Gardening Gone Wild’s theme for the April photo contest is light. I consciously set out to play with it today, but I was too late – the sun disappeared after my first shot, although the later light was still lovely. Interestingly, I preferred this shot with its flare to the one I took with the lens protected – but it still far from a competition entry.
Next up, playing with the camera. I had the tripod with me, so depth of field and slow shots were possible, and I had a lot of fun with subjects I might not otherwise have attempted. This is a Cornus florida, well on its way to autumn.
Especially where they are well shaded, the hydrangeas still have lovely colour. A darker blue has taken on a jade green patina, whereas paler blues are a soft lime green now.
With a thin layer of pink clouds providing indirect and filtered light, it was the sculpted quality of the leaves that I really enjoyed. What other plant has such perfect leaves so late in the summer? And how beautifully the subtle shades of green in the flowers compliment the leaves.
The Pin Oak at the bottom end of Quercus Corner was looking lovely in this light, but I had a bit of fun in photoshop, exploring the drama posterization can add to a pic.
The way the stream flows below the darkest of our purple Japanese maples and the weeping cherry is always lovely, even if it is difficult to capture on camera.
That was light then, and camera; time for the action. We have not been idle in The Garden Celebrating an Imperfect Universe. (If you are lost, I wrote about this new project last week; you will find it here.) After some contemplating of the site I decided that the change in levels had to be accentuated. (Note: the valley was tilled using a mule-drawn single plough until the late fifties and seed potatoes were planted. The steep terrain was vaguely terraced into narrow, less steep areas, and these lines still run across my garden. The Rosemary Terrace is one of those terraces, and the Imperfect Universe lies on the next terrace down.) We did some digging and removed a pick-up plus trailer load of soil – about 1 1/2 tons. Then we went and cut some invader wattles down on my cousin’s boundary line. They will be used to create a woven retaining wall, so that the flowers are looked down on from the upper level as well as from the ‘stepping stones’. The wall is being prepared and pictures will follow. The remaining smaller rounds from the eucalyptus trunks have been brought on site.
I have also been planning the details of constructing the fountain. Instead of copper plate (horrendously expensive), I will use galvanised sheeting painted with copper-coloured hammertone paint. Lovely, but hellishly expensive too. I have bought a meter length of eighty mm galvanised irrigation pipe (also not cheap) and the necessary fittings to mount it on two standpipes. This will be the jig on which the chute is shaped. And I have been onto bidorbuy looking for the decrepit remains of a brass musical instrument for the water to well up through at the centre of the garden. The Celestial Trumpet, so to speak…
Oh, and looking at the photos – we have started cutting back the hedge which must form the perfect backdrop to the Rosemary Border. It is amazing how much it has outgrown its space: the pillar from which I took picture as well as its mate with the pot on it just before the ‘ dustbin’, were completely grown over. Next year we will cut back the opposite side of the hedge. And next week we will run a horizontal line along the top to see if we can get away with not having any steps along both this elevation and the bottom end of the Anniversary Garden. I can not tell you how much that simple line will mark the divide between the old order and the new in my gardening life!