Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Photographer: Ann

 Our good friend Ann has been helping us in the gardens for years now.  We owe her a great debt of gratitude. Not too many people would be thrilled to weed and deadhead hostas, rake and haul load after load after LOAD of white pine needles for mulching the flower beds and tote heavy rocks around for nothing.  (And still be our friend!)

This summer, Ann's work schedule hasn't allowed her to be around here as much as last year, but when she has some spare time, she is always willing to lend a hand.  She says working here beats paying for a gym membership. Carl loves to joke that she can have a free workout any time she wants, we will never raise our rates.

Last weekend, Ann was here and so the camera was passed to her hands.  Here is Ann's photo session:
The trumpet vine is still tooting all over the place and making the hummingbirds very happy.
This is why guest photographers have been so much fun, everyone sees the garden in a different way.  I don't think I've ever looked at the trellis from this angle before. 
It was a very hot and muggy day; the coneflowers look really neat against the overcast sky.

The little flowerbed out front.  The tall grass in the middle is 'Northwind'....that is the sturdiest grass I own and very well-behaved.  The red celosias aren't doing much yet, very strange year we've been having.
This bed is a mish-mash of flowers but I'm really liking the 'Double-Click' cosmos this year in amongst the coneflowers and rudbeckias.
Ann captured a photo of David and Screech Kitty...not sure why Dave is holding a tool....maybe Screech needed an attitude adjustment?
'Baby Blue Eye' spruce and 'Magnum' coneflower
Lavatera......going through these photos I was trying to figure out where Ann found this's a volunteer seedling from last year that popped up on it's own.  I think I should plant them again.
My fencepost pots were doing really well last weekend; 'were' being the operative word here, I forgot to water them for two days.....ooooops!  I cut them back and we'll have to see if they make a comeback or not.  
Arizona Sun gaillardia...great performer, keep it deadheaded and it will keep blooming.
'Gold Standard' and 'August Moon' hostas........and yes, they all need deadheading....more on that to come....
OT their fragrance
They really are that tall, too, towers of flowers.
The Woodland Bed with Milton the Rock in the middle.  (Yes, we've named our biggest rocks, too.)
As we stroll through the garden with Ann, I should tell you we've all been hard at work weeding and deadheading.  The humidity has been just oppressive and the only things enjoying the weather besides the plants, are the mosquitoes.  I have a group of Red Hat Ladies coming to see the gardens on Monday (the temps are supposed to be near 90....oh dear, I think they will be wilted Red Hatters) and I don't want them to see a weed patch when they come.
'Forever & Ever' hydrangea--hey, does anyone know?  Am I supposed to deadhead this type of hydrangea or not?  I'm assuming yes until I hear from you.
This is stand of 'George Peabody' cedars and the 'Golden Raindrops' apple tree planted right behind the Stone House-to-be.  Again, an interesting view, one I've never thought of photographing.  See, I highly recommend turning your friends and family loose in your garden with a camera, it's amazing what they see!
Some of the flowers are just starting to bloom well on the East Quarry Hill. 
While the rudbeckias are still going strong on the main hill.
Now here's something I've never taken a picture of before,'s Carl's 'heron' creation made out of old light fixtures and conduit and what-have-you.  
From the Hill...and I use the word 'hill' lightly,'s just as high as we could make it with the old tractor and loader and shoveling by hand.  In other words, Not Very high.
St. John's Wort in the foreground with a tamarack tree on the right, a pair of 'Fat Albert' blue spruce on the left and Blue Butterfly delphinium, coneflowers and a threadleaf coreopsis in the background.
Look!  Ann found a doggie (Pudding) in the weeds.  This bed was weeded less than three weeks ago, unbelievable growth rate with heat and humidity pushing them along.   I told you we have been weeding!  By the way, these weeds are gone now.  You can come and see for yourself, they're history.  I tossed them in the chicken's pen.  Chickens love to eat weeds, did you know that?  Well, not all of the weeds, but they do love to scratch and peck at the leaves and other such parts.  Pudding just likes to walk through them, lol.
Here's a neat contrast of 'Sorbaria Sorbifolia' blooms open and in bud.  The shrub grows much like a sumac, so yup, you're right, it runs around the garden, especially in our sandy soil, but I keep it in check by pulling the runners......still not a plant for those of you who love tidy, well-behaved plants.  The flowers are very fragrant.
Over by the escarpment, more hostas to deadhead......I got these done on Tuesday night.
Down in the Formal Garden here, and we've still not completed the rock work down there.  Ann worked with Carl rebuilding the new wall for the first fifty feet.  Just another sixty feet to go.  Just.
I still have a lot of flowers to remove from the border in front of the wall yet, it's been a slow process.  Once the weedy-looking stuff is gone and the grass is seeded in, this garden should look much better.
The trees sure have grown down in this garden since we built the dome in 2004.  Seven years later, the trees are so much taller.
Twin pillars of flowers...poor planning on my part to have the plant stand so close to the lilies.  The lilies are stealing the show!
'Robina' OT lily
My attempt at a Japanese-look...oh, stop laughing.  I tried.  And the silly begonias don't want to cooperate by spreading out and forming a carpet.  

Here's a before and after picture, courtesy of Ann:  She asked what she could work on while she was visiting and I said the hostas need deadheading, so off she went.  See what I mean, what a wonderful friend!!

She took the before picture:

And the After picture:
This border of hostas is much longer than the photo shows, there are literally hundreds of hostas planted along the 25' stretch, behind and in front of a low stone wall.  She had more than one wheelbarrow of blooms to her credit, too.  (I wonder if she's going to be available this weekend?  There's a whole lot more that need the same treatment.  Ann?  Yoo hoo, Ann??!)
Ann also stealthily stalked Carl and I while we were digging daylilies...I thought I heard something in the shrubbery.  And there's Dave behind us coming around with his camera.  His Guest Photographer spot will be coming up next week.  For some reason, the pictures he took earlier this week didn't turn out.  

Every time I take pictures, I usually have one shot that turns out pretty well.  I think this picture that Ann took is just phenomenal, what a great way to end Ann's Guest Photography session.
I'm linking up with Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday
Check out other blooming beauties from around the world with Tootsie.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  

And Ann, THANK YOU!!!


Darla said...

Great job Ann!, not just photographs but the deadheading of the hostas too. I know Karen and Carl adore having your helping hand(s) around. So Karen, do explain about deadheading hostas and hydrangeas..I have only just learned of deadheading these two...please....I want to see photos of the red hat ladies tour, making some cool drinks for them I'm sure...

Alison said...

Ugh! I need to get out and weed and deadhead too. Those hostas do look so much better now. What a great friend Ann is, she sounds like a treasure. The Sorbaria flowers do look very similar to our native Ocean Spray. And I like Carl's heron very much.

I love that last photo. You're right. It's phenomenal!

Sue said...

You have a really special friend there.
The garden looks great no matter WHO is taking the pictures. Lovely!!
May I ask-how are your pots attached to the fenceposts? I love that idea.
And how much time do you spend watering your containers? It really looks wonderful.

Beth said...

Karen, I really enjoyed this post. Ann did a great job on the photos, and you on the narrative. I just love your gardens; they are so very colorful and well-designed! WOW!!!!
Blessings, Beth
p.s. I am glad you posted Robina's pic; I have her too, but she bloomed while I was on vacation and I missed the show!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Ann is certainly a great photographer but then again she has a wonderful property to photograph. Your lilies are beautiful, mine fried quickly in the recent heat.

I love the way you combine all different colors and they work together.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Fantastic photos by Ann, not only of the gardens but of the gardeners as well. I love that heron made by Carl and plan to show it to my DH.

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Netty said...

Wonderful photos!!
I've also been busy deadheading Hosta's as well as Daylily's. Not my favorite job but it sure tidies the gardens up. I think it's time I get someone out in my gardens with my camera.

Pamela Gordon said...

Hi there. This is my first visit to your blog and first time participating in Fertilizer Friday. Your gardens are out of this world gorgeous! I've never seen anything like it on private property. Amazing lot of work you've done! I noticed the Forever and ever hydrangea photo and it looks like the blossom of one I posted in my blog today. Would you mind checking it out and letting me know if it would be? I bought it as a house plant at Easter in 2009 and stuck it in the garden. This it the first bloom.
Thanks so much. I hope I see your beautiful garden on here again. Pamela

Roslyn said...

Ann obviously loves the garden. Thanks for sharing her view. I especially loved the photo of the coneflowers in front of the spruce - wonderful contrast.

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Absolutely breathtaking - I'd love to know the reason behind your garden layout and how you got started. How long has it taken to get to this point in your gardens and how much land is there that you've cultivated for gardens?

It is so amazing!

Shirley @ The Gardening Life said...

There's so much beauty here! The dome is gorgeous with the trees and plantings so much more mature than the earlier post you showed us of its beginnings.

It's fun to have another perspective on the garden. I look forward to Dave's.

Mel_Cole said...

marvelous garden. well kept up. loved those cone flowers.

Diana LaMarre said...

I really enjoyed seeing your garden from Ann's perspective. I love the last photo, too.

I can't even imagine having people tour my garden--waaaaayyyy too stressful for me! Your garden always looks good, so I am sure the Redhatters will enjoy their visit.

Please send Ann to my house; I have a lot of deadheading to do tomorrow!

Rosemary said...

Ann, way to go, a great photo tour of a garden I am coming to know and love from visiting blogwise.
What a fabulous friend as well, That was one long garden bed of hostas to deadhead but oh they do look better.
I still smile at your sneaky photo.
All I can say is the "Dr" who thinks gardening is not enough of a work out hasn't seen this place with residents like Milton.

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

Ann's perspective shows of your garden well. Isn't it fun to see our own garden through another's eyes? I find that I keep taking the same scenes over and over each season.

Betsy said...

Ann is a wonderful friend to have. She has some lovely shots here. Everyone needs an Ann.
The dome is such a beautiful structure in your garden..
I am in awe of everything I see here.

Ann said...

Thank you everyone for the nice comments! It is always fun to grab a camera at Karen and Carl's garden. I feel very lucky to have a gorgeous garden to play in whenever I want! Karen is so gracious to let me near the plants, since I barely know anything about them besides color. Carl's Heron looked like it was nibbling on the plants as I came around the corner. The final pictures I took where a fitting end to the photo shoot...Karen and Carl in their natural habitat.

Diane at My Cottage Garden said...

Anne did a wonderful job of photography here. Everything is just gorgeous. I especially love that woodland garden! Well done!

Cheers, Diane

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely amazing...
I believe that gardening is a way of showing you believe in tomorrow...
You will always have a lot of gardening to be done... therefore... you shall always have a lot of tomorrows!!!
Have a wonderful day enjoying your garden... Im sure the Red Hatters will...

Tootsie said...

What a pretty post!!! Your photos are just lovely!
Once again I am just loving the tour of all the gardens that have linked in to my little party! I am so excited to visit each and every post...they are all so inspiring and I am NEVER disappointed! The creative gardens and colorful displays that I am lucky to see are inspirations that I would never have found had I not found each of the gardeners I see online! Thank you so much for sharing your garden with my Friday Flaunt this week...I do hope you will link in again soon!
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