What’s blooming in the Sunset Garden in late August


From left to right: Moonshine yarrow, blanket flower, snapdragons, and heliopsis.


Below: The blanket flower (Gaillardia )was just added last week and needs to get taller but goes nicely in front of the ‘Eldorado’ feather reed grass, don’t you think?




hot flowers in bright sun

After unsuccessfully trying to take pictures of birds through trees while camping last week, I decided I need to learn how to use my camera on something other than the auto setting!  Since it was super sunny today, I played with aperture and took pictures of hot coloured flowers in my Edmonton garden. I wasn’t that adventurous and just left the ISO setting on ‘auto’ – gotta start somewhere!!  And I didn’t use any tools, filters, reflectors or post-processing besides cropping them, just so I could see what the differences were.

Below: Red poppy in front of heliopsis in the Front Courtyard Garden.  Left photo was taken at f/4, hence the blurry background.  Right photo was taken at f/11.  No noticeable difference in colours.  Both at ISO 100.


Below: Paprika rose in front of blue sea holly in the Front Courtyard Garden.  Oops, left photo at f/5 has too short a depth of field!  But the colour is richer than the right one, which was taken at f/11.  On the right, the camera adjusted to ISO 160.


Below: Daylily ‘Frans Hals’ in the Sunset Garden.  Taken at f/4, ISO 100.


Below:  Another daylily in front of scarlet runner beans and kale in the veggie garden.  Left to right: f/4 with the blurriest background, and no real difference between f/9 and f/11.  All ISO 100.


Below: Some beautiful begonias in a pot in the side garden, taken at f/11, which I can see is probably the safest if I want everything in focus! This was actually in the shade and the camera adjusted to ISO 400.


Below: On the other hand, I do like this “portrait” of a canna lily better taken at f/4, on the left, because the veronica in the background is more out of focus than at f/11. Both ISO 100.


Well, there you have it. Now I’m waiting for clouds.


yarrow, red campion, snapdragons, and ninebark

My garden has exploded after that week of heat we just had.  Here are some photos of the Sunset Garden right now, with yellow and red yarrow, red campion, and red snapdragons in bloom.  That’s a Coppertina ninebark shrub with the leaf colour that matches the brick of the house.  The white and blue flowers way in the background are persicaria and delphiniums.  Click on the photos to zoom in on each.


Taking a step back, here’s a front view of the whole garden.  Next year I think I’ll put some taller annuals in front of those grasses to fill those bare spots, at least until the shrubs get bigger (there are some potentillas there but they’re not very big yet).





fall foliage – my Hot Wings maple

One of the first things I did this spring was plant a maple tree.  Granted, it’s not got the big old Canadian-flag-shaped leaves that cast deep, dark shade that I remember and love from growing up in southern Ontario, but it has more fall colour than a poplar, which is one of the things I was going for.  I’m looking forward to seeing brilliant red keys (samaras) on it next year.