Sunday, June 23, 2013

Soltice Rainbow

 The morning after the fantastic moon, we had this huge rainbow.  It was in the same area that the moon was in.  I am shooting the rainbow over the top of the same tree, out of my dining room window.
 This hdr was treated to the levels adjustment and a few other things in photoshop.  I am not sure what is causing the vignetting in the corners, but I think it might be the adapter ring I have added to my Canon SX 40. 
 This is another photo from June 8th, of the strip in front of the rectangle flower bed beside our driveway.  The peonies are flopping over the little honeysuckle pilea hedge.  A lavender, thyme, achillea in the foreground.
 This is the biggest peony that is finally getting some color.  It has been white for the past few years.  When I made the water garden I had to move these peonies to the front garden bed.  The soil was not prepared at the time, so they went into the mostly clay soil.  It has been a struggle for them but they are finally coming along.
 A closer shot of the lavender and thyme.  This lavender bloom lasts a long time.  The bees love it and the thyme.  This is the spot where I let the daisies go wild.  I am now trying to get all of the daisy seedlings out of here.  
 This is the second peony in the bed.  From the color of it, I believe it IS a white one.  I lost the names of them when I moved them.  This one had its first blooms this year.  I have been giving them compost, garden lime and a bit more attention. 

Another view of the corner.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Solstice Moon

 Last nite there was a totally awesome full moon for the solstice.  I took quite a few bracketed shots and have put a couple together with the HDR photo merge on Photoshop. 
My favorite subject, below, just happened to be driving by while I was out in the front garden, taking photos of the garden, of course. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Cutting Garden - a new project

 The pinks in bloom in the little rockery at the back.  They are fragrant
 a cosmos in the cutting garden.  I must keep these dead headed so that they keep producing flowers.
 The beginning of the new project.  The vegetables do not seem to grow as there is not enough sun and too many tree roots in this spot.  So, this side of the old veggie patch is going to be the cutting garden.  This year I have glads, cosmos, the calendulas from last year. And perennials: At  Brentwood Bay nursery and I got 16 flowers and a strawberry for $71.92.    1. Dianthus Neon Star and 2. Dianthus fire witch - both transplanted in the front of the rectangle #2 border.  Frangrant plants.   3.  Homestead purple verbena (trailing).. very pretty.   Should make a good cut flower too. Planted it in the back pot that has the geraniums in it by the back garage.   4.  Rose Wine Meadow Sage (Salvia Nemorosa 'Rosenwein') - fragrant and butterflies. Planted on the down side of the Magnolia. Will make a good cutting flower too.  5.  Gaillardia Burgundy - butterflies should like it, & cutting.   Planted in the cutting garden.  6. Iceland Poppy, butterflies & cutting. In the cutting garden.  7. Hellenium Autumnal - Helen's flower.  red and gold looks nice, cutting. 36 inches.  Planted in the cutting garden at the back near the oak.   8.  Blue Balloon Flower - Platycodon grandiflorus, Astra Blue  Planted by the smoke bush 9.  Geum- Blazing Sunset.. red cutting, I think I will plant it in the inner garden at the front with the balloon flowers... and remove the lavender that is not doing well  add more compost.  Left the lavender and planted by smoke bush. 10.  Asclepias tuberosa - cutting and butterflies.. milkweed. 24 inches.  Planted this at the top of the cutting garden where it gets most sun.  Happens to be by the dahlia which is up.  I will move the dahlia maybe, next year.   11.  Liatris - purple spikes - cutting, butterflies.  In the cutting garden. 12.  Monarda Fireball (Bee Balm) dwarf... shaggy flowers red 12 - 18" butterflies, cutting, hummingbirds. In the cutting garden.  13. Aquilegia (Columbine) Ruby Port.. a lovely wine, double puffy flower. planted this one in the cutting garden by the yews. The columbines are doing great all over the garden this year with a wide variety of colors, even a white one.  14.  Delphinium Black Knight Pacific Giant hybrid. will need staking, violet blue flowers/black bee, cutting and I know the humming birds like them too. Planted in the cutting garden next to the cement blocks and the yew trees. The humming birds like the siberian iris and foxgloves, and seem to check out all of the flowers.  15,  Aster Wartburg Star, Aster tongolensis - lovely blue and gold daisy like flowers.  Butterflies should like this one.  15.  Wallflower Cheiranthus Orange, fragrant.  Planted it by the Magnolia with the other wall flower. 
 In this photo we see part of the little rockery and a foxglove in bloom next to the cutting garden area.
 There are going to be some figs this year. 
 One of the oriental poppies from the back.  These poppies are mostly finished now and I have cut back their flower heads.  I should save them for poppy seed.  I love poppy seed roll that my Mom made. 
 Another view of the rhodo by the deck.  These shrubs are finished blooming.
The trailing verbena.  A lovely  color.  It should be good for cutting.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Early June in the woodland garden

this is the beginning of what I call the woodland area of my garden.  The old sidewalk goes half way along behind the old garage with about five foot beds on each side.  The germander is easy care and the bees love it.  behind the germander along the fence line there is a yew, some hedging cedars, a firethorn, a large herb that tastes like celery (don't recall its name).  This herb gets very tall.  The tall bearded irises are in front of it with polyanthus edging the side walk.  We can see just past the water feature which is a black tub with a gold fish and some water iris.  We see the dames rocket in purple that are just by the water tub.  There are more shrubs and trees beyond this area.  The sidewalk becomes a chip trail and curves around the garage.  Across the sidewalk we see the bed that has the winter jasmine, a lovely hydrangea, daylillies with sweet woodruff beneath.  The hydrangea has caught some deadly fungus this year.  I am in the process of removing all the weeds, bluebells where I can find them, sweet woodruff, and there is even an infestation of grass in this bed.  I dig it all over and save anything of value.  I hope I can save the hydrangea.  At the end of this bed, we see the lily of the valley shrub (piers japanica) that has red leaves at the top.  In front of this shrub there is a huge fern.  These two plants hang over the old plastic compost bin that I have not used for a few years, as I have had my Community Composting people with the closed in big green bin that they take away every 4 weeks.  Beyond the old compost bin (which is half full of old compost and still in good shape) the sidewalk ends and the chip trail begins.  By the garage there is a pin oak and a rhodo.  So what we see is only half of the woodland along the back.  There are more woodland plants along the side of the garage.  Along the back in the area we cannot see there is a tall Japanese cedar, a butterfly bush, the torch lily, fawn lillies and trilliums in the Spring and a few other small shrubs, another tall herb, more self seeding columbines, dames rocket and far too many perennial bachelor buttons.  All of this area is infested with blue bells, some bind weed, thistles and lemon balm and I will be trying to control them as the year goes on.

 A closer view of one of the tall bearded iris in the woodland.
 This torch lily is along the strip between our driveways, but is the same plant at the back, in the woodland.
 This is a view from the bit of grass under the apple tree over the stepping stones path to the rhodo that is by the deck.The path is looking quite nice this year, with corsican mint growing between the stones.  I need to keep this area weeded.  Small grass and tiny orange flowering weeds seem to like to grow here.  The mint gets little purple flowers and otherwise has a wonderful fragrance when stepped on.  The harry lauders walking stick (curly filbert bush), a small blue spruce are along this side of the path.  You can just see another rhodo peeking out at the end of the path, by the deck.  There are some primulas along the edge of the path, at the bottom, in front of the rhodos.  The moss garden starts just beyond the primulas, an azalea, a couple of hellebores, and ferns.  I let the welsh poppies self seed in the moss garden, but keep the ferns back from the moss along the dry stream and the stepping stones into the area under the deck. 
 on this closer view of the rhodo, we see the fig tree on the right.

 close up of one of the rhodos.
On Monday we were to Sydney for lunch with our travel agent, Maria, from Marlin Travel.  She had this Mickey Mouse in the front window advertising a Disney World vacation.  When I half jokingly said I wanted that mouse.. she said she would see what she could do about that.  I went home with the mouse.  She is the best travel agent.  We have been with her for years.  Monday was a terrific day.  We took the Bentley for a run to Sidney and while there, just happened to run into a 1927 4.5 liter Bentley.  There were about 28 of these cars on a tour.  But that's another story...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June weeding and watering

 A white foxglove that is in a pot on the deck.  It self seeded there.  I must save seed from it as well as the white columbine.  I should tag and bag them.  Perhaps I can get more white flowers for an attempt at a white garden in my cutting garden. 
 This scabosia is doing well on the deck.  Most of my butterfly/humming bird flowers on the deck have about run their course for perennials in pots survival.  Might rejuvenate them with herbs.  I am using chives, oregano, and bought parsley.  Ruby's parsley survived the winter last year, so hope mine will.  The dill is pathetic again, all though it did germinate before the birds got it, I suppose.
 The water feature on the deck with climatis.  The two iris have buds.  One is white and the other the lovely purple one.
 This is the white water iris in the pond.  Same one as is in the deck pot.
I was looking at some of our photos from our 2011 trip to the Model Ts meet at Pincher Creek.  I relly liked this one of the Columbia River wetlands and so had to get it ready for that travel album, if I ever get it done.  A quote from a website about this area: 
The Columbia Valley Wetlands covers an area from Canal Flats to Donald and is the longest continuous wetlands remaining on the continent. It covers 26,000 hectares (64,000 acres) and supports over 260 resident and migratory bird species. The Columbia flood plain is very flat and ranges from 1-2 km in width.
Yesterday, I emailed out the link to my gallery on megashot for last year's Can Am, and I am getting a few return mails.  Always nice to hear from people.
In the garden, I have the front pretty well cleaned up with just watering and keeping an eye on any weeds to be nipped before they go to seed.   In the back, I have the water garden and the waterfall working good.  The moss garden is looking real good too.  I need to be on top of those wretched bluebells in the spring.  I moved a big fern from beside the little dry stream and patched the spot with clay soil.  I hope the moss grows here quickly.  I think I got a new little moss in one of the flower pots from Brentwood Bay garden center.  I put it on this new area and hope to see it expand.  I have several different kinds of moss growing.  I am keeping it damp under the deck and it is slowly spreading.  I am also getting ferns moved around under there.  I move the chair to where I get a view of the moss garden and the pond.  I need to remove the delphinium to get a better view of the pond, though.  Some of the transplants are already growing to fill in the neighbors view under my deck and to my back patio.  I am in the process of cleaning up the little garden bed behind the garage.  My beautiful hydrangea is there, but has got some kind of fungus.  The leaves are all shriveled up and dying, but the wood underneath is still alive.  I hope I can save it.   After that I must get the woodland under control; especially those bluebells that are crowding out everything.  The dames rocket grew huge this year, so did the old fern and the lily of the valley tree.    Well, the garden is every changing, and interesting.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Facebook losing Face

An early morning sunrise from the CanAm model T meet at Bremerton Wa.
I hope there is a new day dawning in the social media world.  I was not surprised, but totally disgusted when reading this:
quote:  Do you have a nagging sense that Facebook isn’t always straight with you about how they share your personal information, photos, posts, friend lists, networks, likes and surfing habits? That they are selling your data in ways that you have never even imagined?

Your instincts are dead on. Facebook has been saying one thing to our faces and doing another behind our backs. Facebook is in pre-IPO mode and has the propaganda machine running overtime like Big Brother at an Animal Farm.

Enter the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC just released a formal complaint identifying eight counts against Facebook for violating the Federal Trade Commission Act. The FTC confirmed what we’ve always known: Facebook tells us what they think we want to hear, not necessarily the truth. Here are the details of Facebook’s dishonesty:

    Under the guise of increasing user privacy, Facebook has consistently provided their advertisers with ever-expanding access to sensitive user information, not less.
    Contrary to Facebook’s marketing machine, user profiles are assigned a unique User ID that allows applications (e.g. Farmville) to track us as individuals, not as anonymous, aggregated members of a group.
    Even if you restrict all applications’ access to your data, your friends can install applications that allow Facebook to expose your personal information without your consent or knowledge.
    When a user deletes their account, Facebook will remove the user’s profile, but they do not remove the private data associated with the profile upon deletion. It remains stored on Facebook-managed servers, forever available to vendors, advertisers and applications.
    Worst of all, the FTC confirms that anytime Facebook makes updates to the website, a user’s personal security settings are lost and must be re-set because prior settings have been “overridden” by the updates. In other words, all of the time and work you put into customizing your privacy and security settings are lost anytime Facebook adds or tweaks a feature.
    Within every count in the complaint about Facebook’s business practices, the FTC used one or more of the following “qualifiers”: False or misleading representation, Deceptive act or practice, Unfair act or practice, Contrary to the statements made…

But Facebook hasn’t just violated a law imposed by the FTC, they have violated the trust of their profit-makers, all of us, the users. At the most basic level, Facebook has failed 6-7 clear litmus tests of trust leadership. Here are three of their biggest violations:

    Transparency – the right of those on the outside (users) to know what those on the inside (Facebook, application developers, law enforcement) know about us. Users know nothing, and in fact, it often seems that Facebook employees don’t know how the ‘engine on the inside’ works.
    Expectation – the reasonable assumption that Facebook honestly tells us how our data is being collected, aggregated, used and sold. As shown by the FTC complaint, they are doing no such thing.
    Respect – the most basic component of customer service, which says that users should be treated as stakeholders in the company, not as naive profit-centers who donate their data, for free, as endless inventory to be packaged and sold to multiple bidders.

The FTC reveals an arrogant Facebook, an organization that has systematically exempted itself from the rules, because of it’s size, it’s wunderkind story and our obsession with comparing our lives to others’. With an IPO expected early next year, it’s feared Facebook will tell the FTC what they think it wants to hear, once again, protecting their bottom-line at any cost.

Ultimately, if Facebook continues to ignore the elephant in the room, all stakeholders (including stock holders) will divest their investment and delete their profiles and we will start to speak of Facebook like we do MySpace. Of course, Facebook is too successful right now to fathom that outcome.

John Sileo is a leadership speaker on deception and trust, including: social media privacy, trust leadership and identity theft. His clients include the Department of Defense, Experian, Homeland Security Pfizer and the FDIC. Contact him on 800.258.8076.   unquote
May be found at:

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Late May garden photo

 The tree peony was huge and gorgeous with a slight fragrance.  It got its usual share of compliments.
 This is a blue perennial geranium.  The flowers are nice, but I really like the textured fresh green leaves.  I have a number of them around the garden.  The garden designers say that planting some of  the same plants around the garden rooms unifies the garden.  I just like this carefree, well behaved plant. 
 Last year's planting of calendula that did not bloom.  At the moment they are the stars of my newly made cutting garden.  I was trying to grow vegetables in this area, but there is just not enough sun and too many tree roots.  I had Davey Tree guys cut back the hedging cedars a bit and take off the long branches at the sides, so I may get a bit more rain and sun in this area.  I hope I have these calendulas in the garden forever now, by self seeding.  I think they will make good cutting flowers.
 I let the columbines self seed every where in the garden.  I am going to save the seed from this white one.  There have been some lovely lavender and mauve ones this year.    It looks like it might be in a pot, but it is in the ground.  That tray is what I am going to use for starting any seeds or cuttings. 
 This is the rectangle in the front garden on our driveway side.  That is one of the lupines that I started from seed last year.  I had 22 plants and can find only 6 plants now.  They do not live very long.  But I will be trying to take better care of them.  I had Davey Tree guys take the cedar hedge behind these plants down to about 12 feet.  The little honeysuckle hedge in front of the plants is trimmed and growing nicely after a few years of neglect.  This bed is cleaned up nicely now and the plants are healthy.  The regular peonies are finally doing well this year.  Just a little care and attention does wonders for them.  I have dug out some of the bamboo runners and Derek came over to get them.  More photos of the peonies soon.  That little geranium goes very well with the colors in this bed.  It is going to make a fine edging plant. 
 The pond -- shooting from up on the deck, framed by the knarly old plum tree branch.
 I was loosing a lot of water out of this waterfall.  I rebuilt it with a piece of pond liner under it covered with a few flat rocks. I put the moss back over the rocks on the side.  This moss might wick off some of the water, but there has been very little water loss since I fixed it.  The mermaid sits on top of it again.  I think she makes the waterfall look taller.
 One of the tall bearded irises. 
We had a very good butternut squash awhile ago.  I planted the seeds in the vegetable patch and they came up quickly.  In a few days they were gone!  I don't know what got them!  Maybe the crows.  I have seen a little brown bunny in the front garden, but it wasn't eating anything.  Since the neighbors have their stinking open compost bin next to my back garden I have seen more crows and even rats in the back garden.  Thank heavens there is some relief in sight for this problem.  Next year, Saanich is going to implement the two tier garbage pick up system.  We will have one bin for green garbage and another for everything else that cannot be composted.  This is being done so that we will have less garbage going to the landfill.  I am already doing this with the Community Composting green bin people.  They take all the kitchen scraps and garden clippings.  And my gardening is a lot of clippings.  They take branches up to 3 inches in diameter.  They leave me a bag of compost on each pick up day which is every 4 weeks.  So, this is going to put the city people in charge of this perfectly fine service I have now.  I hope the guys from Community Composting get to transfer their truck to the city.  They have been really good for me.  I am afraid of what will happen when these civil servants start telling me how to leave out my garbage, or the possibility of a strike.  I will need to go and get compost instead of having it just dropped off at my house.  I would prefer to have the option of staying with my Community Composting guys.  Saanich says we should still keep our compost bins going.  I will use my old one for grass clippings and leaves... anything that does not attract rats.  Everything else will have to go the closed garbage bins. If I have any more big tree branches they will need to be cut up for burning in the winter.   Saanich does not want invasive species of plants either.  So what am I suppose to do with the bind weed and thistles?  C'est la vie!  Some good things about this and some not so good.
The photos were done with HDR photo merge of the bracketed shots.  I still need to get this feature of photoshop working well for me.
I have the front garden pretty well cleaned up and am starting on the back, now.  The cutting garden has the new transplants surviving.  Under the deck is slowly getting the moss, ferns, and few other shade plants to spread and grow.  

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The visit

 Tara and Freyja were to visit last week.  She and her mom are real sweet hearts. 
 She is 20 inches tall already and is doing her best to stand up.  Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds too. 
 more photos from last year's CanAm tour
 Something from the garage tour at the CanAm
This tweaking the photos for the CanAm is an uphill job, all the way.  Shooting through the wind screen on a moving vehicle on a bright and sunny day is quite a challenge.  I must try shooting in the 'sports' mode.  I was not getting anything of the baby shots with bracketing as she is just too active.  So, the sports mode should be the right one for something like this too.  The camera knows what it is doing... a mentor of mine from a few years ago said trust your camera.