Yellow Asiatic Lily

As much as I enjoy flowers from the garden, I find it hard to find the time to enjoy the gardening process as much as would like. While time is always a big factor, I have another hurdle to overcome as well. Deer.  The end result is that only hardy and native species survive year after year.

To keep deer from eating your flowers, veggies or whatever, you need an 8′ tall fence. I’ve never managed to put the time together to get that job done. Plus, in my case, it’s a fully manual process. Just no way to get machinery back there to dig the fence posts. The old style post digger works just fine, but it takes the best part of a morning to remove the old, rotten posts, dig new ones, and concrete in a new one. Big job.

But some plants survive the grazing animals. Lilies are hardy and the blooms seem to last a while before getting eaten. Rhododendrons are native to this part of the country, at least at higher elevations. They contain enough alkaloids that deer will only try to eat them as a last resort.

Crossvine in the garden

Another species that I grow once in awhile are Crossvine. They’re good for hummingbirds, and have a certain exotic look about them. Best of all they don’t require much word work, especially if you keep them in pots. That also keeps them from running rampant.

These images were all taken right in my backyard. All grown in the shade. I have a lot of big trees, so there is precious little direct sun that lasts most of the day. Understory plants do quite well in that environment, but your common garden flowers that need a lot of sun just don’t work. A little research into what works in that environment will pay big dividends.

Rhododendron Nova Zembla

One thing about photographing flowers from your own yard is that it really requires getting the early shot. Just because there are a lot of trees, it doesn’t mean there aren’t bright patches of light. From the perspective of photography, you can have spots of very bright light and deep shadow on the same plant. That makes low light and long exposure times your friend. Early morning is also the time when there is minimal wind. With longer exposure times, that becomes critical.

When your subject is close by, there is one huge advantage. If conditions are not just right, you can try again the next morning. You miss all the fun of traveling to new spots, but you can do the shot over and over until you get one you really like. As with everything else in life, there’s a trade off.

Quote of the Day
“God made a beauteous garden With lovely flowers strown, But one straight, narrow pathway That was not overgrown.
And to this beauteous garden He brought mankind to live, And said “To you, my children, These lovely flowers I give.
Prune ye my vines and fig trees, With care my flowers tend, But keep the pathway open. Your home is at the end.”

Robert Frost


Wikipedia on Lilium

Wildflower Org on Crossvine

Rhododendron: Missouri Botanical Garden