Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pictures in the Fog

Today I woke up in the fog and decided to take some pictures. I didn't have good luck with fog pictures with my old not-digital camera--I once took a picture of a tree in the fog that led J to ask me, "Why did you take a picture of that building?" The building had been masked by the fog in real life, but the camera picked it up clearly.

So I braved the cold in robe and slippers to get some pictures of the garden. And some of them came out "not bad." (No one will ever describe me as a good photographer--ever.) The picture at the left is of the tree mallow that has grown much larger than I intended (I guess it was the compost I spread in that part of the yard) fronted by the Cape mallow that J inexpertly cut back a couple of months ago.

For reasons that are not clear to me, my impatiens are still blooming. I had planted them in small pots, thinking that they'd last through the summer and then keel over at the end of October, which was what happened last year. But they're still going strong. (Had I known that they would make it this long, I'd have repotted them in larger pots. If, however, I do that now, they will certainly die within the week.) The cyclamen, which traditionally blooms at this time of year, survived from last year. In fact, the cyclamen didn't even die back over the summer. I have no idea what I did to keep them going--none. I favor white flowers on the living room side of the yard, as we can see them at night. On really dark nights we can't see the foliage and the flowers "float" around the patio.

My Japanese maples are turning color now. They are all still small--the eldest is only about four years old--so they still live in little pots, but they are giving us a preview of what they'll be like when they get bigger. The red one is my Burgandy Laceleaf, purchased as a small expensive stick. Some day I will have to move this one to a better location, as it needs more sun in the summer, but I love having it outside the living room window.

This one is in a better location, but can't be seen from the window. Its leaves have turned a golden yellow this year, but the real treat is the coral bark through the winter. Both of these are grafted onto sturdier root stock, but I do have one that was grown as a cutting. It's doing well now (its first year), but I have no idea whether it will survive as well as the grafted trees.

This is not the season for flowers here. Some of the azaleas have, for reasons entirely unclear, put out a few blossoms, and the sasanqua camellias are in bloom. For several years I had a Yuletide--one of the most prolific bloomers of the sasanquas--but it suddenly sickened and died a couple of years ago. I purchased a new one this summer, but it's still a real baby and has only put out a few blooms so far.
My Setseguekka has been blooming like mad. It's a gangly plant, but with my very favorite sasanqua flowers.

The pelargoniums did very badly this year. I don't know why--they're supposed to do well here. (Pelargoniums are often featured plants in window boxes and planters in pictures of American-owned villas in Tuscany, as they survive in hot, dry climates.) I have determined that they're not appropriate in natural gardens, but I like plants that (most years) grow well, and I don't mind that they're a bit more structured than the rest of my plantings.

I may be doing something wrong, or perhaps it's just that I'm experimenting with new varieties and the new ones are just not going to make it. Plant hybridizers have quit test-gardening most plants, as they've found it cheaper to just toss them into the market and see which ones make it.
That wouldn't be so bad if the untested were cheaper, but the cost of plant material has increased rapidly over the last couple of years. Gardeners are paying high prices for plants that don't make it. And garden centers wonder why people are cutting back. Hmmm. Hmmm.

At the right is one of the survivors. The picture of another came out fuzzy, so I did what is so wonderful with a digital camera--I deleted it.

And I guess Senator Clinton really does want to be Secretary of State. And so does the former President, as he's going to have to give up most of his income-producing activities for the duration.

A note on taking pictures in fog, assuming that you want to capture the foggy conditions. Force the flash on, which does two things. It lights the foreground, which then enables the camera to "see" the fog. (I found this out by accident, when I neglected to turn the autoflash off.)

1 comment:

annot8 said...

So, where's the fog? It's so hard to get evidence ... like fairies ...

Your photos are very good. Ain't digital cameras wonderful? You can see the result immediately and keep or re-take.