Monday, March 24, 2014

Mid March in the garden

 We have been having quite a bit of rain since my last post.  This is good.  We needed it to top up our watershed for our dry summers.  The daffodils have been out for the last two weeks.  The crocus field is finished.  It was not as nice as previous years due, partly, to the rain hammering down on the flowers when in bloom.  Either children were picking flowers or the bunnies got some of them, too.  Now the Magnolia is in bud and about to break into bloom.  And so too is the plum tree.  The camillias are in bloom, the wind flowers, the polyanthus, the arabis, aubretia.  It is still a bit too wet to cut the bit of grass that I have.
 I was to the orchid show and sale a couple of weeks ago.  I came home with a Paph.  Vietnamense like this one (mine is tiny ), a species minature cattleya called cattleya maxima.  It does not appear to get too big.  There was one in the show that looked blue under the lights.  The tag on mine says it is lavender.  Also got a Cattleya Intermedia (Oriata x Aquinil) that should be red.  I believe I have a photo of it from the show also.  About 2 weeks ago I was to Cannor nursery to get pots and some really good orchid potting mix -- it even contains bits of charcoal.  While there I also got a huge blue hosta that should get to be 4 feet tall.  It will go under the deck and get sun through the broken down cedar hedge.  This should help to obscure the view from the neighbors back door and sitting area.  I also got a bleeding heart plant which will go with the hosta.  They both need shade and moisture retentive soil.  I have a few backs of compost that I will mix into the clay soil in the area where I will plant them and the clay surrounding the hole can retain moisture nicely.  I have cleaned up the orchids and repotted the new cattleyas.  The paph is still small.  My Pot. Lisa Taylor Gallis "Nora" (Blc. California Girl x Sc Beaufort) is in bloom and very fragrant. Pot. stands for Potinara.  This is a small cattleya. Pictures later.  The blue infused Phal. below is finished blooming.  I am saving its blossoms and have them in a dried arrangement.  When it blooms again it will revert to its original white or whatever color.
 I was playing with textures for this rendition of the blue orchid.  It is fun playing with this stuff.  I don't have near enough time to play.
I have been able to find my old PS CS and have it running on my new hard drive.  On the old PS CS I was able to add the Virtual photographer plug ins, that do some lovely conversions to black and white, etc.  The Virtual Photographer does not work as a stand alone program on Windows 7.  I don't need it though.  I have Paintshop pro X4 for the frames and some other very interesting filters that I have yet to explore.  On the old PS CS i am able to access the 'simple' web photo gallery that I was using for albums on my old web page.  When I could not seem to activate my old PS CS, I found a very nice little web photo gallery  creator that I am able to edit with my basic html.  I really like the new one and may just keep on using it.  I found it easy to use and edit with note pad.  I finished the July album and loaded it to my page:  here July Here is the homepage for the photo gallery creator if you want it.  Web gallery creator

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