Archive for the ‘FotoFriday’ Category

With spring well and truly here, it’s time to take off the lens covers and get ready for another season of FotoFriday!   I think we were all hoping for some exciting winter scenes — but this was not to be.

Hey, Mr Postman ---

I have a rather interesting fall rural mailbox scene from a farmstead just down the road from Jennie’s .  This farmer also likes to gussy up his barn with simple planters that never look out of place in the country.

Thanksgiving feast for a hungry squash borer.

Sue will be back in the director’s chair next week, with possibly some very interesting nature scenes from her recent time in Mississippi.  In the meanwhile, please send her your apple and cherry blossom and other springtime photos. She can “fix” just about anything from a wedding reception to fuzzy photos — so don’t be put off if your snapshot isn’t of magazine quality!  We want to see what interests you, and what’s in your garden.

Ornamental Kale


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FotoFriday 1/6/12

For the first FotoFriday of 2012 we have additional photos taken by Linda of Krones Conservatory in Cincinnati.

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This week we have a lovely photo series from Peggy Z. Peggy writes:

In early October my husband and I traveled to Omaha, NE where we visited the area’s botanical garden, Lauritzen Gardens. Here are some photos from our visit, starting with the Visitor’s Center. The plant in the closeup looks like an annual. The was a large area of shade gardens. The turkeys wandered where they liked. I have other photos I can share. The garden’s website is lauritzengardens.org

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FotoFriday 12/16/11

This week, Linda submitted a photo of her newly purchased Selaginella krausianna variegatus, commonly called Frosty Fern. Linda writes, “It’s just a small plant, but at first glance it looks like an evergreen with frost on the tips.  It grows  to 12″, is a fast grower and some use it as a ground cover.  Although in Michigan I believe it’ll just be a creeping house plant.  The stems root where ever they touch soil. The stems are bright green marked with gold. Although it’s not really a fern, it does produce spores instead of seeds, like a fern.  I think it makes a great house plant for this season.”

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Wow, do we have a great FotoFriday ths week! We have a series of photos from Mary Ellen showing the progression of a neighborhood garden she designed. Mary Ellen writes:

Experimenting with annuals can be great fun. I test different annuals each year when planting large in-ground or small container designs. Sometimes I begin with the design or pattern, then decide on the annuals. Other times I choose the annuals then figure out the design. The Star Garden, installed in a common space in my neighborhood a few years ago, began with the pattern. Then I chose annuals with varying heights, colors, textures, and long bloom time. In a public space where access to water is limited I try to use heat and drought tolerant plants. For this pattern I used purple salvia, pink geranium, and white wax begonia.

Site preparation and pattern layout

Three weeks after planting

Seven weeks after planting


Linda submitted photos and information about Ixora coccinea (common names – Jungle Geranium, Flame of the Woods, and Jungle Flame). She writes:

This is a flowering plant from Southern India.   It is often seen in Florida used as decorative shrubs and hedges. The leaves are glossy and leathery.  There are many varieties of this plant (about 500) and comes in various colors of yellow, pink and orange.  It’s now in bloom.  I love the clusters of small tubular flowers.  I keep it in my master bathroom where there is bright light and a heated floor.  It does make a great house plant in a container.  It will usually bloom from November and often it continues to bloom until February.  I’ve had it now for about four years and it never has let me down.  It always gives me a boost when everything else is fading.  These’s a bit of maintenance during the flowering time when the individual flowers begin to fall; but it’s well worth it.

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It’s been a rough week. All things technological still hate me, and I’m posting from my husband’s computer since mine is STILL in the shop. To top the week’s bad luck with technology, my brand new Ferrari-like camera finally got delivered – defective. To content myself with some serenity-inspiring photos I went to my husband’s archives. I chose these because they all have a Zen-like quality to me. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.

Photo credit Tom Morrison

Photo credit Tom Morrison

Photo credit Tom Morrison



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FotoFriday had glitches this week! This is the week for me to lose all battles with technology! My brand new computer is in the shop for warranty work and I couldn’t extract the photos I’d had saved for FotoFriday. I had several contributors this week, so I apologize profusely and ask if you could possibly resend them. They were all really nice photos and I want to make sure we feature them. Fortunately, Jennie sent these after my computer went down so I was able to post them from my husband’s computer. Jennie’s photos have a thanksgiving theme, in a personal way.

I am thankful my daughter is sharing gardening with her 3 kids and that they get excited over big carrots. Dug this late in the fall, they will be sweet.

My daughter-in-law grows herbs and a few edibles around her patio but the girls are close enough to visit my garden very often and loved taking this melon home in their wheelbarrow. Part of the fun was letting it fall out and loading it up again.

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We didn’t have any FF submissions this week, so I’m posting one of a farm field I shot recently. Not specifically a MG reference, but more a love of growing things and harvesting what we grow here in Monroe County.

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FotoFriday 11/11/11

What a difference a week makes! This week we have lovely autumn floral submissions and – SNOW! We’ll start with the most colorful submission since I just don’t have the strength to start out with the one that reminds me of the long, quiet period we have ahead. First – Frank submitted a colorful companion planting collection from the IHM community gardens, sent to me just after last week’s FF deadline:

IHM Fall Grouping

Second, Jennie submitted an alternate-leaved pink dogwood, backlit by diffuse natural light. She writes:

Mark Derrick gave me an alternate-leaved dogwood seedling just a few years ago and I planted it too close to my kitchen, but I love seeing it out the bay window.  I knew I wanted one of these native forest understory trees when I read about it in the book Weeds of the Woods.  It has thrived in the partly shaded spot and rapidly outgrew the spread I expected, so the first tier of branches had to go. I used the graceful prunings as trellis for sweet peas last year. Then the Dundee tornado winds took the top out of the tree, too, so it has looked like a large patio umbrella, finally establishing a new leader late this summer.

Besides the dappled, moving light it admits to my kitchen, I like to look down on it from the upstairs window.  There the upswept twigs with whorls of parallel-veined leaves resemble a sea of miniature hosta plants.  I enjoyed the 3-inch circles of lace flowers dotted along the top side of each major branch and the pinkish haze of their stems when the white petals had fallen.  I let my passion vine climb up and bloom on top of the umbrella in the heat of summer, scenting the dooryard but most of the flowers invisible except from that upper window.

All fall, the leaves have increasingly hung down flat like paper decorations and have passed through several attractively subtle shades of green tinged with red, then red-orange and now very nearly pink against the smooth dark reddish bark.

Alternate – Leaved Dogwood

Last, Linda submitted a downright snowy scene from her yard. I personally have been in denial about the time of year and this photo was a reality-check for me!  Linda helps us remember that gardens do hold winter interest. We just need to be observant and appreciative of more subtle beauty including repeating lines, forms, and textures.

Subtle Beauty

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Where has the year gone?  In less than  a week we will be having our annual recognition banquet, which unfortunately I am unable to attend.  Therefore, I would like to make a few recognitions  of my own, based on what I have observed this year.  Lot of people have worked hard, and these are my personal picks.  I hope I am not embarrassing  or offending anyone – but the following members I am sure you will agree are particularly deserving of our recognition and thanks for their efforts and valuable contribution to the club.

  1. Naida Albin – The Work & Learn Crew:   Her tireless efforts along with my regulars, the Milan gang and Mark Havekost, are the reason we were able to restore the gardens to what they should be.  A consumate gardener and workaholic, she tends at least three other local gardens that I know of in addition to her own, and is very supportive of any MG activity.   A very modest person, I do not want to embarrass her further by listing her numerous other achievements.
  2. Sue Ryan – Blogmeister:   The reason that you are able to read this – is because of the efforts of this one person in setting up and maintaining our blog, from conception to where it is now! Sue’s talents as a photographer and an uplifting script writer have given our fledgling venture a polished, professional look – and a much needed voice for the association.  Did I mention this is all done after 10 hour work shifts and numerous stints weeding the office  garden?  She has put in hundreds of hours into making this happen because she is totally committed to making this blog a success, and something we can all be proud of.
  3. Linda Welch – Most Involved MG:  It is no exaggeration to say Linda is everywhere there is activity in the club.  From single-handedly renovating our previous projects in the Veterans Park, planting the new sundial beds, weeding the office garden and being a cheerful booster for the club.  Most of you know her from her garden design presentations and numerous photographs of her lovely garden and plant choices in the blog –  where she is a founding editor and frequent contributor.
  4. Sharon Diefenthaler – Best Community Outreach:   Being a MG is all about community outreach.  Sharon is fortunate in that she has been able to incorporate this mission statement into her ISD program at Matthes’ greenhouse.  All of her students graduate as Junior MGs and the work ethic and skills they learn as being part of her program, will prepare them for being productive citizens.  She is an active participant in the IHM community gardens,  Bedford Library gardens and with her students, in Mercy Memorial greenhouse and gardens.
  5. Carol Koesel – Best Project:   Thanks to Carol, we finally were able to have a raised bed veggie garden as a teaching tool in our demo garden.  This feature was long overdue!  Skillfully using a 3 x 4 seed bag,  Carol planted a mini- garden that yielded a surprising array and quantity of vegetables, all of which were grown in our own compost…Mel Bartholomew would definitely approve!  I certainly appreciate her garden knowledge and deft touch in maintaining the Memorial Garden, which she helped design and install.
  6. Lenore Wood – Most Under-appreciated Worker:   Lenore is the Rodney Dangerfield of the association.  She is the one who toils away maintaining the beds at Fairview Hospital, her church and when time permits, she comes and weeds our garden. Lenore works alone and is publicity shy, so many of you have little idea what this woman accomplishes.  Her dedication to community outreach is something the association should acknowledge and embrace.
  7. Karen Hehl – Best Photography Submission:  A lot of you know Karen’s handiwork from past garden tours.  Come fall, she is a regular feature around the office garden weeding and clipping. What I didn’t realize was just how accomplished a photographer she really is.  Her photos of the pepper arrangement are of professional quality and would not be out of place in the pages of Gourmet magazine.  Both Sue and I are unanimous in this choice of her outstanding FotoFriday submission.
  8. Sandy O’Connell – Most  Informative Newsletter Article:   Most of you know this garrulous upstate New Yorker as a hardworking, weed-pulling terror with her designer weeding hoe.  But she is also an accomplished writer as is shown in her past newsletter article on her visit to the home of pioneering naturalist, Gene Stratton-Porter.  Truly an  outstanding article with superb photographs that help make our newsletter one of the best in the region.
  9. Georgeann Brown – Best Food Presenter:   This is just another facet of the multi-talented persona of our longest serving MG.  In addition to being Jennie’s first graduate, GB has brought a wealth of experience and gardening knowledge to this club over the years, as well as holding every office and one of the originators of the W & L program!  Her interest in herbs was recently coupled with her passion for food in a most interesting and lively presentation on Sweet and Savory Herb cooking, that was extremely well received.
  10. Mary Ellen and Stella – Children’s Garden:   One of the true little gems in our exhibition garden, this area is lovingly planted and nurtured each year by Mary Ellen and Stella.  I just love the Japanese theme and the choice of plantings that always seem to be doing something different throughout the year.  I was lucky enough to snap a few photos of some children enjoying the gardens…which says it all!
  11. Sharon, Winnie & Karen – Best Team Presentation:    The award for the best tag-team presentation has to go to this trio! In spite of an advertising snafu, they managed to draw in 10 members of the public in addition to a full house of MGs for a lively and interesting Herbs, Senses class.  The room smelled terrific with all the herbs and freshly baked bread and they managed to compliment each other very well in getting their message out…by working as a team…a novel idea!
  12. Chris Edolls – Most Informative Presentation:   In addition to being our treasurer, Chris is an accomplished apiarist.  Anyone who comes to give a class in a white jump suit and bee-keeper’s garb…automatically gets my attention and respect!.  Her presentation on bee-keeping was extremely well done and very informative.  I think we all went away with a new appreciation of what these interesting little pollinators do in our gardens. Chris is also a regular presenter on garden topics at the Ida Public Library.
  13. Jeff Nicita – Best Garden Tour:   A most accomplished gardener, Jeff was kind enough to offer his gardens this summer for a private tour.  Jeff has an eye for garden layout as well as a large repository of plant knowledge. Linda did an excellent article on the tour, and her photos say it all about his talent’s as a landscaper.  We are lucky to have Jeff as a member even though he lives in Wayne County and could just as easily belong to their association.
      A special recognition should go to Pete Wallace, another out of the area MG who was in my class of 2009…for his hard work and financial contributions to make our latest public project a reality.  Next spring,  the sundial will be unveiled in the Veterans Park for all to see and enjoy.  Jennie Stanger also was a major contributor as well as coordinator for this project, and deserves our thanks.
     There are I am sure others I have omitted, but also deserving of your recognition…Gail Keane with her labors at the Conservation District plant sale; Chris Kosal with her involvement at the YMCA,  Dorsch Library gardens and website committee; Jessie Green and Debi Beier for their preparing plant labels for the gardens and activities in the Bedford garden tours, and the committee members who produce the newsletter and handle everything from promotions to booking speakers.
      Kudos also to Paul for maintaining the association on an even keel during these troublesome times with MSUE.  Keeping a MG association  going requires commitment from all – not just a few.  Everyone has to reach inside themselves and see how they can contribute more to support the obligation this entails.  To do otherwise may well jeopardise the survival of the club as a MG association.
      Let’s plan on making next year an even more productive one as we face the challenges of the extension office closing.

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