Archive for ‘Gardens’

June 26, 2012

Texture Tuesday::Wonderful Whites

by heatherkp

I haven’t done Texture Tuesday’s lately where I share here and over at Kim Klassen’s Cafe some images I post process with Kim’s great textures. Today’s been rainy and I’ve been in a creative mood listening to blues and jazz so I was inspired to share some of the wonderful flowers I’ve enjoyed this spring and summer here in Charleston and up at Brookgreen Gardens.   Each has two layers of textures (reverie & love in layers). I don’t like to do a lot of post processing but with some photo’s it just works!  I’ve also finally jumped on the instagr.am wagon so if you would like to come over and check out my daily photo’s you can find me there as hkpowers and it’s a lot of fun, I also love the square format which I’ve been told “works” with my sense of composition!

Grand Dame in Pink (Magnolia)

Coming and Going (Rose of Sharon or Hibiscus)

Grand Gardenia

Here to heaven (Jasmine)

These four white summer stunners are favorites.  I couldn’t grow Gardenia or Jasmine in the DC metro area but their fragrances are locked into my memory of summer and take me back to my days of living in Savannah and upstate GA where we had Gardenia’s growing outside our bedroom windows.  The sent of both is divine, but my all time favorite flower is Gardenia.  A few years ago I was lucky to be in Argentina on my birthday and they were blooming, what a wonderful birthday gift!  All of these are just about done blooming down here in zone 8 but we still have lot’s of other summer bloomers on the way.  What’s blooming where you live today?

May 23, 2012

Windowbox Wednesday

by heatherkp

I’ve been admiring all the beautiful window boxes spring up around town now that I’m LIVING IN CHARLESTON!  Almost every day I venture out on a walk in one direction or another and I always have my camera with me.  I snap away at all sorts of gorgeous, historic architecture and details (Gingerbread, masterful ironwork, worn paint effects, windows, doors etc).  As I’m looking around I’ve also been inspired by all  the beautiful window boxes.  Sooo…lucky for you I’ve decided to share them with you.  I won’t be living downtown in the historic district forever but while I’m here I’ll make a point to gather a photo collection of all the fun window boxes (and maybe a few other planters as well).

These two clean and modern boxes caught my eye amid a sea of more traditional and formal gardens and homes.  I love that they are in boxes painted Charleston Green and are only monochromatic shades of green.  A smart and stylish use of succulents will make these easy to maintain throughout the Heat of Charleston’s summer!

This box is a long term winner with mostly perennials including the centerpiece Hydrangea, ivy, lamium (which will have purple blooms), fern, purple oxalis (shamrocks) and just a couple purple petunias.

The two boxes above both feature analogous shades of purples ranging from deep to bright, fuchsia to blue purple.  They have a cool, mysterious and sophisticated look.

This last box is a real show stopper with it’s triadic color palette of yellow, fuchsia and purple.  What a handsome combination of lobelia, mandevilla, coleus, hibiscus and what I think it a type of coreopsis (the yellow flowers).  Upright and trailing plants as well as plants that are long blooming for the long summer season make this one of my favorites so far.

I hope this weeks selection will inspire you to get out and do a bit of gardening.

May 12, 2012

Weekend Walking::US Botanical Gardens

by heatherkp

While I was up in the DC metro area I played tourist a couple days and did the expected amount of walking.  On this particular day I went downtown to meet my dad for lunch. Since he works only a few blocks from the US Botanical Gardens I knew I would have to pay a visit to the gardens right next to the Capital building.

It was a really beautiful day (which I can’t say was true of every day I was there, the weather was a roller coaster with temps ranging from the 50′s to 80′s!).

I knew I would catch some spectacular blooms but due to the early warm temps I was lucky to find the roses were in full bloom along with Peonies (which don’t do well in the south:(), clematis and many other late spring early summer bloomers.

I also found these baby ducklings (only 1 day old)!

My favorite were the tropicals blooming inside the conservatory though.  I found some unusual Hibiscus, many orchids, banana and other tropical foliage plants.

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time now you have probably noticed my love of floral/foliage photography.  I was in my own little oasis on this walk through the gardens.  Much like a walk by the ocean, walking through a garden takes away all my worries and I am truly brings me joy.  The beauty of flowers is one artistic muse I just don’t seem to ever tire of.  Where have you walked this week?  Did you find your muse along the way?

April 22, 2012

Weekend Walking::Earth Day & The Market

by heatherkp

This weekend we have been dog sitting for this little guy who happens to live downtown Charleston.  We are also about to be living downtown so we are going to be doing a lot of walking!

I was really excited to wake up Saturday and know I could walk to the downtown farmers market! Charleston has a vibrant weekly market at Marion Square and I’ve always loved it (even when visiting I’d try to stop by).

Ambrose Family Farms

Lowland FarmsOwl’s Nest Plantation

I am not familiar with this “Certified Naturally Grown” label (not sure why having worked at a farm stand/CSA for the last 2 years!) but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of it.

Loved the set up here with the bins running long way down the tent.  As with everything I do, I look for the form and the function. I believe well designed should be beautiful and vice versa!  So naturally the farm vendors who really “spoke” to me (who I purchased from and took photo’s of) were those that had beautiful, local (mostly organic) produce and well designed/displayed set up’s.

They have live music, local produce and lots of local food and art/craft vendors.  I saw a few I recognized and some new ones.  The market runs from April through December so things are just getting started.  I’ll be taking weekly walks to the market to pick up fresh produce while we are living so close.  After that, who knows but this gives me a chance to sample different produce from local farms and choose which CSA I’ll be joining!

I have been a suburbanite for EVER!  Everywhere I’ve ever lived required getting in a car and driving to almost every destination.  I have been walking everywhere since we’ve been here and I’m hereby pledging to take a weekly walk to the farmers market for my local produce over the next couple months! It feels great to be able to celebrate earth week this year by doing so much walking and supporting local farms and businesses.

How are you celebrating Earth Week/Earth Day?  Has your local farmers market opened up yet for the season?

 

April 20, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Whispering Wings Fancy Flyers

by heatherkp

As a part of my ongoing training and overview for volunteering at Brookgreen gardens I got to visit the Whispering Wings Butterfly exhibit.  This is one of the areas I want to be trained to work in (along with the sculpture conservation department and horticulture).  There are literally hundreds of butterflies in the exhibit and some I’d never seen.  A few are native to coastal SC but most of these species are not and they have strict procedures for making sure there are no escape artists!

Monarch, Zebra Longwing, Polydamas Swallowtails, Pipevine Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, Julias, Buckeyes, Queens, Painted Lady, and American Lady are among other species you will see there if you visit.

This  Tiger striped butterfly was among my favorite and was my husband’s favorite (of my photos, he didn’t join me this time).

But my favorite had to be the malachite, I just love anything green!  This exhibit runs all spring and summer, check it out if you are in the area!

PS.  Did you know that this week was/is National Volunteer week?  Do you volunteer?

April 17, 2012

Texture Tuesday::Natures Inspiration

by heatherkp

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit scattered, splattered and smothered so I’ve been seeking solace in natures beauty.  Luckily the opportunities for natures inspiration are everywhere just outside my doorstep!

To me April is always about soaking in natures beauty, celebrating the bounty, digging into the soil and watching the miracle of life emerge after winter’s rest.  This is a time of wonder, taking it all in and the appreciation of beauty…the hard work and the reflection are right down the road but for now it’s all about the inspiration, the enjoyment and the wonder of spring’s beauty!  With the ocean so close by and  spring the flowers in full bloom I have no excuses and am claiming it as my right to soak it in!

Lately I’ve been posting less frequently and haven’t been going very in depth about what’s happening with life and business but it’s one of those times in life when I’m going with the flow and soaking it all in.  The time to share everything bubbling beneath the surface will reveal itself when it’s right.  In the meantime, I’m here,  getting inspired and enjoying sharing some of that inspiration with you.

PS. This weeks texture used is Oh My by Kim Klassen.  Do go check out her amazing photography and textures!

March 30, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Springtime in the South

by heatherkp

I have a lot going on behind the scenes and I’m not quite ready to share as I mentioned in a previous post BUT…I want to share some of what I’ve been doing!  I recently decided to apply to volunteer at Brookgreen Gardens and last Tuesday I was “interviewed” and “oriented” to become a part of that team.  I am so excited, as a Master Gardener in both Maryland and Georgia I’ve been itching to get my hands in the dirt here and begin to learn more about the coastal plants I’m not familiar with.  The Master Gardener program in SC is run through Clemson and I missed the cut off for the first class of the year so while I’m waiting and deciding if I want to continue as a Master Gardener here I opted to jump into the Brookgreen opportunity!  This place is one of my favorite public gardens, anywhere, ever!

Here is the daily display of the flowers in bloom.  This is not a comprehensive display but it represents alot of what’s blooming on any given day.  It’s the sneak peak of goodies to be seen and smelled.

This bottle tree is in the education center garden which includes edible crops such as rice, corn, medicinal herbs, greens and other seasonal crops.  I love the Southern tradition of bottle trees in the garden, they are said to catch evil spirits as they get caught the colorful bottles after being entranced.

Look at all these blooming beauties!  Azaleas, Delphinium, Larkspur, Poppies and many other springtime favorites were in bloom.  With the warm winter and spring we are having, the daffodils were almost done blooming but there were some incredible combinations of flowers not typically in bloom together.  March is typically a “dangerous” month in low country gardens that border marshy areas, snakes and alligators are coming out of hibernation and I was startled by one in an unexpected spot as I was trying to get some shots.  I’ll be learning a lot more about where they like to hang out and I’ll be using extreme caution!  I am typically a pretty fearless gardener but I have a healthy respect for these potentially deadly creatures.  Avoidance will be my main tactic, along with long pants, closed toe shoes and gloves when reaching into hidden areas.

I am thrilled to just be able to go soak in the beauty and contribute to sharing that with all the visitors who come there.  I’m sure you will be hearing and seeing more of my Brookgreen experience over the months to come.  If you ever get to Myrtle Beach or Charleston, it’s worth the little extra drive to visit this garden which also includes a comprehensive sculpture collection and a lot of plantation history.

March 17, 2012

Silent Saturday::Bells of Ireland

by heatherkp

“May brooks and trees and singing hills join in the chorus too, and every gentle wind that blows send happiness to you.”-Irish Blessing

October 14, 2011

Fabulous Foto Friday::Evading A Tornado

by heatherkp

I was on a photo adventure yesterday regardless of weather.  I am renting a Canon 70-200L lens for the week for a wedding I’m photographing tomorrow (1st time as a semi-pro wedding photographer!!).  I needed to get the feel for the lens so I took an afternoon drive in the country to a few of my favorite spots and dodged the raindrops and apparent Tornado warnings!  I had no idea, I was listening to a Toni Morrison book on CD (A Mercy) so I didn’t hear weather reports or see anything too crazy, I was in my bliss. Here are some of my shots using the above lens.

All images Copywrite Heather K Powers

I’ll be shooting some serious love shots tomorrow at my friends wedding, fingers crossed that my results do not disappoint!

October 11, 2011

Texture Tuesday::Duet of Dahlia’s

by heatherkp

Last week I took my new Canon 60D out to the National Capital Dahlia Society‘s demo garden (which happens to be right next to the Master Gardeners demo garden:).  This is the time of the year when Dahlia’s are at their most spectacular!  I had taken a few other trips to the garden but didn’t have the time or equipment to dedicate to a photo shoot on those occasions.  Last Thursday was perfect weather though and I was not disappointed!

Dahlia’s were the flowers I wanted most at my wedding.  I tried to  locate a local farm who could supply us with all the flowers but I couldn’t make that happen.  I did have Dahlia’s in the wedding though and in my bouquet.  They are one of my favorite cut flowers and I find all the different forms spectacularly beautiful with their folded petals that unfurl and open to the sun.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting this garden every fall to see these beauties while living here.  Maybe someday I will grow some of my own.  For now they will be everlasting in my photo’s.

Today’s images are edited using layers of Kim Klassen’s textures.  Check out her blog for other amazing photo’s and textures!

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