09/12/16

Late Summer Flowers

Late Summer Flowers

The Earth Laughs with Flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Late summer flowers in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico are magnificent.

late summer flowers

Cosmos in Corrales

Visiting with friends Tim and Laurie is always fun. Visits usually include Tim and I photographing, and Laurie sketching. This weekend was no different. Our “photographic expeditions and excursions” are on temporary hold. However, we make the most of what is locally available. Their property always has great photo ops, but their Lively Meadow is especially lively in late summer.

A forest of sunflowers greets the arriving visitor. As I was driving into Corrales, I almost stopped to photograph some sunflowers growing along the highway. I laughed at myself as I drove into their property. I was also glad I did not stop along the highway!

late summer flowers

Sunflowers

The tall sunflowers provide a natural backdrop for the cosmos.

late summer flowers

Sunflowers and Cosmos

Cosmos are a riot of color. The little blue flowers are morning glories.

late summer flowers

Colorful Cosmos

Laurie sketched while Tim and I photographed.

late summer flowers

Laurie Sketching

Later, as we always do, we went back to the house and deck.

Tim and Spunk:

man and cat

Tim and Spunk

On the deck and outdoor kitchen:

man hat coffee

Tim Relaxing

woman

Laurie

I don’t know how or why, but something a little special and always unpredictable seems to appear at just the right time. I love this beautiful, sparkly little damsel fly that visited the butterfly bush as we were enjoying conversation on the deck.

damsel fly

Damsel Fly

A beautiful late summer day with friends and flowers.

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06/27/16
gardens friends

Gardens and Friends

Gardens and Friends: A Day in Corrales with Friends and Family and Friends of Friends

Gardens and friends – gardens are such a wonderful gathering spot for family and friends in the summer. Regular readers here know how much I love to visit with the Price family in their Corrales garden, as well as our “photographic expeditions” to various places. We frequently end those travels back at their home and garden. I have rarely shown all the socializing that goes on in that garden and on the deck. Yesterday was a day for being in the garden and visiting with friends and with friends and family of friends. It ended, as it always does, with wonderful food, drink, and conversation in the outdoor garden kitchen.

I always love driving down the little lane to Tim and Laurie’s home – it is so Corrales!

gardens and friends

Trumpet Vine on the Lane to Tim and Laurie’s

Once there, it was a time for friendships in the garden and at the table. Nothing more needs be said.

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05/17/16

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

2016 Corrales Garden Tour, Sunday, June 5

The 2016 Corrales Garden Tour is coming up very soon, Sunday, June 5. The information for times, as well as for pre-sale and day of tour sale are on this poster.

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

Gardens Fulfill Needs

Gardens answer so many desires. They are places of beauty, offering emotional and physical recharging and introspection, or a chance to share hospitality. Our gardens are the first place to act locally as we think globally about caring for the environment.

The six unique gardens on the Corrales Garden Tour on June 5, from 9AM-4PM, speak to all those needs and yearnings. Some are quietly serene and very private, others capture rain runoff and allow it to return to the soil; some have whimsical elements and a variety of seating areas. You will see gardens in the trees, others in the sandhills, and each has taken our climate and need for water conservation to heart in various ways.

Different gardens are featured each year, and the gardens are always interesting. Here is a post from last year’s tour on water features in the garden.

Six different gardens will be featured this year, and Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions. It will be a very enjoyable day.

Be sure to wear sunscreen, and it is always a good idea to have water with you.

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09/9/15

Cosmos in Corrales

Cosmos in Corrales: The Beauty of a Naturalized Landscape

Cosmos this past Labor Day weekend were spectacular in the Corrales garden of our friends Tim and Laurie. They grow many different plants, with roses being the focal point of the formal part of the garden. But, sunflowers, brown-eyed Susan, echinacea, morning glories, coreopsis, and others, have been allowed to naturalize portions of their land along the Rio Grande. All were spectacular this past weekend.

Cosmos attract many different pollinators as well as hummingbirds, goldfinches, and other birds and butterflies. The entire garden was buzzing with lively critters.

There were so many different colors and combinations in these naturalized, self reseeding annuals . This is a small sample to give a feel for the beauty of even just one kind of flower in the garden.

cosmos

Field of Cosmos

cosmos

Cosmos, Up Close

cosmos

Almost White Cosmos

This is just a very small sample of the cosmos in the landscape. They appear among a wide variety of flowers allowed to naturalize the garden space, which was spectacular in its color and beauty this past weekend.

The prolonged drought has taken its toll among many flowers. One very good adaptation to that appears to be growing a wide variety of plants. More images of different flowers growing in this beautiful space will appear later in different posts.

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08/16/15

Beautiful Spider and Web

Spider and Web

This beautiful spider and its equally beautiful web greeted me one recent morning. The web had been woven overnight, and blocked my way from the patio to the remainder of the yard. Oh, well… I went in to get my camera, and then walked through the round garden to get to the other side, where the light was better for a photograph.

spider

Beautiful spider and web

Close up view:

spider

Beautiful spider and web, up close

Spiders of a wide variety are found in the gardens of the Desert Southwest. Here in Albuquerque, I expect to find beautiful webs such as this one, some stronger, some less strong, from August until a heavy frost. They may occur at other times, but this is the time I expect to see them. At times, I have had access to the front door blocked by a beautiful web I did not wish to destroy. This was the first web I have had that blocked usual access from the patio to the rest of the yard. Although I would have preferred its location to be elsewhere, I was happy to find such a beautiful web in the morning light.

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07/30/15

Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge

Photo challenge to myself – go photograph some things you frequently photograph, the way you frequently photograph them. But, use only the jpg, with no editing other than cropping and applying a copyright watermark.

Recently some photographer friends and I had one of the very common discussions floating around since the advent of digital photography. Is editing a raw file (digital negative) kind of “cheating,” or absolutely necessary to realize the full potential of digital photography? Anyone who knows me at all knows that developing my own raw files is something I do as part of my standard workflow, and overall will continue to do. It is one of the things I really love about digital photography!

The discussion with friends, however, made me want to go out and see what I would get with jpg rather than raw files, with the only editing being cropping to an 8×10 ratio rather than an 8×12 ratio, and the application of a watermark.

These are the results.

photo challenge

Miniature rose, ‘Climbing Earthquake’

photo challenge

Cosmos, with “imperfect beauty”

photo challenge

Green bee with pollen, on cosmos

The challenge to myself was a fun exercise, but I am a confirmed “photograph in raw” person, just because I truly enjoy the editing process.

LightStalking has a good discussion of the benefits of using raw files rather than jpgs.

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07/21/15
garden ornaments

Garden Ornaments

Garden Ornaments from the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour

Garden ornaments can be whimsical, serious, beautiful, colorful – any variety of anything a gardener wishes to have. Here are a few examples from one of the gardens on the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour this past June.

Ever have days like this?

garden ornaments

Ever Have Days Like This?

Some are more serene:

garden ornaments

The serenity of music and angels

Whimsy is always fun:

garden ornaments

Whimsical Bee

When pigs fly…

garden ornaments

When pigs fly…

These are just a few of the ornaments seen in one Corrales garden. They were all interesting, and added a different kind of visual appeal to the setting. All made me wonder what the owner was thinking when they were placed, and what thoughts they continue to bring to mind not only to the owner but to casual visitors.

This was a fun garden to visit on the Corrales Garden Tour.

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06/9/15
water features

Water Features

Water Features in the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour

Water features were surprisingly prominent in the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour, held this past Sunday. I say surprising, only because they were more prominent than I am used to seeing them in Albuquerque proper. In thinking about this, though, perhaps I should not have been so surprised. Corrales is a Village, its own governmental entity. It does not have the tiered water billing system of Albuquerque. It sits right on the Rio Grande River, and many people have wells. That is not to say at all that everyone has unlimited water use, only that water use may be somewhat less regulated than in Albuquerque city limits.

The water features seen were quite refreshing. The three shown in this piece were all different from one another. Each fit the garden it accented. A lot of good landscape planning went into all of these.

This was in the back yard of the first garden we visited. It had a little bit of everything: small waterfall, koi, and water lilies. The home had a covered back porch which looked out toward this pool, along with numerous hummingbird feeders and seed bird feeders. It was all very pleasant, indeed.

water features

Waterfall, Koi, and water lilies

This next home had a variety of different areas within the yard area. The swimming pool was good size, and this waterfall and surrounding rockwork and sculpture were quite appealing.

water features

Waterfall and sculpture at swimming pool

My personal favorite of the water features was this almost hidden pool.A small wooden slide created an almost-waterfall and in addition there was a fountain supplying not only water but the beautiful ripples you can see on the surface. The growth around it was lush.

What made this pool almost hidden was a giant tamarisk tree in front of it. But, it was not the typical tamarisk tree. This one had been carefully trained and trimmed for years, making it into a very beautiful sculptural form. In fact, I was not certain it was a tamarisk. I had to ask the owner!!! Goes to show what creative people can do with something known for being less than desirable.

water features

Almost hidden waterfall and pool

We all enjoyed the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour. I have many more photos, and different aspects of the gardens will be featured in future posts.

I thank all of the garden owners for opening their gardens to us. It was a great day and a great tour.

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05/27/15
beautiful small yard

Beautiful Small Yard

Beautiful Small Yard in Albuquerque

Beautiful small yard: Albuquerque is surrounded by Federal lands of one type or another on the north, east, and south. Yards within Albuquerque proper tend to be small, compared to other places I have lived. The weather beckons people out of doors most of the year. Attractive yards in which to spend time are desirable, but sometimes making a very small yard attractive takes some thought and planning.

Water was not always considered a problem in Albuquerque, although it certainly is now. Ideally, the native plants would have been left when homes were built. Instead, the land was bulldozed clear of the native plants in many parts of Albuquerque (as well as other places in the Desert Southwest). New homes are often being xeriscaped from the beginning.

This home was built in the late 1990’s. This yard has been featured in several posts on this blog. It has not only matured, but the owner has tried to decrease the use of water by removing some plants, while keeping the foundation plantings and then a few for color. A lot of work has gone into this yard, but the owner has certainly achieved a beautiful small yard.

beautiful small yard

Beautiful small yard

The beautiful New Mexico sky is a constant feature here. Plants featured here,and these have been longstanding, are roses ‘Hot Cocoa,’ ‘Gentle Giant,’ and ‘Baby Grand;’ clematis trained on a pillar; two nandina bushes; and the Rose of Sharon, ‘Blushing Bride,’ trained into more of a tree shape than a shrub. This will bloom later in the summer. Although the yard is small, the plants give a lot of privacy here.

This is a beautiful small yard.

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06/26/12

Small Garden with Roses

This small garden with roses is a wonderful example of the creation of beauty in a small space.

Small Garden with Roses

Small Garden with Roses

This photograph was taken in May of 2012, and the clematis as well as many of the roses were in full bloom. Not, in late June, the clematis are bloomed out, as are most of the roses until August. The rose of sharon, “Blushing Bride,” is, however, blooming prolifically in the heat. I’ll try to get over to photograph the rose of sharon later this week or over the weekend.

A partial listing of roses seen blooming in this small garden would include:
Continue reading

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