May 2, 2013

The Bright Side of Gloomy Garden Days: Better Color Photos

cottage garden  by Defining Your Home Garden and Travel
Container hosta nestled between nepeta and Japanese painted ferns,
growing beneath a tree-form Encore® Azalea. May 2013
Gloomy. Misty. Chilly. Where do I live? Not Seattle. North Carolina is having a cool spring. To find a bright side to this weather, I walked in the garden with the camera.

Colors show true in photos when the skies are overcast. On a typical, bright sunny morning in my south-facing garden, it is difficult to catch the true bloom colors as the rays of the sun cast a yellow-orange glow. I compared the two conditions in this photo post in 2009.

So, I'll stop complaining about wearing a raincoat outside and running the heat inside and share today's garden highlights in the lowlight.

Perennial blue flax, grown from seeds originally sown in 2009, continues to return or self-sow. Flax is a favorite and I have two varieties that, when transplanted early in spring, are welcome fillers in bare spots. Otherwise, I let it go where it sows as the slender foliage takes up little space. Deer and rabbit resistant. For more photos of this companion, click here for 2011 and here for 2010.

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Two views of perennial blue flax. May 2013

cottage garden  by Defining Your Home Garden and Travel
Spires of salvia nemorosa Bordeaux™ 'Steel Blue'. May 2013
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Salvia 'May Night'. May 2013
Salvias rule. My best nemorosa varieties include Bordeaux™ 'Steel Blue', 'Caradonna' (not yet in bloom) and 'May Night'.  Of the three, I can't choose a favorite, but 'Steel Blue' and 'Caradonna' are more unique than the popular 'May Night'.

The shades of red in my salvia greggii have a more accurate representation on cloudy days. I'm a fan of this drought-tolerant perennial that blooms heavily in spring and fall, and is loved by hummingbirds. Below are two of my favorites, but take a look at this post on April 26, 2012 and you can see the difference the cooler weather has made. Today's blooms are nowhere near the display of last year. Deer and rabbit resistant.

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Salvia greggii 'Diane' is a lovely purple-red. May 2013.
I failed to capture the quick hummingbird feeding on
salvia greggii 'Navajo Bright Red'. May 2013.
Verbena 'Imagination' dangles over the cottage garden stream.
May 2013.
I'll wrap this up with dainty bloom clusters of verbena 'Imagination' that was sown from seeds and the native amsonia hubrichtii, two of my favorite frilly bloomers. Both self-sow freely and it is easier to keep the amsonia under control than it is the ground sprawling verbena. Deer and rabbit resistant.

I've been using my iPhone for many photos lately, but for today's post, all photos were taken with my Samsung HZ30W, purchased in 2011.

Until there are more blooms in my garden...enjoy yours.

Amsonia hubrichtii at the edge of the gravel garden. May 2013.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

My name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. A freelance garden and travel writer with roots in technology/marketing strategy at SAS Institute Inc. I'm loving my life whether at home, in the garden or traveling. I garden in harmony with bees, butterflies and....deer and rabbits! Zone 7b. My wonderful husband (aka "The Musician") helps with the heavy lifting.

My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

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Paris, France; September 2013