“Bengal Tiger”

“Bengal Tiger” is my favorite Canna Lily, Canna “Pretoria”. Cannas are bold, tropical looking, herbaceous perennials that bloom in the summer in the south. They come in all colors and sizes. They are bulbs that multiply over time. They are sun loving plants. I took this photograph early in the morning, while the dew was still on the blooms.

Sometimes they are called 55mph plants because they are located along highways where they can be appreciated by drivers. If you look, you can spot them along the highway from one end of North Carolina to the other. The ones you can see from the highway at my house are these beautiful orange ones with green and yellow striped leaves, the common name is “Bengal Tiger”.

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Toaster??

I was at Church a couple of weeks ago and instead of listening to the Preacher, I was thinking about the Metal Assignment and photographing a “toaster.” That did not appeal to me at all. I know it is all about learning about how to photograph an object that reflects, but I did not want to photograph a toaster or cheese grater! Then I saw it, right in front of me. It was a beautiful, shiny, old Cross. I knew then that I wanted to photograph that. And, that is what I did. Actually, I hate to admit, I had to photograph it twice. The first time, I shined the key light on the reflection of the side of the Cross, rather than the reflection of the Cross. The letters on the Cross, “ihs” are a monogram symbolizing Jesus Christ.

What does all this have to do with “Pics and Posies?” I have always said, the closest you get to Heaven on Earth is in your garden.

An Intoxicating Fragrance

Magnolia grandiflora, or commonly called the Southern Magnolia, blooms in May and or June. The blooms are creamy white and have a wonderful, intoxicating fragrance. The flower buds open sporadically throughout the bloom time. The tree grows 50 to 80 feet in height and with a spread of 40 feet. It is considered an aristocratic broadleaf evergreen that you often see in the landscape of old southern homes. We have 3 of these majestic trees near our house and when you step outside, you are engulfed in the aromatically, wonderful scent of the Magnolia.

If you love the Magnolia, but the area around your home is too small to support such a large specimen, there are smaller cultivars available. One of the most popular is the ‘Little Gem’. It typically reaches 12 to 20 feet tall with a spread of 10 to 15 feet and produces proportionally smaller flowers.

The Most Beautiful Rose

I never considered myself a ‘rose’ person. I love all kinds of flowers, but roses never did much for me. My favorite flower is a daisy, just a plain old white daisy. Then, I attended the Landscape Gardening Program at Sandhills Community College and earned my Associates Degree graduating in 2017. While I was going through the program, one of my jobs was tending to the rose garden. As I took care of them, my feelings for them began to change. They are beautiful, fragile, wonderfully scented (most of the time) blooms hidden among the thorns. They come in all colors including black. This one is in my Mother’s yard. She received it from a relative. It is very unique in color.

An Unusual Sighting

I live on an eighty acre farm which is predominately covered with pine trees. There are many native species of trees on the property with various other plants and grasses. I think of it as my own personal nature preserve. Birds and animals are plentiful also. I have become an avid birdwatcher. I also wait for the first hummingbird to arrive in the spring. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, raccoons, opossums, coyotes, turkeys and the occasional bobcat occupy the backyard.

Yesterday, I was walking through the woods and I noticed a beautiful yellow bloom. It was under a canopy of trees on the forest floor. I went to investigate and realized it was a Prickly Pear Cactus, Opuntia humifusa, bloom. It is very unusual to find a Prickly Pear that is not enjoying a place with full sun. You often find them in dry rock gardens or as a sunny border specimen. That is what makes this one so special. How it got there, I do not know. Maybe, an animal distributed the seeds, and despite the shaded area, it survived. What a beautiful surprise!

PHO139, Week3, Blog, Flowers

Butterfly with Cosmos

PHO 139, Blog, Week2, Flowers and Butterflies

Cosmos is an annual that blooms early summer to frost. They tend to reseed during the growing season, meaning they drop their seeds and new plants grow. I grew these from seed in a greenhouse. The seeds germinate in one week at 70 degrees. Once the seedlings are big enough in the seed tray, I repot into 4 inch pots for them to grow more before transplanting into my flower gardens. I enjoy growing flowers from seeds. Cosmos love full sun and tolerates dry, porous soils. They are are beautiful in annual beds and as cut flowers. By the way, butterflies love them too!

The Journey Begins

Hello!  This is my first time blogging, and I am excited!

I am attending photography school and love to photograph flowers, shrubs and trees.  I have lots of interests, but these two are on the top of my list.

I want to share my first photo of the season of one of my favorite flowers, the coneflower.

PHO 139, Blog Entry 1, Coneflower

This photograph is a coneflower from my backyard. Butterflies love it. Once the blooms have come and gone, the seed-head is enjoyed by many species of birds. Coneflowers are perennials, meaning they come back every year and they multiply. When you plant perennials, remember – 1st year sleep, 2nd year creep, and 3rd year LEAP. I will add the scientific name with my next post for the coneflower in the photograph.

Happy snapping photos of your favorite posies!