Monday, June 29, 2009

The Garden on a Monday

I had a good time trying to capture the best bumblebee photo.

The daylilies are still blooming. I thought this one, King James, had interesting shaped stamens -- almost like an open mouth.

We spent some time admiring the containers on the steps of the Tower Grove House.

More photos on my flickr page.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pond-O-Rama 2009

We went on the St. Louis Water Gardening Society's annual garden tour this weekend. Yesterday was the hottest day yet this year, but today was very pleasant in comparison.

Day 1
We saw lots of pretty fish on the tour.

Our last stop on Day 1 was this huge set of water falls. I deliberately photographed it with people to get a sense of scale, but I'm not sure it fully worked. When Rick and I walked up to this we had the same thought: someone tried to build a National Park in their own backyard.

Day 2
We seem to like these kind of wide falls over flat rocks.

How would you like this view from your hot tub? Besides the pond, pool, and shelter below, the tree line at the top is just in front of the Missouri River.

More photos on my flickr page.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The lotuses are blooming

The lotus bloom season doesn't last long, but they are beautiful right now in the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The daylilies are impressive right now, too -- a riot of colors and some pretty amazing stamens when you look closely.

Keep an eye out for honey bees around the Garden. The hive is in the Kemper Center. It has transparent sides so that you can watch the activity.

Many more pictures on my flickr page.

Art Creations Friday

The challenge at Art Creations Friday was to use this lady in an art piece. I combined that with a challenge on the Studio Matters blog to use things from Tangie Baxter's Mystery Leftovers. And ended up with this illustration of one of my life mysteries.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hot day at the Garden

Yesterday and today were hot and humid. We worked outside yesterday so we decided to play outside today. We discovered that heat really cuts down the crowd at the Missouri Botanical Garden -- many varied and beautiful things are blooming.

Here's a zinnia:

And some daisies:

And some fuchsia:

Rick declares this bench on the Mausoleum Grounds to be the coolest spot in the garden:

More photos on my flickr page.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Are you Warm?

The new Three Muses challenge blog offered us Mona Lisa as its first theme. At the same time, Scrapbook Graphics had a "frameworthy" challenge about the artist Donato Giancola. I used his work Jessamyn to inspire my piece with Mona Lisa.

Credits: Mona Lisa extracted from Studio Tangie's DaVinci kit, bird extracted from Studio Tangie's Merrie Birds kit. All papers from Tangie's DaVinci kit. Lyrics from Nat King Cole's song Mona Lisa.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New (to me) camera

When I got serious about taking photos (ie. signed up for a class), I took over R's old Canon 10D camera. We knew from the beginning that something smaller and lighter weight might be more appropriate for me but since it was a new hobby it seemed prudent to start with a camera we already owned. It's several months later and I'm still taking photos and still wondering if a lighter weight camera wouldn't work as well for me and feel better when I'm hauling it around.
R's friend J recently decided he wanted to get more serious about taking photos. He looked at the smaller cameras but his first exploration into photography happened in Vietnam when a good government-owned camera was sturdy and heavy. The new light weight cameras didn't feel right to him, but my 10D was just about perfect.

So, R went shopping for us at KEH. We had some recent success selling them used photography equipment so we were hoping that the buying experience would work well too. He found me the equivalent of a Canon Digital Rebel Xti (it actually says "Kiss" on the camera -- apparently the Rebel is marketed to women in Japan under that brand) and a lens to go with it. We sold the 10D to J at the price KEH would have paid us for it. And I have a new-to-me lighter weight camera. It's been fun to play with around the house. I'm looking forward to taking it further afield.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blueberry Monday

I have two pots of blueberries, these two patio blueberries from Stark Bros Nurseries. Stark's is in my home town and my home town can use all the help it can get!

There have been only two tricky things about growing blueberries.
  • They don't like our tap water because it's too basic. I've been giving them distilled water when there isn't enough rain, but we're looking into a rain barrel.
  • They need some protection in the winter since they are in containers. We buried the pots in a somewhat protected location on the south side of the house for the winter. And, I watered them whenever it was expected to get really cold at night -- wet soil freezes more slowly than dry soil.

I bought them last year and I'm already getting fruit! We, of course, tried them the instant they turned blue. They were tasty but very tart. I checked The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch today. She says that blueberries need to stay on the bush for a week after they turn blue. The tried and true method for harvesting is to "tickle" the clusters. Anything that drops easily into the container you hold below is ready to eat. Here was today's harvest.

Good thing there are only two people living in my house! It was the best blueberry I've ever tasted -- a perfect texture and still tart but not too tart.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Art Creation Friday -- Pretty in Pink

Girl from Art Creations Friday on June 4, 2009. Everything else from the Pinkie Promise Kit by Studio Tangie at Scrapbookgraphics and sherrieJD at Scrap Orchard.

June in the Garden

During yesterday's trip to the Garden, we saw more visitors than we usually see since we tend to go on weekdays. A combination of summer camp groups, vacationing families, the usual retired people, and wedding party photo sessions. Fortunately, the Garden is fun even when it's crowded. And there are always some quiet spots.

The irises are about done blooming -- although check out the ones by the Zig Zag bridge in the Japanese Garden if you get over there in the next week or so. The daylilies have just started.

We saw this palm during our last trip and thought it was beat up by the wind. But now it's labeled and we realized that's how the leaves are supposed to look because it's a Burmese fishtail palm.

There were a couple of these tiny turtles in the hardy pond that is currently hidden, just south of the floral clock.

Many more pictures on my flickr page.