Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Filling the Frame - October GGW Photography Contest

This month's "Picture This" photography contest at Gardening Gone Wild  features a detailed explanation of the concept of "filling the frame" when setting up photographs in the garden.

Presented by acclaimed photographer Saxon Holt, the challenge he put to us this month was to use the the entire canvas - the full expanse of the photograph - to create a well constructed composition of elements or to feature and isolate an element that drew our eye.

I have to be honest, this month's contest has been the most challenging one for me so far.

I love the textures surrounding the pansies.
I've never taken even a basic photography course and I make this next confession with a fair amount of chagrin:  I have never completely read the manual that came with the camera I've been using for the past 7 years either.

Having participated in several GGW contests over the past several months, what I have come to understand is that the more I learn, the more I am able to appreciate just how little I know.  At the very least, I see some books on garden photography in my future!

This was a tiny splotch of color in the original photo.
Earlier this year, Nancy Ondra published a blog post that addressed point of view and staging when photographing garden subjects.

She gave some wonderful pointers and examples and I made a conscious effort to really look at what I was photographing.

I probably could have cropped the top a bit more.
Okay, I know that sounds a bit crazy, but what I mean is that I really looked at not just capturing the status of the garden beds and individual plants in pictures, but also capturing what she describes as "wow moments".  I took her suggestions very much to heart and the end result was that I took double and sometimes even triple or more the number of pictures I've taken in years past.

In trying to improve my garden photography skills, I am thankful for two things: we are in the digital, not film, age of photography, and I have no reticence in relegating poor shots to the Recycle Bin.

I admit that it took me a while but now I have no trouble deleting duplicates, poorly constructed, and otherwise unnecessary photographs.  (I know my computer appreciates it...  I was rapidly filling up the memory on my hard drive with blurry pictures of flying insects.)

Given that I had been photographing our gardens, dogs, insects, fruits and vegetables, and weeds daily (yes, an average of almost 200 photographs or more each day, 4-5 days a week), I was certain that my biggest dilemma would be deciding which one of the potentially dozens of perfectly framed photographs I was certain I'd taken over the summer would be the best one to enter into the contest.

This is an example of a photograph that I struggled with.  I captured a scene and cropped what I felt was the "story". But should I have focused on an element, and if so, which one? And should I have cropped more, and if so, how? I felt that the walkway on the right was integral to showing that the tea table was set in a garden along a walk.
After wading through more than three thousand photographs, I have to confess, as I tried to choose photographs to work with for this challenge, I was more confused than ever.

This was one of my top three picks for a contest entry but I felt it was too "flat."  I tried to include the koi in the picture but no matter how I tried to position myself to shoot the frame, the abundant foliage of the water lily created too much green space between the lily and the koi.  I tried unsuccessfully to reposition the the bloom and the leaves for a better shot.

I read through Saxon Holt's tutorial several times and even though I thought I understood the basic concepts involved,  I have struggled to apply them in practical terms to my own photographs.

UPDATE:  Ultimately, I submitted this photo....
His explanations are concise and cogent and I can see exactly what he means in the examples he gives.  But where I fall short is in translating the concepts to my own pictures... I can't always find the "story" they are supposed to be telling me.

Although I am someone who learns best by reading, the absence of objective feedback makes it hard for me to know if I've really "gotten it" or if I'm just deluding myself into thinking I have. (I am guessing that in addition to several books, there is going to be a photography course in my future as well, LOL.)

Fortunately, he published another blog post yesterday in which he reviewed the fundamentals of  creating a composition that "fills the frame" and included several more examples.  I'm still not certain that I've been able to effectively translate the lesson to my photographs but as they say in New England, it's time to fish or cut bait.

I still struggle with the concept of "negative space" vs. "wasted" space. I also have difficulty determining if the "scene" should take center stage on my "canvas" (like his waterfall image does) or whether a more effective use of my canvas would be to isolate an element from that scene as he did with the image of the feather grass and Phormium.

From the perspective of negative space, this is probably a better photograph than the one below, but I was concerned that the hummingbird clearwing moth was not in perfect focus.  My vision is impaired and I often can't tell if a photograph is in perfect or not. Thank heaven for the auto-focus function but it's not perfect and I am concerned it keyed on the bloom and not the moth.

As you can see from the photographs peppered throughout this post, I tried to apply the concepts of this challenge to photographs that I've taken over the summer.  Deciding which photograph to submit for the contest was hard, not because I thought that they were all excellent examples of the technique, but rather, I am concerned that none of them demonstrate the concept all that well.

One of my top two contenders is this next photograph of a hummingbird clearwing moth.  I love the way the out of focus blooms, twigs and leaves melt into the background yet form a frame around this amazing creature.  I would have painted it exactly this way if I were dabbling in watercolors.  My guess, however, is that the photograph posted above is a better use of the entire canvas.  I suspect that an expert critiquing this image would note that what I view as attractive negative space is actually wasted space.

In answering the question I've asked myself about each photograph - What is the story this picture tells? - to me, the presence of the somewhat ethereal background evokes the idea of a faerie glen, not just your ordinary butterfly bush in a garden. (Okay, so I have a vivid imagination as well.)  I also liked the way the dark foliage in the upper right corner brought out (at least to my untrained eye) the dark coloration on the clearwing.

The other top contender is this last photograph of one of my favorite roses, Bella Roma. A hybrid tea with a wonderful fragrance, I was struck by the way the cane and leaves "frame" the rose.  I also love how a spray of the shrub rose Passionate Kisses that is blurred and out of focus forms a lovely backdrop for the single Bella Roma blossom.  It reminds me of a botanical print.

My only regret is that I didn't groom the shrub before I photographed it to remove the dried bloom near the bottom of the frame. I considered cropping the bottom but felt that the leaf spray on the bottom was an essential part of the "frame" that I was trying to capture.

Bella Roma taking center stage in one of my favorite photographs

Other than cropping, I did not edit any of these photographs at all.  As far as which photograph will ultimately be submitted to the contest before tonight's midnight deadline, perhaps you can help me decide. I vacillate between the two, but right now,  I'm leaning toward the hummingbird clearwing moth, although I'm open to suggestions and feedback!

UPDATE:  Well, the decision is in.... Steve was really taken with the photograph of the hummingbird clearwing and the common buckeye sharing a wand of buddleia blossoms and so that is the one I submitted.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sour Grapes

Mommy, I feel sick.
For the past month, two-year-old Katie, one of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels,  has had sporadic bouts of unexplained vomiting.  

Although her activity level and appetite and even her bowel pattern remained completely normal, in between eating and playing, Katie has had several episodes where she brought up large amounts of basically nothing… clear liquid and little flecks of nothing recognizable, but nothing that looked suspicious or problematic either. 

Typically, she will come in from playing outside, be very quiet for a while, and then without any warning, vomit once or several times.  

We hadn’t been able to identify a cause or a pattern, and once she vomits, she is generally back to her normal self, appetite and all.   In fact, more than once, she raced right back outside to play, rolling around in the grass or playing "chase" with the other dogs.

She was scheduled for her annual routine physical examination with our family veterinarian three weeks ago.

Although she had not vomited in the two days preceding the appointment, I mentioned it to the vet as it had happened often enough to be concerning.

He checked her over pretty carefully and found her to be in excellent health with no sign of a problem.  He was as mystified as we were and told me to call if she had any further problems, but he found nothing at all abnormal or unusual in her examination or lab work.

The answer came unexpectedly when I was out photographing the briar patch last week.   The golden raspberries are ripening and I wanted to get some photographs.   The dogs went out with me and were running and playing under foot, all except for Katie, that is.

When I noticed she wasn’t with the others, I went to check and found her under the grape arbor, standing on tippy toes, snagging clusters of grapes off the vines.   Suddenly, everything made sense.

I scooted her out of the arbor and into the house.  Just inside the door, she vomited up clear fluid and essentially whole grapes.   That was followed by another round of vomiting a half hour later,  with nothing showing in her gastric contents at that point. Clearly, I had my answer.

Grapes and raisins have long been known to be poisonous to dogs.   The earliest sign of a toxic effect from eating grapes is vomiting, and if the dog continues to eat grapes or ingests a large number of grapes, symptoms can progress rapidly and dramatically as kidney failure develops.

The toxicity caused by grapes and raisins can be serious - even lethal.  While one grape is probably not going to be an issue for any dog,  you certainly don't want your dog to develop a fondness for them.   And if they do have a penchant for them, it's one habit you want to nip in the bud.

Katie is a gulper and I think the fact that she didn't really chew them much if at all was her saving grace.   The miracle is that her tummy rejected the grapes almost as soon as she would eat them.   She was probably vomiting the grapes outside before she ever made it indoors, since we never saw any grapes or grape fragments at all in what she brought up before that instance.

It's  exceedingly fortunate that given the number of grapes she was eating, she never developed any other acute gastrointestinal symptoms or signs of kidney involvement.

Steve and I clipped all of the grapes that were within her reach and carefully raked up and picked up the stragglers that had been knocked to the ground by birds and squirrels.   

Prior to this year, none of our dogs ever gave the grape arbor much thought.   They love other fruits and will nibble on strawberries and blueberries and figs, but none of them have ever shown any interest at all in the grapes or any of the other wild berries that the birds like to eat.

Until recently, the grapes that have been produced have been high enough on the lattice to be completely out of their reach.   This year, we added some new vines that produced some low growing sweet green grapes. 

We’ve resolved the problem for the time being, but we will be alert to this in the future.   We are planning on putting a short fence around the arbor in the spring.  At the very least, we will be sure the vines are tied up and that grapes are out of reach,  but a short fence is an inexpensive extra pound of prevention.

When we were shopping earlier in the season, we saw some pretty metal fence sections that have stakes that push into the ground.  That would be an effective, decorative solution.  These dogs are very short and  even a 12-18 inch fence is an adequate barrier.  It's something we can easily step over, but it will keep them safely away from any grapes that might fall on the ground.

Determined not to miss out on her current favorite treat, she snuck over to the arbor and headed straight for where she hoped to find some grapes.   We had been watching where she headed and gave her a stern warning to stay away.

We've had to monitor her carefully, but after three days of being sent up to the deck or brought into the house every time she went near the arbor, she finally has decided that it is probably a good idea to stay away from that corner of the yard.   We don't dare let our guard down though; grape toxicity is nothing to fool with in dogs.

My mom is such a meanie!
She’s not happy that we’ve come between her and the mother-lode of sweet, and her facial expression says it all.

There is no question that the phytonutrients in brightly colored fruits and vegetables are beneficial antioxidants that serve a protective function in both humans and dogs.  But like chocolate, grapes and raisins are definitely off the menu for our furkids, much to Miss Katie’s dismay.

This experience brought us up short.  We are generally pretty  careful pet parents but she was so stealthy, she escaped detection for quite a while.  
But that reminded me that not everything in the garden is either appetizing or safe to eat.   While the birds might be enjoying the berries of the bittersweet, that is another berry that would not be healthy for Katie to snack on.   Before she even got the idea to sample the colorful berries, I went  around the yard, pulling up the bittersweet and relegating it to the compost pile. The birds who enjoy the fruit can get it there, but I don't want Katie to decide to try that as well!

If I were only just a little bit taller.... I can dream, can't I?
But Mom, I was only looking at them. I wasn't going to try to eat any more, honest! It's not fair to make me sit on the deck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Evolution - Word for Wednesday - October 19, 2011

Today's "Word for Wednesday" theme is Evolution, or Evolve.   

"Word for Wednesday" is a biweekly meme hosted by Donna at Garden Walk Garden Talk . Donna proposes a  word for participants to express in some way in photographs of things in our gardens.  Most of the words are concepts with multiple related definitions that can be interpreted and expressed in many widely disparate ways.  Evolution is no exception.

From a scientific perspective, evolution refers to the process of change over time in inherited traits in any living thing... birds, bees, butterflies, and begonias included (as well as human beings).

As someone fluent in Mendelian inheritance, I am intimately familiar with the concept as it applies to biology.  From a strictly biologic perspective, the metamorphosis experienced by Monarchs and other butterflies and moths, the pollination (and cross-pollination) of flowers to produce seeds, and the development of hybrid cultivars all demonstrate different aspects of evolution.  

Evolution as a process of growth, development, metamorphosis and change can be applied to anything - a point of view, a fashion trend, even technology.  We recently showed the evolution of the Masonic Center Garden.

I pondered how best to portray the evolution our garden is undergoing.  For those who attribute evolution to the effects of Mother Nature, she has certainly been the impetus for change here, although not quite in the way that Charles Darwin would have envisioned it.  A series of  Nor'Easters in February - March, 2010 and this summer's Hurricane Irene that have had a huge impact on our garden beds that will affect what we are able to grow in each bed for years to come.

In this photograph, you can see a very large pine tree in the left rear of our property that shaded several garden beds in that area of the yard.

One of the 2010 Nor'easters brought severe flooding and sustained winds at 90 mph that toppled this pine and another similarly sized pine which stood on the opposite side of the yard.


Each of the two pine trees were at least 40-50 feet tall, with trunks that were almost 2 feet in diameter.  We never appreciated just how much they contributed to the shade of some of the beds until they were gone.

Likewise, several beds on the north side of the yard were in deep shade from willows growing on the neighbor's property.

One of two willows that stood just over the property line in the neighbors' yard. Last summer they removed one of them that had become diseased. This summer, Hurricane Irene destroyed this tree as well. Three other trees in the middle of their yard have also been removed. The trees completely concealed the sights and sounds of the street beyond, and along with a large maple tree that is still standing,  cast that entire quadrant of our yard in deep shade.

Hurricane Irene destroyed this tree and several others were also diseased, so the property opwners had all of the trees removed, a decision we completely support even though our deep shade gardens are now in full sun for much of the day.

This view was completely shielded by the two large willows shown in the photo immediately above this one.
We can now see the street as it curves past the neighbor's home. This photograph looks out over the area where the willows (there were a total of 5 that have been removed) formerly stood. For reference, you can see the top of the sun clock in the lower right edge of the photograph.
As luck would have it, we have been blessed with three tuliptrees that recently sprouted on our property (we'll be posting about them soon!).  In the spring, two of them will be moved to the side yard near where the willows were removed.  In a few years, we hope that some of the privacy and shade that we lost will be restored.  Until that happens, some of the shade gardens are now going to be in bright sun for the foreseeable future, so it will be interesting to see how the plants in the shade beds will fare next summer.

As for our full shade foliage garden, it is still going to be in partial shade, but our plan for that bed is currently evolving. It will remain a dedicated foliage garden, but our plant choices will have to be modified to fit with the changing landscape and lightscape.

Evolution.... we have chosen to embrace the changes taking place in and around our garden. In the spring, we will rebuild several of our beds as we move trees and perennials to parts of the yard that best suit their needs.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Embracing Autumn - GBBD October 15, 2011

Embracing Autumn. I've been trying to take my cue from all of the bloggers posting about the wonderful sights and smells of autumn but it's very hard for me to do. Spring is definitely my favorite time in the garden.

Not because autumn isn't beautiful, for it is.  In fact, many would say that nowhere in the world is autumn quite as beautiful as it is in New England, where the fall foliage is usually vibrant, the red and orange and gold so vivid, the forests seem to glow as if on fire.

So why can't I enjoy the crisp air, the way leaves swirl along the edge of the driveway in the breeze, the changing colors and textures in the garden? Well, for one, if autumn is here, can winter be far behind?

This year, autumn has been less fun than usual, in part because the traditional fall colors have been muted in the extreme. I'm hoping that the brilliant hues we normally see are simply delayed.

The sugar maple across the street is usually a brilliant orangey red in late September. Last year (top photo), I collected leaves and waxed them to send to soldiers we support in Afghanistan and to decorate the table with for Thanksgiving.

This year, the leaves have all fallen and barely achieved a passable gold before they began swirling around the entrance to our driveway.

I hear that the color is better in the Mount Washington and Berkshire regions, but there is no question that rainy and cool end of summer weather has affected the fall color where we live.

Although autumn has definitely arrived in our gardens and most of the perennials have set seed and are going dormant for the winter, we still have a rainbow of colors. The roses, especially, are doing their part to make sure that the garden is alive with color and a haven for bees, butterflies, and birds.

The large swaths of blooming perennials are definitely a thing of the past, but virtually every summer-blooming plant has sent up a flower or two or more, providing sometimes unexpected pops of color throughout the yard.

Nothing says autumn in a New England cottage garden like wild asters. Owing to the influence of Nancy Ondra, we planted our first ornamental grasses this summer. The combination with wild asters that self-seeded in all of the cottage beds is a breath of fresh air after the disappointing foliage display!

The other big surprise this month is the lavender. We have our formal beds edged in Munstead lavender and it typically peaks in June. We trim it back in early August and usually get to enjoy a second, lighter bloom in September. This year, while some of the rest of the garden has struggled with the heavy rain and cooler than normal temperatures, our lavender (which normally isn't fond of being damp, mind you)  has thrived and is stealing the show. The second bloom has been even more robust than the June bloom, and even after a more than a month, the hedges are still flowering enthusiastically.

I love to cook with lavender. I dry buds to use in baking, save wands to flavor the barbecue, and also burn wands in the fireplace in winter. I've added lavender to cupcakes, tea, and even to a meat rub. But my favorite use of lavender is definitely medicinal. I use commercial lavender oil on light bulbs to perfume the house and spritz our bedsheets with lavender linen spray. I find the fragrance helps me to sleep better and to relax when I'm anxious.

But we truly appreciated lavender as a medicinal herb following our tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's two neurosurgeries. Spencer (Eulenburgs's Voyage Home, Spencer Tracy) earned his nickname "Toughie" because of the determination he showed to survive a catastrophic congenital brain malformation that left him near death when he was four months old.

Keeping him on bed rest after both his first emergency brain operation and his second operation a year and a half after the first for insertion of a shunt was made tremendously easier with the use of lavender, which I put in his food and sprayed on his bedding in his pen.

With the room totally perfumed, I'm not sure who it helped the most, him or me. But three years later, if he has a headache or is experiencing an increase in neurological symptoms, he will immediately seek out the lavender and self-medicate. When I see him lying on the hedges or nibbling on the buds and blooms, it usually means a visit to the vet is in the offing..

This photograph was taken this week, just before Toughie's most recent visit to the vet for his acupuncture treatment.

The roses continue to send forth fragrant, gorgeous blooms, although many are somwhat stunted by the persistent rain and cold. late summer and fall perennials are putting on a show, and there is beauty in the seed pods, garden visitors, and even in some of the weeds!

Although there is plenty of yellow, white, orange, and pink to go around, the red roses are stealing the show this week. The Double Red Knock-Out's are covered with blooms, and both Mister Lincoln and Olympiad have provided bouquets for the house. But the real treat this week has been Dublin Bay. Although it's a climber, we prune it and grow it as a shrub rose. This rose has shown a remarkable resistance to mildew and the dark red blooms are stunning. The shrub has been covered with blossoms for the past month.

Sprays of Double Red Knock-Out roses are plentiful. The red and white open faced bloom of the Fourth of July climber are a luscious blend of red, white and pink.
Some of the red beauties blooming today are Dublin Bay (top left), a climber that we prune and grow as a shrub rose, Olympiad (top right), Double Red Knock-Out (bottom left), and Mister Lincoln (bottom right).

Also filling the garden with red are the geraniums and a late summer surprise, Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans).

When we bought the sage, we got it because I loved the fragrance and thought it would be fun to cook with.  And indeed, I used it to add a hint of pineapple goodness to some meat dishes and cupcakes over the summer.

I was surprised this week when tall spikes of red flowers began blooming in the herb garden! My first thought that was that it looked like the cardinal flower we see growing along the river banks where we canoe.  A sniff of a leaf confirmed that what had been a relatively compact plant for much of the summer now looked like an herb on steroids and had attained a height of 4 feet seemingly overnight.

Other pops of red are showing up everywhere in our pots and container plantings where an assortment of both Nova geraniums and ivy geraniums continue to fill the planters with color.

Geranium blossoms from some of our container gardens. We also had assorted pinks, white, and lavenders but none of those are blooming although several buds are ready to open. We'll bring many of them in for the winter.

The pink roses are just behind the red when it comes to beautiful garden color. Pink blooming perennials are also doing their part to provide late summer color.

Lovely pink roses currently in bloom include Bonica (top left), Cape Diamond (top right), Wisely (bottom left), and Passionate Kisses (bottom right).
We are also enjoying Gertrude Jekyll (top left), Blushing Knock Out  (top right), Cupcake (middle left), Memorial Day (middle right)., Lady Elsie May (bottom left), and Mary Rose (bottom right).
A few Japanese Anemone blossoms are still blooming in most of our beds, although nothing like they were a month ago (top left). A deep pink zinnia  (top right) from one of the raised beds on the deck - we also have them in the perennial beds to give fall color; The spirea continues to bloom (bottom left);  Sedum  Brilliant (bottom right) has given a brilliant performance.
Left Top:  Snapdragons that have been growing in one of the planters around the base of one of our potted trees. Bottom left: A striking pink phlox. This popped up unexpectedly in a spot in the garden where I don't recall ever planting any phlox, and the plant is only about 24 inches tall. Right: We still see some coneflowers here and there through the garden, although most have faded and the tops have dried.

There is precious little orange in our garden this time of year, aside from the Monarchs which have been visiting our Butterfly Garden for the past 6 weeks, and some of our koi. The orange lilies are busy producing seeds, their blooms long since passed. And the foliage that usually provides brilliant orange color has been a major disappointment. The "orange" roses, Tropicana and Fragrant Cloud, which have been blooming all summer, have slowed down and although they are both sporting buds on several stems, with the cooler temperatures and shorter days, the blooms are much slower to develop. 

A Monarch in our Butterfly Garden.
Hints of orange and peach are seen in the Pee Gee Hydrangea (top left),  Apricot Drift rose (top right), Bella Roma (bottom left), and Hot Cocoa (bottom right.)

The hydrangea tree on our deck (top left) has white blooms that turn deep apricot and then warm peachy rose. The single yarrow bloom, though deep pink, looks almost peachy as a result of the bright yellow blossom centers. Two blooms of  What a Peach rose (bottom left and middle) show a blossom that has just opened (middle) and another that is about a week old (left). And  a just opening bud of our Peace rose (bottom right) shows a lovely mix of yellow and pink.

 Yellow flowers are among Steve's favorites and we have been adding more and more to our gardens.
 This is our first year planting Texas Tarragon (top left) in the herb garden.  It makes a lovely tarragon chicken. We do not cultivate goldenrod (top right) as we are both allergic to it, but volunteers from the meadow behind us pop up here and there. Hotel California (bottom left) continues to bloom and the yellow marigolds we planted among the vegetables on the deck are at their peak in terms of blooms and beauty (bottom right).
The bright yellow bud of Rio Samba (top left) evolves into a deep yellow and rose and then yellow and orange beauty.    More goldenrod (top right) Yellow calibrachoa  (bottom) cascades over the edge of one of our planters.
Texas Tarragon (top left) in the herb garden.  Yellow strawflowers (top right). Yellow zinnias  (bottom left). Rudbeckia (bottom right).
Julia Child (top left) has been a star performer this summer. Macy's Pride has been our most favorite yellow bloom this summer. An enthusiastic performer, the shrub has been covered with blooms all summer (top right and right).  Rio Samba is another favorite (left middle and bottom) .These blooms just opened and by mid week, the color of the petals will have evolved to a beautiful rose and then orange bi-color. When we have less rain and more sun, the color change is more dramatic and vivid.

Lavender and purple are well-represented in the garden as well this time of year. The wild asters are popping up everywhere. (We've had to pull some over-enthusiastic volunteers who were growing where they shouldn't.)

The violas benefited from a late summer haircut and are once again covered in blossoms, many of which I have pressed to use in paper crafts over the winter.
Top: Lavender wild asters, lavender phlox; Bottom: Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender', Cranesbill "Jolly Bee"
Left: Lavender Mexican Heather, Cuphea hyssopifolia; Right: Purple petunias
Buddleia, Butterfly bushes,"Dark Knight" (purple) and "White Profusion"  (white)
"White Profusion", white butterfly bush with a carpenter bee seeking nectar.
Clematis Henryii on the left, a single bloom on the left lamp post. A single lavender bloom (cultivar unknown) also appeared on the strawberry garden trellis.
Top Left: Wild asters, white. Top Right: White straw flowers.  Bottom left: Montauk Daisies, which do not usually re-bloom to this extent, are blooming again in in the herb garden. Bottom Right: White echinaceaa (coneflowers).
Although it appears almost creamy when the buds are just opening, the bloom on the left is John F. Kennedy and will open into a beautiful white tea rose.   If the middle bloom, Lace Cascade, looks familiar, it's because of its relationship (identical) to Iceberg. Lace Cascade is a climber, and I'm not sure why it wasn't simply named Climbing Iceberg.   The New Dawn blossom on the right is the palest pink,  having opened a slightly deeper shade and then faded nearly white with age.
The nights are getting colder and the days shorter, and we have already begun the task of preparing the beds for winter.  While most of the perennials have stopped blooming and seed heads are drying, we still are able to enjoy beautiful rose and perennial bouquets. Even as the perennials slowly fade, the roses will continue to bloom right until it snows.

The other hallmarks of the fall garden are the fruits and berries that provide food for us and winter food for the wildlife in the area. I'll feature those in next week's foliage tour of our gardens. 

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is the brainchild of Carol who blogs about her gardening escapades at May Dreams Gardens. Like me, Carol is a lover of spring (May in particular) who invites gardeners to record the blooms in their garden every month throughout the year on the 15th of the month. You can read more about it on her blog where you can also find links to tens of dozens of other gardens who celebrate their gardening blooms each month with Carol. Click here to visit Carol's fabulous blog!