Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Cameras Aren't All Fun and Blooms

When your camera battery can't make it through taking pictures for Garden Blogger Bloom Day it might be time to think about a new camera. Since I had already replaced the battery last year at a cost of $50.00 and the front sliding lens cover that turned my Canon on and off was becoming rickety it seemed like a good idea to research replacement cameras. Not to mention wanting a camera that works when garden bloggers nationwide gather in Chicago this May for Spring Fling!After a lot of Internet research I ended up with a Canon Powershot SD 790 IS, bought at Costco with a rebate making it even cheaper than the 1100 I had considered. I came home, charged the battery and took off for a visit to the Sweet-Granddaughter's house. I was very pleased with the photos it took and loved the fact that it was half the size and weight of my old camera.
Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to run out to the garden for the first time since I got home Monday was still squishy from the rain but I thought I'd see if I could get a picture of the ornamental plum that I saw blooming when I looked out the window. Then I thought I'd try a macro shot of the camellia Chandleri Elegans that's been blooming for a week or so. When I walked over there I saw the Anisodontea Very Cranberry had started blooming again.

Under a few leaves I found the first crocus of the year. If the rain holds off I hope to find more this weekend...all I need to do is clean up the leaves covering the beds where they are popping up. And in the teardrop bed I was surprised to find this little daffodil...between the rain and being out of town I hadn't even seen the buds!

The Santa Rosa plum always begins blooming on one side and then the blooms spread to the other side. The side closest to the concrete patio gets just enough extra warmth to give that side of the tree a few days headstart. And that branch almost always has the first ripe plum too...although right now June seems a long way off!

After taking these photos I came in and tried to look at them on the camera before uploading them. I then spent about two hours trying to get the camera out of 'Stitch Assist' mode. And another hour or so today until it finally worked...not that I know what I did. So I am going to be taking a lot more pictures in the next few days and playing with the buttons and dial to see if I know what I'm doing. I need to convince myself that it is user error/ignorance and not a problem with the camera. For now I'm hoping it's a learning curve and it will all seem easier least before May!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

GBBD February 2009

Once again, Carol at May Dreams Gardens invites us to share our blooms on the 15th of the month. We are finally getting some rain in Davis, for which I am truly grateful. The few blooms in the garden are a bit bedraggled as a result...a price I am more than willing to pay! We have now gotten a bit more than 50% of average for year-to-date rainfall and I'm hoping the next week will bring the number up even higher. The warm weather has convinced the Santa Rosa plum that it must be time to bloom. Hopefully the cool rain will slow that process and the bees will be able to do their job before it is too late. I have actually seen bees out and about so odds are we will be able to enjoy at least a few plums about mid-June.
The Iberis in the warmer, sunnier spots have begun to bloom also. Other Iberis plantings won't be blooming for weeks yet.
Wanting to get spring on a roll is this stunted bearded iris. I doubt I'll see more any time soon!
The pansies are very happy and have bounced back after being rather energetically picked by an overenthusiastic four year old visitor.
Rosemary Tuscan Blue is brightening up the herb garden. When it looks so cheerful I feel guilty for contemplating it's removal. I have another rosemary elsewhere in the garden and since I am not a rosemary-in-my-food person I'm thinking the space could be given to something I find more useful.
Camellia Chandleri Elegans, an early- to mid-season bloomer, is very prolific this year and the plant itself is finally beginning to have a bit more height.
The cyclamen I've tucked in here and there after Christmas every year bloom at various times. These, covering one of my termite stations, have grown nicely after a couple years.
Other bloomers this month include:
Lavender pinnata bucchii
Dwarf Carnation Evermore
Felicia amelloides
Tulbaghia fragrans
Chrysanthemum paludosum
Viburnum Spring Bouquet
Fava beans
Summer snowflakes (leucojum aestivum)