"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Garden

It’s How They Unfurl So Beautifully

They amaze me, the velvet flowers. Roses. 

I’ve never grown them but I hear it can be difficult to do so. 

My mother had red climbing ones all over the backyard fence in New Jersey. My sister has taken me to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see the wonderful specimens with memorable names. “With over 5,000 bushes of more than 1,200 kinds of roses, the Cranford Rose Garden features one of the largest collections of rose cultivars in North America.”

In 1977, my father took Mark as a toddler in the stroller to the cemetery at Old St. Mary’s Church on South 4th St. In addition to the historic gravestones there were old fashioned roses everywhere. 

I like roses at every stage – bud to all-the-way-falling-off petals.

Last week it was lush blue and white hydrangeas which I shared with my daughter at the hospital, the blue for birth of a boy seemed perfect. They were a great background for the food pusher post the other day. This past Saturday, it was white hydrangeas combined with pale pink roses. 

At each wedding I was given lovely flowers to take home.  I brought this bouquet from the reception back to Ohio.

As I carried it in from the car, I noticed the roses had opened.

You can savor the celebrations as you admire the blooms. 

Plus, the scent of them reminds me of my grandmother who worked in the florist shop in Lincoln Illinois when I was a kid. 

Photographed with iPhone6 just now. 

  


Eastern Redbud Blooms

My friend Ginny planted this tree in my backyard as a memorial to my parents.  When Spring comes, despite the low temps tonight, the buds cluster and bloom all along the branches.

It is a most beautiful tree.

Soon the heart shaped leaves will appear.

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Perseverance

You see motivational posters with a single word illustrating a character trait underneath a corresponding photo.   The power of nature to grow in an inhospitable environment is always amazing to me.

per·se·ver·ance
ˌpərsəˈvirəns/
noun
 steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
  1. power of naturePittsburgh Greenway Parking Lot

Winter Light Garden and Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory

Sparkling and colorful, glowing and shimmering.  Beautiful display with candlelight throughout the show.

Thanks for the cool suggestion to head to the Phipps Conservatory after dinner, V.  The Winter Lights Garden was magical on this cold and clear winter night, with the moon peeking through.  A great train display too, but not many pics of it.  We had fun.  xxoo


Vincent, Euthemia, Dorothy, Liane and Montclair Came to Mind Today

iris blooming

October 29th,  Wednesday Afternoon

Funny how the unexpected sight of something triggers a stream of consciousness.

The word Iris, the sight of these Iris blooming made me think of many things.

In Highland Park after school today, while waiting for a poet to arrive to shoot the author photo for her new book cover,

I saw these Iris.

I always think of Iris as the“end of the school year” flower but now I see they bloom in late October, too.

Vincent Van Gogh painted them.

Euthemia is always planting, growing, showing and readying Iris for her Capital Hudson Iris Society show and sale

Liane Ellison Norman wrote a poem, ” I Dug Up the Iris”  about our friend Dorothy’s Iris.

When I was young, we lived in Montclair New Jersey and walked in the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens named after the founder of the American Iris Society.

Iris.

So many memories triggered by the sight of their blooming today.

October Iris


Marlene’s Virginia Garden’s Yellow- Guest Blog

Guest blogger Marlene, (Mark’s MIL- Erika’s Mom) sent me these photographs of  flowers in her garden at the end of June.

 I searched for them to put on her birthday post yesterday (What We Share) but couldn’t find them.

 Then I remembered – she sent them via iPhone, not email. Spent a bit “loading earlier messages” but was able to find and save them.  

 Here is her garden and flowers around her house at the end of June. Near Roanoke Virgina.  

“All the flowers around my house that are yellow or have yellow in them.”

 Now I thought that was perfect for Cee’s Photography Challenge for YELLOW.  

Thanks Mar.  

 

Hope I got the labels all right!   Glad you had a nice birthday. xoxoxo 


No Need to Mow, Front Yard by Van Gogh

I took the first shot as I sat in my car,  stuck in a long line of unmoving traffic, waiting for the zoo goers to drive out and find their way home.

Sigh.  Camera on the passenger seat, a full stop.  

I went home and changed and came back out and had to return the same route.

No traffic the other way, thank goodness. 

I pulled over to photograph the hillside yard of sunflowers with the late afternoon sun coming through.  

Now it is not the same as my friend Joyce’s field of sunflowers in Provence but they made me feel happy to look at them and I realized they didn’t have to mow that pesky steep hillside front yard.

 

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and the Sunflower front yard from across the street when I was driving the opposite direction a bit later

sunflower front yardand looks what is hiding in the first photo

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Cherry tomatoes


Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Something called the Century Plant is going to qualify as a relic today.

My friend Kristin had been sending me photos of the Agave Americana (known as the Century Plant)   as it was growing in her family’s front yard on

St. George Island.    When I went down for vacation I got to see it first hand. I couldn’t believe how tall it had grown.

It is definitely at least twenty + feet tall!

It was preparing to be in full bloom- and then it will die.  I saw some other Century Plants on the island in different stages of their life cycle.

Kristin sent me these photos on the phone and said, “Wait until you come and see it in person.”  She wasn’t kidding. I took some photos of it too.

How it starts.  The mother plant sends out “pups”

baby plant

 

 

century plant

 

century plant 2Look at the thickness of the stalk

 

century plant 8

I used a flash at sunset and it makes the buds look interesting.

century plant 6

 

 

A shot at night

Agave Americana Agave Americana with the American Flag

 

 

 

 

 

American Agave with moon

 

Someone else’s Century Plant fell over.

 

century plant 4

 

 

 


“I Dug Up the Iris” by Guest Poet Liane Ellison Norman- on Dorothy’s Birthday

“I Dug Up the Iris” by Guest Poet Liane Ellison Norman

I Dug Up the Iris

in Dorothy’s garden
to plant in the soaked

soil of mine, memorial
to her each spring

when they’ll open
complicated ruffles

and flourishes, purple
or blue with speckled

throats. They’ll rise
out of rhizomes

sprawling at soil’s
surface like the joints

of my old  hands
anchoring the tall

stalks and frilly petals.
This morning

in the brief breath
of cool I dug shallow

trenches for this legacy,
this pantry of pollens

the bees prospect,
insects with lives

beyond what the mere
gardener knows.

Liane Ellison Norman, a Madwoman in the Attic, has published two books of poetry, The Duration of Grief and Keep (www.smokeandmirrorspress.com). She has published poems in 5AM, Kestrel, North American Review, Grasslimb, Rune, Voices from the Attic anthologies and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Her poem “What There’d Been” won the Wisteria Prize in 2006 from Paper Journey Press.     reblogged On the occasion of the birthday of poet Dorothy Holley  http://rutheh.com/tag/dorothy-holley-poet/


Sad Tulip in a Swan Neck Vase

This lone tulip was left out of the water overnight. I tried to revive it, see if it could stand up again. Gave it a drink.

The curved lines seem to repeat.

My dad gave me two of these vases ages ago.
The students have been photographing the white tulips and painting them in Photoshop elements
to make them a color.

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