses bloom continuously. Their color is stunning, but the flowers don’t last long.

watermelon vine
Watermelon Vine

I’ve never been able to grow my own watermelon, but I am trying again. This one seems to be doing well enough.

desert rose pink flowers
Desert Rose is Flowering

The Desert Rose, which at first was thought to be a Plumeria, is planted in the ground and doing well. Lots of bright pink flowers have bloomed and I am seldom watering it, as required.

Persian lime flowering
Little limes growing on the Persian Lime tree

The Persian Lime tree is blooming like mad and little limes have formed. Many of them will end up falling off, I assume, but I’m hopeful that some will grow to be edible size.

Other happenings in my small yard:  I saw two black snakes (black racers) yesterday within the span of about 3 minutes.  They are “good” snakes and not poisonous, but still creep me out as I watch them slither through the grass.  Now I’m back to watching where I walk.

Later today I will pick the one zucchini growing on my single zucchini plant.  The potatoes have been dug, and the carrots pulled.  Time to plant some new things that may, or may not, be able to take the Florida summer heat.  At this point, it’s all an experiment.

Have a wonderful day!

Pinky Winky Photos to Cheer Us in January

What better time to share my end-of-summer flower photography than in the freezing cold month of January?  I began this post back in September but got side-tracked.  So now I can post my photos of one of my favorite flowers.

I happen to love the bloom of the Pinky Winky shrub. The flower is so interesting with it’s combination of open and closed petals in colors that range from dark pink to white. The cone shape grows longer and longer as the coloring changes.

This perennial has consistently created the most blooms of all the types I grow. We’ve had a bit of a drought here in the northeastern US over the summer, but the plant never wilts. Bees love the flowers of the Pinky Winky too. For this reason it might be best planted away from sitting areas. I don’t mind bees, but some people like to avoid being near them. I feel good having such a lovely bee-feeder in my yard.

pink hydrangea
Pinky Winky Flower

I had a tree fall and get stuck up in neighboring trees and I had to have it taken down for safety reasons. It was near my driveway, and when the guys cut it and pulled it down, it landed partially on my Pinky Winky! A branch broke off, and a few flowers, but otherwise the perennial survived. This poor plant always seems to be in the wrong place.
hydrangea paniculata pinky winky
Now that summer is behind us and we’re in the midst of winter, it’s nice to be reminded of what waits for us in spring. Seeing the first green stems burst through the ground, and early flowering plants like the Lenton Rose, remind us of the big hydrangea blooms to come.

pink hydrangea macro

cone shaped limelight hydrangea flowers

Stages of the Limelight Hydrangea Flower

One hydrangea that has cone-shaped, panicled flowers is the limelight variety.  I’m using my own photos on this post to show the stages of the limelight hydrangea flower, as it grows from spring through the fall season.  All pictures on this page were taken from the same flowering shrubs in my front yard, but throughout their growth period.

Hydrangeas can produce some of the most spectacular light green flowers, and the limelight does not disappoint. Brides love this flower to accent any wedding theme, and it’s often chosen to create stunning centerpieces.

In spring, this perennial sends out tall stems.  Eventually buds form, with many little clusters of flowers shooting out along the end of the branch. This is the panicle, which makes this a hydrangea paniculata.   These tiny clusters will each grow and merge to form a resulting, huge single bloom.

panicle hydrangea limelight
Panicle Hydrangea Buds

The flowers are the greenest when they are first growing. The buds open from the bottom to the top, creating a flower that is a combination of soft white to light green.

limelight hydrangea flower
Filling In, The Flower Expands

My limelight shrubs are fairly new to the yard. They were planted in 2012, and I am still learning about how to prune and grow them successfully. Fortunately hydrangeas are very hardy, and even if you do something ‘wrong’ they will continue to grow nicely.

white limelight hydrangea
White Hydrangea Flowers

Once the blooms fill out they are mostly white, and big and puffy looking. This hydrangea creates some of the most stunning blooms you’ll ever see.

As summer passes, the white flowers begin to turn pale pink and become darker during the autumn months. They can be cut to use in an inside arrangement, or left to dry on the bush (see my last photo on this page).

white hydrangea bouquet
Big White Limelight Bouquet

My photos above and below show the pink-tinted hydrangea flowers as they appear in the fall season. The flowers are massive, and the petals that were once a creamy white are now turning partially pale green and mauve pink.

limelight fall flowers
Fall Limelight Blooms

My plants are fairly young. As the plants age, the stems will fill in and become stronger. I’ve seen them staked to hold the flowers upright, as they are heavy and tend to flop downward.

The Limelight hydrangea can be pruned into a little tree, but that takes skill and patience. I have never tried to create a hydrangea tree, but they are stunning accents to any landscape. The flowers hold up well into fall and become dried garden decor.

fall hydrangeas - limelight
October Limelight – Dried Flower With a Late, White Bloom

Hydrangeas are fun to grow.  You just never know what they may do, like pop out a new bloom in October!  When all the other flower heads were dried and brown, suddenly a new white flower emerged from my Limelight (photo above).

I hope you have enjoyed my photos, and maybe I have inspired you to grown one (or more) of these lovely hydrangea shrubs.

Now, would you like to see the stages of the Pinky Winky blooms?