Sunday, July 09, 2006

These are photographs from my garden early this evening, taken with my new camera without a flash. I'm surprised they turned out so well without the help of artificial light. I can't wait to get a macro lens so I can show a boil on a lady bug's butt. Then, look out, horticultural world!

The first image is an Indian Blanket flower. Sorry - I don't know the latin for this one. I love these. They are technically wild flowers, but I cultivate them. What's not to love?

Next is a gorgeous tall variety of Verbena. The habit of this plant is low and not very leafy. Then a tall fibrous stalk shoots up about 3 or 4 feet with clusters of these tiny purple blossoms. I love these because you can plant them in front of shorter flowers and the lower growth stuff in back will still show up while these appear to be levitating over everything. I just found these and bought both specimens at a Dallas nursery a couple months ago. This is the first time I have had this variety since my last garden sold with a house in 2000. Love them, always want them in my garden.

Next comes one of several red/crimson varieties of salvia I have in the yard. They are very heat-hardy plants and I love the dry desert smell of their leaves. Salvia are of the sage family, which is a very drought-loving type of perennial. My favorite salvia are midnight blue and a bog sage that has sky-blue flowers. I don't have any of that growing right now. I do have one called eggs-and-butter which is white and pale and dark yellows, as you might have guessed. They are adorable, and just the name makes me smile. See how easily pleased I am?

My philosophy on gardening and houseplants has always been that it's trial and error, and you experiment until you find plants that can thrive on the degree of neglect you will dutifully provide. Then rev it up and go.

Finally I decided to show a weeds-and-all photo of a little grouping of stuff that makes my heart sing. I love the grid patterned mercury glass ball (it's bigger than a bowling ball, to give you an idea of scale) and the dark yellow stuff is yarrow and the odd little daisies are a variety of an African flower, and I do think they are related to daisies. The color is a buttery yellow on the tips of the petals but fades almost to white on the inner petals by flowers' centers. They look much more exotic in person, but the light wasn't ideal, perhaps. Then of course you see the peppery tips of weeds that vow to take over. More garden photos soon. Have a great remains of the weekend.


Heather B said...

Looks like you had fun with the new camera, those pics are great!

I had some fun over the 4th playing with mine, although each one I took of our fireworks turned out like we were traveling on a super highway or something.

I also envy that you actually garden, something I have never done.

Maybe I should listen to your philosophy!

Twisted Lady said...

Love the Indian Blanket flower, very sunflower-esque... (my favorite)

Frobisher said...

I love gardening posts. I have just driven 100 miles home and listened to "gardeners question time" on the radio the whole way and enjoyed every minute of it. I think I might be entering a new stage in my life.

Salvia? they sell that in "head shops" over here in the UK. Supposed to be v. trippy when smoked. Is it the same thing as your growing?

phlegmfatale said...

heather b - yeah, you SHOULD be gardening. Oh, and congrats on your new camera - it adds a certain excitement to the day when you realize how many great shots you can take a crack at. But back to the gardening - it's not that difficult, and I use no chemicals or pesticides, and I've never had a problem with infestations of anything. Got aphids on your flowers? Go to the local nursery and buy a bag of ladybugs. Yes, a bag of lady bugs. They come about 1000 to a bag for about $8, and you open the bag at night and leave it sitting beneath the infested plant. I've also bought a cocoon of Praying Mantids - they hatch in a few days and scores of the little dandies scatter and put the gobble to the evil aphids. It's very entertaining.

Thanks Ben - I'm just getting used to it for now, but I hope to have some very good pics soon. And yes, very into gardening for a very long time now - about 15 years (and I'm 40 now) and it's part decorative/aesthetic and part therapy. I love it.

blog whore - yes, it's so vibrant and lovely

Frobisher - I love those shows, and if you start to garden, you'll love it. It's a delightful way of engineering your surroundings to reflect your unique tastes in combinations of color and texture. Also, in England you have such wonderful humidity that you can grow glorious things that would never be possible in Texas. Actually,I think regionalism is key with gardening - if you can foster a preference for the local native perennials, you may have fewer heartaches. Also, xeriscaping is an exciting idea no matter where you live, considering how water conservation is a growing concern everywhere.

That's freaky about the salvia thing - never heard of that - no one had better be smoking MY garden, or they'll have a tiger by the tail. It's not terribly surprising, though - you know that salvia is another term for sage, and various nations of native Americans bundle dried sages together with string and burn it during various social rites. Also, there is an old wives' tale that sage is an inducement for people traveling between portals of existence - birth and death - people would say that pregnant women shouldn't eat or handle sage lest the herb induce labor prematurely, and that sage would tip someone over the edge who is at death's door. A freaky concept. I wonder if this is related to the whole hallucinogen thingie.

lj - Thanks! Definitely the eye of the beholder, and I pity the person who couldn't see the beauty of the top one. Yeah, the flash is cold. Meh. pa tooey. Yes, I can't wait to show you the ladybug's knickers!

Anonymous said...

I am hereby adopting your philosophy on gardening. That is exactly what I do - but I felt guilty. Now I can be ok with it. Thanks. ;)

phlegmfatale said...

jag - I forbid you to feel guilty about that - it's all a learning process. Just find out what works for you and stick with it! Good luck with this!