Thursday, September 17, 2009

18 Days and Counting

of unbelievably beautiful sunshine. The sprinkler is working overtime in the backyard - the Hosta are shutting down with the lack of moisture. The leaves are turning gold and tan well ahead of schedule, so I'm hoping that this drink will coax them to hold on a little longer.

My latest library read is David Pogue's 'Digital Photography The Missing Manual, The book that should have been in the box'. I'm a quarter in and would definitely recommend it. He was able to explain why, with my Canon PowerShot S80, I'm not able to take good night shots. After seeing fabulous shots of the moon on other blogs, all I got was a little white smooshy thingie in a puddle of powdery black. The reason for this, is that the camera sensor is too small. Apparently SLR sensors are 10x the size and obviously more light sensitive than my camera - so they capture night scenes better and also handle light and colour better in every way. Pogue states that sensor size is probably one of the most important features on a camera (even more than pixels), and it's never advertised on the box. So now of course I have sensor-envy.

Another trick, that you may or may not know, for those of you with pocket cameras is the half press trick. Always half press when you have your subject framed - then when the bee flies in, or the wind stops, or the light is perfect - you'll be ready to take your photo and will have perfect focus. This gets around the shutter lag problems with these pocket cameras and will save you from taking the photo of Madame Monarch's dainty derriere as she dashes off, rather than her fabulous outstretched wings.

So not the best time to take photos when I got back from my walk - but think this is a great representation of the weather and skies at the moment. In the foreground I'm looking up the nose of the Nicotania mutabilis.

One of the features of the Heptacodium is that these little green bits that are left behind after the petals fall, turn a gorgeous red colour - giving you yet another reason to grow this good small specimen tree. I've yet to have a really good show of red, but hope with all the blossoms this year - that this will be the year.

And, if its not, for the flowers and bees alone, it's a great ornamental woody.

This pretty Panicum is about 3 years old. It has bits of red here and there.

Look at one of my newest additions - Panicum 'Blood Brothers' - for obvious reasons. Do hope that it's as successful as the other.

Taken yesterday - Hydrangea 'Limelight' is starting to show its autumn pink.

More old Phlox, just because. Noticed that I may have a new seedling here - centre is lighter - making it look like I've left the flash on by accident. Whatever I've got here, it's quite pretty, and there's not a bit of mildew on it.

The Tricyrtis all over the garden are just starting to come into blossom. The piles of rain and cloud over the summer certainly have made for lovely leaves.

I just adore the orchid-like blossoms.

I got into this section of the garden and really went to work. I've got two big patches of this Eupatorium. I've left one for the creatures and sacrificed this one for aesthetic reasons & to save time on picking out seedlings next year.

Agastache - another of my favs:

Such a magnificent time of year - so much to see and appreciate - and just think, the leaves are only just beginning to change - so there's an abundance of shocking beauty to come.


sweet bay said...

Lovely photos of beautiful flowers! You have a wonderful blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara~~ How interesting that you write about camera operations. Just this morning I was commenting to one of my daughters that my pinks come out sort of bright lavender. She says, very matter-of-factly, you need to lower the exposure. Voila! I think I need "The Missing Manual." I'll have to check out the sensor size on my camera. I am, thankfully, aware of the half-press to get the subject in focus so I guess I'm not a complete knucklehead. :]

My Heptacodium is ten years old and approx. 12 feet tall and I've never had a decent showing of the pinkish bracts. I've assumed that I'm not giving the plant something it needs. Your observations are all the more relevant. Maybe the plant is just kind of persnickety in this way. ... Love 'Blood Brothers.' The reds look more pronounced than my P. 'Shenandoah.' I've never had my Eupatorium reseed but I sure wouldn't mind.

I'm glad the goregous weather is holding. Better late than not at all.

Laura Gardens in Desert said...

Delightful! I await the next post!

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Hi Barbara, Thank you for your comments on my blog. It is funny, I got a notice from Canada Post that Tradewinds was trying to deliver a parcel to me. I knew that I hadn't ordered anything from them, so I googled them. Only to find out that Flower Bulbs R Us is a division of them. Do you not have to be a business to order from them? Spending that amount of money is no problem, I'm sure that it would add up fast.

Glad I came today, I am such a beginner with my digital camera. I think I will check and see if the Toronto library has this book. I desperately need it!

Teza said...

Seems we are all scratching our heads over the camera today. I love the Heptacodium - the boss brought one in last week on a whim and heads were rolling as to who would buy it - it was a three way draw, until I found 'Hinoki'. We have one in the front display garden and everyone who sees it ooohs and ahhhhs over it, but fails to ask if we have it for sale!
We need a good night's soaking to bring those Hosta and other sagging plants back for their last performance of the year. Tricyrtis are such wonderful late summer blessings!

Titania said...

And I thought there already is, the last picture of a seed pod? is just gorgeous. The whole garden looks wonderful, some strange, interesting and beautiful plants to me.
Very interesting to read about the sensor, my moon trails and I never get it right now I know why! I have to stick with the sun.
I love the fragrance of Phlox, a very pretty colour.

Charlotte said...

So glad that I found your wonderful blog - lovely pictures and great content. I shall enjoy following.

Frances said...

Wow Barbara, your garden is a bounty of beauty. Thanks for those photo tips, I have no idea what my cameras sensors are, will have to look it up. Loved that last little shot, and Blood Brothers looks like a winner. :-)

Glädjekällan said...

Beautiful flowers!´The Autumn is not here yet!!!

Gail said...

Hi Barbara! Sensor envy! That is perfect. Until I priced out all the lenses I would need in addition to the camera I was all set to get a DSLR! David Pogue rocks! Many of us want to shoot better photos...It's the next step!

The nicotiana is lovely from that angle and that is a new tree to me!

Have a delicious weekend.


Barbarapc said...

S.B. Thanks for must say how I enjoyed visiting your blog as well.
Grace - weather just started to rain today - an unbelievable stretch of great weather. Do look up 'Blood Brothers' - really good colour & think it would be a good mix with the pink tones in your garden.