Category: flowers


Over the past few weeks, I have posted information about my garden.  I decided that instead of posting heights and counts, I would write about what I have learned about gardening in my first attempt.

I was a little nervous starting this venture, as I had never so much as grown a single food-producing plant in my life.  Sure, I’ve kept the Christmas cactus and a few other household plants alive, but they were bought at a store and all the hard work was already done.  All I had to do was water them.  No big deal, right?  Here’s what I learned…

-Zucchini plants take over a garden.  We got this tiny plant from Hewitts and it couldn’t have been more than 6 inches long with one leaf.  Now, it is a massive, 3 foot round, 3 foot tall monster covering a strawberry plant and a banana pepper plant.  Next time, I will give it a very large area to grow in and make sure none of the smaller plants get shaded out.

-Tomato plants get HUGE!  I gave them about a foot and a half in between, but they still have grown so big that I can barely walk between them.  They are also almost up to my chest in height.  Next year, I will plant them about three feet apart so I can walk between them to pick the tomatoes when they are ripe.

-I also need to put some type of weed control down.  Not a chemical, but maybe weed cloth.  I have kept up with the weeds for the most part, but some have grown a little more than I would like.

-I need to work on a compost pile.  I was told that the pile will help to enrich the soil and make it much more fertile.

-Putting something down (grass clippings, leaves) around the base of the plants will help keep the moisture in the ground for the plants.

The first zucchini from the garden

So far, the garden has been a success.  I have harvested two large zucchini, a grape tomato and a cherry tomato.  There are two small sweet peppers starting to grow as well.  A lot of the other tomatoes have started to grow, but aren’t quite ripe yet.  One thing is for sure – I am going to have tomatoes out the wazoo pretty soon!  Guess I better learn a little bit about canning!

Last night, a few members of the TCRPMG went to Washington Park to apply what they had learned in the Camera Basics 101 course led by John Iannelli.  I think it was a huge success.  While we were there, I couldn’t help but grab this shot of the statue in the fountain and the amazing sky he was facing.

From where I was standing, it looked like he was yelling to the heavens, perhaps asking for rain.  The texture of the sky made it even more appealing.  I was really happy that I had been there at that exact time.

At the meetup, we discussed how light affects how your image comes out.  We also discussed shutter speed and aperture.  The main components when used together can make some really amazing shots.

We found a nice flower and took pictures of it, with the goal of having a sharply focused main subject with a blurred background (bokeh effect).  It was a great exercise and I think the members really enjoyed learning how this effect was accomplished.

Last week, I put up a chart with measurements of the plants growing in my garden.  I measured again this week, and there is quite a big difference.  I am really starting to get excited, as things have really taken off.  I have a few new tomatoes, and the plants have grown by leaps and bounds.

We also found three strawberry plants and a red pepper plant at Price Chopper for $1 each.  What a deal!  I planted them on Sunday, and am hoping it’s not too late for them to produce this summer.  Time will tell.

Here are the charts for last week and this week.  Look at the difference!

After last week’s rain and this week’s abundance of sun, my plants in the garden are really starting to take off.  I decided to start measuring them once a week to chart the progress.

The tomato plants seem to be doing the best.  There are about four of them that have tiny little tomatoes growing already.  I was shocked when I looked and saw them on the plants.  One of the Grape tomato plants has five tiny tomatoes growing.  I am thrilled!  It wont be long now.

After I measured them, I built a chart to show how tall the plants are.  My goal is to update the totals next week, and every week thereafter so I can see just how well (hopefully) they are growing.   I will also try to get pictures of the tomatoes as they grow.

Here is the chart I made today;

As you can see from the chart, the tomatoes are growing much more quickly than the others.  The Green Peppers and Banana Peppers are taking forever to grow.  In case you are new, this is my first time growing a garden.  So far, it has been a lot of fun.  I can’t wait to see what grows and is actually edible.

Did you plant a garden this year?

As some of you may already know, I currently have some of my photos hanging in a gallery in Kingston, NY.  I received word yesterday that next Saturday will be the gallery reception.

I would like to invite you all to come to Barista’s Espresso Cafe in the Hudson Valley mall on June 26th to view the work Angela and I have on display.  Angela is the co-organizer of my photo group, and a good friend.

For those of you in Albany, I know it is quite a hike to Kingston (about 45 minutes), but I would love to see you there if you can make it.  It would mean a lot to me.  The event is open to the public and children are welcome.

Place: Barista’s Espresso Cafe1300 Ulster Avenue Kingston, NY

Date: June 26

Time: 4-7pm

If you need directions, please do not hesitate to leave a message here or shoot me an email if you have my email address.  I hope to see you there!  See ya soon!

The other day, as I was wandering around the yard getting pictures for my garden blog, I saw the rose bush had a bunch of blooms.  As I was looking over the rose bush, I saw this group of five roses.  When I looked at it a little closer, the five flowers seemed to shape a heart.

I have looked at this bush quite a few times, and the image never stood out to me.  I spent some time shooting it and then I cut the group and put it in a vase for Rose.  I was even more shocked that they were all growing on the same stem.  One cut got all five of them.

You can see from the picture that the few extra roses on the bottom and a little farther back seem to extend the bottom of the heart.  That was just a little bonus.  I didn’t plan that.  So, you never know what you’ll see, even when walking around in a place that you think you know well.  Keep your eyes open!

Take a look at the picture.  Can you see the heart?

Last year, I planted some seeds in a starter kit inside the house to see if I could grow some flowers and veggies.  I managed to grow some stuff, but never got around to transplanting them outside and they got too big for the small containers they were in.  The roots couldn’t go any farther and ended up dying.  Not so good on my part.

This year, I decided to try again.  This time, I was going to start the seeds outside and hope for the best.  I planted some radishes, green peppers, basil and parsley in a small strip around the outside of the pool fence.  I got the seeds at Walmart for a few bucks, so if they didn’t grow, I wasn’t out much.

After a few weeks, I started to see little green sprouts.  Cool!  I had always wanted to have a garden, but didn’t know if I had a green thumb or not.  I went to Home Depot and got some green coated chicken wire to keep the animals out.  After a few weeks, the radishes were starting to grow big leaves.  I was pretty excited.

When I planted the plants in the ground, I also planted some of the seeds in pots.  The potted plants were slow to start, but they took off a little while later.  The parsley is really growing well.  I was pretty excited by these results.  I was so excited that I decided to start a bigger garden.  I was a little scared it would not work, but you never know until you try, right?

I decided where I wanted to put the garden and measured out what I thought would be a good size.  I went back to Home Depot and got two 12′ 2x10s, 2 8′ 2x10s and 2 8′ 4x4s.  Or, so I thought.  I brought them home and stained them to make them look nice.  In the meantime I had begun removing the grass in the area I wanted to put the box.  It was tough work, as I don’t have a roto tiller and had to do it all with a shovel and a pitch fork.  That was not a lot of fun, but I got it done.

We had gone to Hewitts and Gade Farm before this to pick up some tomato plants and a few other veggie plants.  Along with the tomatoes, we also got zucchini, sweet peppers and green peppers.  At a tag sale two weekends ago, we picked up six grape tomato plants for a buck.  What a deal!

After all the dirt removal and shoveling, I put the framework for the garden together.  When I got it out by the garden area, I made a startling discovery.  The 2x12s were actually 2x14s.  And the 2x8s were actually 2x10s.  Crap, more digging.  I guess I have plenty of room for the plants.  I might even need more.  Thanks Home Depot for incorrectly labeling your products.

After I got the box in place and leveled out, I planted the veggies and put up the fence to keep the animals out.  Now, we wait and see what happens.  I hope to have an abundance of tomatoes in a month or two.  Here’s what I built.  I am not mechanically inclined in the least bit, so this is an accomplishment for me.

With the first day of summer just about two weeks away, I start to think of why it is my favorite time of year.  I think the warm weather is a bit of a given, but I have a few other reasons why I love it.

The Pool – I’ve been a water rat since I was a toddler.  I also lived close to the ocean in Virginia growing up.  So, I have spent many hours of my life in the water.  I’ve also been pulled out of the pool (over the side) because I couldn’t breathe more times than I care to remember.  That has not stopped me from going back in.  To this day, I still will spent a good portion of the day in the pool.  I love it!

The Grill – I love cooking on the grill.  I do it all year long, but it’s much more pleasant when it isn’t below freezing outside.  This morning I made bacon in a frying pan on the side burner of the grill.  I like to make it outside so it doesn’t smell up the house.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hot dogs or steak, I love cooking out there.  Plus the grill overlooks the pool.  Bonus!

Motorcycles – Riding is a huge passion of mine.  I still do it in some of the colder months, but like other things, it’s much more enjoyable when it’s warm outside.  Being on a motorcycle is such an amazing feeling.  It’s so relaxing.  It also will make you forget all your problems for a while.  Great for clearing your head.

Friends – This one sort of ties into all of the others.  Summer to me is about hanging out with your friends, having a cookout, swimming in the pool and riding.  There’s something about the camaraderie of bikers that makes you proud to be a part of that family.  I’ve met some of the best people while riding or talking about motorcycles.

Photography – This is also a given.  I do have a photography blog and a Photo Group.  The sun, the flowers, nature, cars and waterfalls all make me very happy when I get out with the camera in my hands.  There are a lot of places that I want to shoot this year.  Hopefully this nice weather (well, before this weekend) will continue and I can check more places off my list.

What about summertime makes you happy?