Summer gardens

Yup… another post about flowers and summer gardens. I’ve seen them popping up like weeds throughout the blogosphere lately, and feel compelled to write (another) one of my own. But in some sense, I view this as a public service: in just a few short months, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere will be starved for color, and these summer blog posts will help get us through the long winter.

I had few small personal victories this week. For quite awhile, I’ve struggled to find a good perspective of Minns Garden that included the statue that’s tucked away in the corner. I finally found one that seems to work:

Minns Garden

Minns Garden. f/4.0, 1/200, ISO 400

A few days after I took that picture, I was driving home late in the evening and happened to see a field of sunflowers. I had recently read that sunflowers are heliotropic – their heads face the sun – but these were all facing away. Wikipedia confirms that mature sunflowers face east – so evidently this one, that was about 6 feet tall, is mature:


Sunflower in the evening light. f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 250

I’ve never been much of a gardener, myself. Although I admire people who are willing to plan and execute a garden design, and then spend hours digging weeds, I’m happy enough to enjoy the gardens that others make publicly available for viewing. Today, one of my local photog friends clued me in to a garden at a private home that was open for visitors. It was amazing! You can get an idea of the size of it in this gazing globe:

Gazing globe

Gazing globe. f/10, 1/160, ISO 500

The garden featured a large lotus pond, with at least a dozen lotus flowers in bloom:

Lotus flower

Lotus flower. f/5.0, 1/320, 250 ISO

My final garden offering for today is this shot of a hummingbird. I’ve always been jealous of other people’s hummingbird photos, and was so delighted today when this scene presented itself. I had set my camera to capture the bees hovering around a trumpet vine, and happened to notice that there was something much larger than a bee, a little farther up:


Humming to the trumpet vine’s music. f/9.0, 1/3200, ISO 500

If you’ve made it this far, many thanks! I’ll try to control my urge to write more posts about flowers and gardens, but I can’t promise anything.

About the photography: In the spirit of maintaining the educational aspect of this blog, my plan is that unless the post is about a new technique, or an epiphanal experience, I will share the camera settings in the captions and anything else noteworthy in a footnote. For this post, I’d like to point out that even at a shutter speed of 1/3200, the hummingbird wings still show motion blur.

(Post modified 8/5 to include hummingbird photo modified with texture)



  1. Beautiful shots! Envious of the hummer….mine has been elusive. Sigh. It’s like they do not know how I love them so. I am one of the gardeners you speak of…lots of time gettin’ dirty in the dirt but you do learn a few tricks. Watching things come to life in Spring, then bloom all summer long is a joy. A bonus is all the wildlife that visit a well-planned garden.

    I never thought I’d be the gardener that I am today but it is very addictive. Just something about growing something and caring for it. Makes me happy.

    • I was thrilled to get this hummingbird – I always seem to see them when I don’t have a camera! … We have solid rock about an inch below the surface of our lawn, so I probably wouldn’t be able to garden if I wanted to. A gardener would be so frustrated. Our neighbor tried bringing in topsoil for his lawn a couple years ago and it all washed away. So – the world is a richer place with people like you. šŸ™‚

  2. Thanks Scott! I realized at some point that I was getting my reflection in there, so I did some ducking and crouching… I think my reflection probably is in there somewhere where you don’t notice it. In the big version you can see traces of some people way off beyond…

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