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Monday, August 31, 2009

Today's Pick

Going to visit my husband's parents in NY who had a very bad year growing tomatoes and other we're bringing some of our own !
As you may know my husband grows Heirloom Tomatoes from all over.

Just picked today. Mmmmmm...gettin' hungry !

Saturday, August 29, 2009

UK or Unknown Plant

Remember this...April 14, 2009
"While on a garden tour(with entry fee) last October, I helped myself to seeds from a plant that I have NO IDEA what it was because it wasn't marked. It stood about 5 feet tall and lost all its flowers,looked like a deciduous flowering shrub with seeds that were the same size as spiderflowers but dimpled. Figuring out what the heck I'm growing will be one of my missions this summer."

Well here are the seedlings. We started all our seeds late.
April 14, 2009

Then came the RABBIT !
After the rabbit eat them, I just left them to die by the shed.
June 25, 2009

Weeks later my husband said "I think you should take a look at that potted plant by the shed".

Well....look at it now !!
August 25, 2009

Still waiting for it to flower to be sure, but folks at 'gardenweb' suggested
Swamp Rose Mallow or (Hibiscus palustris)closely related to Hibiscus moscheutos.
It's been 4 and a half months and I'm getting very impatient to see some flowers !
Mission almost accomplished.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Unknown Canna +Point and Shoot

Two Subjects....Unknown Canna and using 2 different cameras.

In 2007 I bought a few different canna seeds from Karchesky Canna and grew them.
I'm only showing you 2 different'll see why.
These came with 'Pixie' seeds but aren't the correct cannas.
Unknown shorter than others and very prolific.
Used a 'Point and Shoot' back in 2007.

Also started these from seed 2 years ago.

Saved seeds from all cannas in 2007 but decided to grow only the unknown cannas
this year because they were so prolific and only stood about 3 to 4 feet.
I like the shorter ones.

My guess is a cross pollination of the two.
I wrote the seed company and Alice Harris agreed
about the cross pollination and said it also may be latent genetics.
Even though I still have more seeds left over from the 2007 unknown(Now a NEW plant)
I'll save seeds from these new ones and keep them separate for the future.

This pic was taken with my $150.00 Point and Shoot Canon Power Shot a590.
Just set it on 'auto' and shoot...pretty good !

Here's a closer view.

This pic also was taken with my 'Point and Shoot'.
Can't complain about a 'point and shoot' camera.

You can see how tall they are. Have 5 plants in the yard.
No place to store rhizomes with proper temperature over winter...
so I'll start from seed again. It's soooo easy !

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Examining Depth of Field.

When operating a camera manually it helps to understand this...
F-Stop = diameter of the aperture / focal length. Picture below.

F Stop e.g. f/16 setting lets in the least amount of light (small diameter) and a long depth of field
F Stop e.g. f/4 setting lets in the most light(large diameter) and a shallow depth of field

Shutter Speed = how long the actual "exposure" takes.
Because I'm changing the F Stop I also have to change the Shutter Speed to get the correct exposure.
Aside from understanding that...the depth of field is what I'm interested in.

Ok, now my test of "Depth of Field".

Here's my experiment.
Using my standard zoom lens DT 18-70mm f/3.5~5.6 up-close.

F Stop e.g. f/22 gives you a longer depth of field or in other words...a longer distance in focus.
But can't see a noticeable difference between these first two pictures with this long shot of about 60 feet.
I think it's because there are too many images in this picture.
Can you see a difference ? I can't.

Shutter speed is 25th of a second and f/22 stop/aperture

F Stop e.g. f/8 gives you a shorter/shallow depth of fields or in other words...a short/shallow distance in focus.
Shutter speed is 200th of a second and f/8 stop/aperture

BUT here you can see the difference with a shorter shot of 6 feet

F Stop e.g. f/22 gives you a longer depth of field or in other words...a longer distance in focus.
Shutter speed is 25th of a second and f/22 stop/aperture
Did not use a tripod or picture would be clearer. My camera has stability control.

F Stop e.g. f/8 gives you a shorter/shallow depth of fields or in other words...a short/shallow distance in focus.
Shutter speed is 250th of a second and f/5.6 stop/aperture

So what's my conclusion?
For landscape shots...manual is not necessary.
For close-up shots where you want the background to be blurry use a small F Stop.
Also there's always different lenses, but don't feel I have a need for that now.
Although a Macro Lens might be nice.
Still learning to use a DSLR...any suggestion/advice is welcome.

My camera info is located at the bottom of side bar.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Sun Bed !!!

Think I'm getting use to seeing the tops of the tomato stakes.
Sure can't see the red plastic mulch anymore !
Let me introduce my NEW SUN BED.



moving to the front



There are a few plants that did not survive. What else is new ? :(
One shrub you can't see is Sweetspire Itea 'Virginica Little Henry' which suffered where it was orginally,but I'm sure it will do well here in it's new spot.
Also a small Butterfly Bush-Buddleia davidii.
May have more than one type of the same plant but only showing one.
All plants are always subject to move...maybe I should stop doing that ?
This post is also my "records".

So what's blooming now in this new sun bed ?
Take a look !

Cleome or Spider Flower and Sages (Perovskia atriplicifolia,Salvia officinal + Golden)

Unknown Hybicus and Walleriana Impatiens

Obedient Plant or Physostegia (Virginiana Miss Manners + Vivid) and Gaura lindheimeri 'Karalee Petite Pink'

Vista Fuchsia Supertunia and Homestead Purple Verbena

Rainbow Knock Out Rose 'Pink Radcor' and Sneezeweed 'Mardi Gras'or Helenium

Purple Coneflower or Echinacea angustifolia and Bee Balm or Monarda didyma

Double Knock Out Rose 'Pink Radtko' and Dianthus hybred 'Rosish One'

Angel Mist lavender Angelonia and Geranium x 'Rozanne'

Cosmos sulphureus (Cosmic Red + Ladybird Scarlet) and Salvia splendens

Cannas 'Pixie'(no blooms yet) and Double Knock Out Rose'Rosa Radtko'

Potato Vine plant 'Margarita' and False sunflower or Heliopsis 'Summer Sun,'

Black-eyed Susan or Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' and unknown Hollyhocks

Red Tip, Photinia x fraseri(2) and Hyssop or Agastache (Purple Pygmy + Sunset)

Red Fox Speedwell or Veronica spicata and Catmint or Nepeta nervosa 'Felix'

Willow, Dappled 'On Standard' or Salix 'Hakuro Nishiki' and Foxglove or Digitalis Foxy Mix

Cardinal climbers and Morning Glory 'Scarlet O'Hara'

Daylilies (Stella Dora + Lily Grapeete)and Rosemary Blue Tuscan

Feather Reed Grass or Calagagrostis acufifolia 'Karl Foerster'(3) and Nemesia hybrid 'Sunsatia Raspberry'

By the way Google "Search This Blog" really works !
I try to mention both common and latin names of plants...
to make it easier to find.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some August Winners !

Our Carolina Wren (busy making babies since May).... finally gave it a break !!
Now that she's absent.... we have 2 cutie hummers visiting several times a day...

same girl

Sneezeweed 'Mardi Gras'
Interesting how at different times of the day(different light) can enhance flowers or just make them look average.
Bloom time is suppose to be August to October.
Deadheaded once already and it's full bloom again.
Looks like a winner !

Scaevola aemula or New Wonder Fan Flower
An annual worth repeating.

Roses- Double Knock Out 'Rosa Radtko'
Tallest of my Knock Out Roses and most prolific,also brightest.

Homestead Purple Verbena or Verbena canadensis 'Homestead'
The zone on this perennial is 7 to 10...will see if it comes back next year. I'm 7a.
This is a hardy long bloomer so far.

Wax Begonias.
Buy these every year for the shade. Never lets me down !

Blackberry Lily.
Pretty flower, nice foliage.

Still growing !

This one is the most disappointing perennial I've ever had.
Trumpet Vine Madam Galen.
Had these plants since 2005. Believe it needs more than 6 hours sun.
Not happy with this one, only gets a few flowers and I have to cut it back every week.
This fall the vine is being replaced !!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hypertufa Planter FINISHED

Hyper to fa
Hyper tuf a
How do you say it ?
Ok, on with the finished project.

Cutting away the mold.
You can see where there may be some cracking.

Put it on a dolly and moved to side of house. Way too heavy !!
Then using my hands and a utility knife...broke away any lose cement.
Not so pretty and may not stay in one piece BUT I've learn some things....
like mix better and add more water. Rubber gloves are a must !
Do feel it may be missing something.

I understand that you should wait a month to cure in the elements before planting in it.
Temporarily added some plants that were originally planted in a bad location and dying.
For now I'm finished with this project !!

Believe the mix was proper but then again I'm hearing different opinions.
My suggestion is don't do it in 90 degree temps and be more selective with your molds.
Seen many different mixes on the Internet even one using elmers glue for the outer shell.

All tips and tricks are welcome.
See it from the on "Hypertufa Planter" label.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Aah....something other than my planter.
Need to relax !

Arbor is full but few flowers.
Victoria's Caster Bean plant is a very nice accent.
Don't you think ?
Wonder how tall it will get....

Check out the flower !!

Are these yellow climbers ?
The rose stems were 2 1/2 feet spread out on ground so I staked them.

Impatiens are taking over....only put in about 10 plants for this bed as filler.
The extra foot and a half that this bed was pulled out allowed space for some sunny plants like Knock Out Roses,Geranium x 'Rozanne' and Nepeta 'Walker's Low'.

Greek oregano

Cardinal Climbers finally growing and are sharing the same trellis as Morning glories.

Morning Glory 'Scarlet O'Hara' are growing like weeds.

Vista Fuchsia Supertunia

Tiny Bed redo again !
Knock Out Rose Rosa 'Radrazz'

Dragon fly