Posts tagged ‘garden’

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 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?

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.

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!

September 6, 2011

Texture Tuesday::Dahlia Darlin

by heatherkp

It’s pretty rainy and dreary here today but last week I was out at the National Capital Dahlia Society‘s demonstration garden and found quite a few stunning beauties.  I visit this garden every year about this time to see what they’ve got cooking up by way of new varieties.  My favorites this year included some of these below.

I’m playing along again today with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday.  Check it out right here.  Today I used her texture called Crackerjack in the images of these dahlia’s.  Enjoy this rainy Tuesday!

May 31, 2011

Growth Behind the Scenes

by heatherkp

I’m playing along again today with Texture Tuesday and have used the new and lovely texture called “Stained Linen” by Kim Klassen.  This week’s them is Gardens.  Behind the scenes here I’ve got some garden spaces in my yard, I do a lot of container gardening and this year I decided to sign up for a community garden plot for the first time.  I kept it small with a 200′ square foot plot which I’ve managed to almost fully plant.  I got a late start because of the freaky wet and cool weather we had and now all my little babies are roasting out there!  Hopefully the weather will balance out a little bit in the coming weeks.  Most of what I’m growing I started by seed, including a row of sunflowers.

This little Eggling contains a sunflower that I started about a week ago.  This was a Christmas gift from my brother and sister in law and I finally decided to give it a try.  I took my time to crack it open and have been watching the sunflower sprout on my kitchen windowsill.  I think I’ll transplant this baby out and use the eggling for starting seeds.  I’ll start a Nasturtium next.

There’s a lot of other growth going on behind the scenes here as well.  This past week we had all new hard wood floors installed and are still busy painting all our walls, ceilings and trim.  When we are done I’ll post photos of what will be a practically new main floor of our home.  I’m loving the fresh new start!

What do you have growing right now?

 

April 26, 2011

Texture::Tuesday::Tulip Time!

by heatherkp

Playing along with my favorite weekly “game” of Texture Tuesday, hosted by Kim Klassen.  This week’s challenge includes using at least 1 layer of her texture “Serendipity”.

Last week I went down to DC to visit some of the gardens in and around the mall, including the US Botanical Gardens.  It was a parade of tulips all dressed up in their best!  Some tailored, some frilly, some simple and some exotic…I didn’t always love tulips but I’m beginning to understand why the dutch went so insane about them!

Check out this lacy beauty!

Some of the more ordinary tulips are quite spectacular when amassed in large beds creating sweeps of colors!

I don’t think I’d seen these beautiful doubles (if that’s how they can be described) but they are almost rose or peony like with all those petals.

And then there are these frilly, feminine parot tulips with their radical pink and green frocks!

And these spider like spiky yellow blooms with freckles of red…

These red and yellow’s were petite and cheerful in their checkered palettes.

When you put them all together they create quite a showy parade of colors with different heights and textures.  Do you plant tulips in your garden?

December 22, 2010

Wednesday::words

by heatherkp