Sometimes there a picture that you take that requires some special editing.
This one was one of those pictures I added a cream tone to the coloring and a vignette on the edges.
This picture of the rose was taken with my macro lens. I use that lens a lot.
I love all my plants but I love creating special container arrangements.
I buy all kinds of containers from metal to plastic. Sometimes I paint the plastic and sometimes I paint the metal. It all depends on what I am going for and where the container will be located.
I love using the technique Spiller, Filler, and Thriller.
This first picture the planter is really full it has two kinds of sweet potato vine the purple and the green, sword fern, coleus, pink polka dot plant, & zebra wandering jew. I love how all the colors bounce off the other plants. This container was a metal water hose container we plugged the hole in the side and you would never know.
The second picture is by the pond outside of the back porch. It has asparagus fern, vinca major, coleus, & zebra wandering jew. This container did not get repainted but I like the worn look on the plastic whiskey barrel.
I have several others that have just a few things in them but these two pictures are my favorite ones.
When planting mixed containers if you want something dramatic-looking try this technique. When you use different colors all the colors pop.
Every space in your yard might require something different to get the look you want. It’s all about using your imagination to create something that is unique.
Daisy loves to distract me when I have the camera.
She came up to me when I was sitting down outside and looked straight into my macro lens. I could not resist taking a picture of her but did not realize how good it would turn out.
Its moments like this that capture your heart and make you want to get your pet’s portraits done.
These black-bellied whistling ducks frequent our bird feeders. I can walk out there and they do not budge they are use to me and my camera.
We have lost several tala trees/ trash trees they have gotten some kind of disease. My husband hates these trees but we are letting them fall down on their own since the wildlife loves them.
The woodpeckers love pecking the dead trees.
The ducks are always in this particular tree I refer to it as the duck tree.
It looks like most are social distancing even the ducks can follow the rules its to bad most people can’t.
I have been growing ivy for years. My grandmother always grew it so I wanted to grow it.
We always have about 10 very large hanging baskets full of ivy. some are 7 foot long. We always have to cut it and trim it so we have lots of ivy to give away.
A piece of ivy ended up in our gravel bog. It started crawling out and here’s the size of the monster ivy. It has now crawled out about 10 feet.
That is a glass marble on the ivy leaf it is the size of a nickel so you can see the size of this leaf. They are so massive.
In the second picture, I have a regular ivy with the stalk beside the bigger one and its stalk. Notice the big stalk is as big around as your thumb. Look at the small leaf on the big leaf and then look behind that to see the stalk.
The bog has fish waste in it and evidently, the ivy loves it. Now fish waste ( fish poop) is not the same as fish emulsion ( fish skin, oil, scales, and bones) so do not confuse the two.
When we do a water exchange we will put the water we pump out into 25-gallon buckets and put it in the lawnmower wagon and take it to the raised garden tomato plants in the backyard.
This can be another project to see what does fish waste to do tomato plants and tomatoes. There will be more to come on this soon.
Life is good here at the Lira house there is always something exciting going on.
Variegated Shell Ginger is one of my favorite plants.
We have them planted in the shade accented by sword fern they are under two very large 40 year old oak trees.
Since there were no freezes in the past few winters they are thriving. Currently, they are about 5 foot + tall and 8 foot wide or more in all four directions. Needless to say, they multiply like crazy and then you can share with your friends.
If it freezes they die back and they will not bloom the next spring. They will come back but it will take them some time to get full again.
The blooms start out as a pod looking thing then all the white blooms start showing and those open up to yellow flowers. They are quite striking.
We started out with a one-gallon container of the ginger and now I could give 10 people all a gallon and it would never look like I touched it.
My husband thinks we should sell these plants so he has about 20 in quart containers and another 10 + in gallon containers.
When you landscape your yard research your plants and always buy stuff that multiplies then you can move it to several different locations. Make sure you pay attention to the sun requirements.
A beautiful well-manicured yard shows off the time and love you have put into it.
The Agapanthus also goes by the name of Lily of the Nile and it is a pretty amazing flower. The flowers shoot up on a very tall stem so they stand out quite well.
I bought all my plants on clearance at Lowes last spring. At the time they looked rough but with a little TLC, they were good to go. Never give up on a bargain plant I find that 95% of the time they live.
I just water them 2 times a week and they have been blooming like crazy. They are in full sun from about noon on. I think I have about eight of them.
If you look at the creamy background in this picture you will know this was shot using a prime lens. A prime lens has another name it is the high dollar lens. This was shot using my Canon 100mm Macro lens that my husband bought me.
I shot this picture in Aperture Priority with a fast shutter speed because the wind was blowing like crazy. You can not get this kind of picture in auto mode on a camera.
The flower really stands out against the creamy background and shows off its details.
The beauty of photography is seeing what you can create while being in control of the camera.
Since his retirement at the end of March Jack is doing the ultimate tomato project.
Here are the 6 different ways he is trying to grow tomatoes.
1. In the 5-gallon buckets with dirt and compost.
2. Lasagna gardening with compost and cardboard a raised garden on the ground with shade cloth. There is no dirt in this type of gardening.
3. Compost and dirt raised garden on the ground covered in plastic to retain moisture and to keep out the weeds this type also has a shade cloth.
4. Partially shaded from the trees raised garden 3 ft above the ground in dirt.
5. Regular garden in the dirt, full sun, and the plants have hay around them to help keep them moist plus it keeps the weeds down.
6. Greenhouse/ Hydroponic tomatoes growing in pea gravel with no dirt they are on automatic watering with nutrients several times a day.
There are currently 73 tomato plants, 9 + different varieties that are growing in 6 different types of gardening. This is why I am calling it the tomato project.
What we hope to learn is:
1. Which varieties produce the most abundant fruit?
2. Which varieties of tomato have the best flavor?
3. Which plants have the least amount of pest?
4. What gardening type works the best in our region?
5. Which varieties are the healthiest?
Everything has blooms or has bloomed and some have fruits. Some varieties produce large clusters of fruits like the ones you get in the grocery store on the vine. Others produce round or grape-like clusters and some produce yellow, purple, blue, or orange tomatoes.
A good tomato ignites your taste buds like none other.
As of right now, the ones with the most fruit are in the 5-gallon buckets but I think these were planted first, the largest plants that are dark green and super healthy looking are in the raised garden that is 3ft above ground in partial shade these have fruit as well. Since these are getting very tall he is training the branches to grow horizontally on paracord.
The tallest plants are in the hydroponics I would say they are about 5 feet tall but they have minimal fruit the plants are not as thick or as strong as some of the others and of course, being in the greenhouse they are a lighter green. The regular in the ground garden was planted last but they are growing a lot and have blooms the plants seem thicker stalked than some of the others.
We always have a supply of tomato plants rooting some from seeds and some from suckers of existing plants if any of our friends and neighbors might need some. Currently, we have 10 plants ready to be planted in quart containers, and 17 suckers growing and we have more every week.
I am sharing a picture of some of the Better Boy Variety tomatoes in the 5- gallon buckets. Some of the clusters have 10 tomatoes in them. The size of these tomatoes is about the size of a 6-year-olds fist.
I shot this picture with my macro lens you can see the fuzz on the tomatoes and the vines. Macro lenses give you such detail.
There will be plenty of tomatoes to put up as sauce or pesto, Lots of tomatoes to blanch & freeze for soups, stews, and beans.
Most of all we will have plenty of tomatoes to share with our friends and neighbors because this is something we enjoy doing.
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow – Audrey Hepburn