Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Garden in a Different Light: Digital Art

Purple Coneflower
It is 38 degrees and raining outside in my northeastern garden and thoughts of gardening are going through my mind. Inspired by some of my fellow bloggers, I thought I would put a new twist on some of my garden photographs and am trying my hand at some digital art to pass the day. I mainly used the brush stroke tool and then either softened or enhanced certain portions of each photograph. On some of the imaging I filled in with additional color and used a marbleizing effect on the corners. I have had this editing software for some time now and am still learning that there is much to explore!
'Stella D Oro' Daylilly
Painted Lady Butterfly on Coneflower
Coreopsis 'Zagreb'
Cottage Garden
Grasses and Daylilies
Roseanne Geranium
Hydrangea 'Pink Elf'
'Star' Magnolia Blossom
Ruffled Daylily

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my garden "in a different light".   This digital artwork is fun but challenging.    I will keep practicing and know I have much to learn so any comments or editing tips would be appreciated!

As Always...Happy Gardening

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: 100th Post And Three Year Anniversary-The Journey

~Guide To Northeastern Gardening 100th Post~
  Welcome to A Guide to Northeastern Gardening's 100th post!  Well it certainly has been a  journey.  When I first started blogging exactly three years ago today I never knew how long I would be pursuing it and couldn't even imagine reaching a 100th post.    Garden blogging has become an important part of who I am...sort of a life diary.  I get to share my experiences with other gardeners who share the same passion so I thank you all for visiting, commenting and sharing your knowledge, experiences and passion of gardening with me.

I have had a passion for gardening ever since I was at the age of five when I planted marigolds in pretty planters along the back of the old brick fireplace and gathered daisies for my mom...her favorite flower.  I still reside today in the home I grew up in on the south shore of Long Island with my husband and plan to never leave.  The property has evolved over the years into our own little sanctuary and hopefully we will be able to age gracefully there.   

~Through the Years 1995 to Present~
 So where does the blogging come in?  We decided to do something with our barren property in 1996 and put in an in ground pool.  At the time I was just starting a landscape design business and with the pool project everything just started falling into place.  I knew this was meant to be.   As the years have passed I have added and added gardens everywhere on the property and of is never finished because a garden constantly changes and well...isn't that half the joy of it?  It's funny how life works. One thing led to another and after having a conversation about the infamous blogging movie Julie and Julia I decided to pursue the world of blogging and started up A Guide to Northeastern Gardening.  

Now writing for three years I strive to make my posts informative and interesting.  I enjoy visiting other gardening blogs and leaving a comment or little note so the owner knows I've been there.  I just wish there was more time in a day so that I could visit everyone!  I am working on the photography end of things which has become a second passion that came out of this blog.  I am looking forward to where this blogging journey will continue to take me.  I thank each and every one of you for making this such a pleasurable experience and appreciate your dropping by once in a while and taking the time to leave a comment which I so enjoy reading.

So there you have it, three years and 100 posts. Thanks for helping me celebrate and the best to all of you.

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved

Friday, February 15, 2013

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day February 2013

February Garden

Welcome to my February garden.  Well it has certainly been an interesting winter with temperatures ranging from in the 50's one week then into the single digits the next.   Right now Long Island is buried under a blanket of heavy snow that has graced our landscape from the great blizzard Nemo of February 8th-9th 2013.  We had 19.8 inches here in Sayville and some other areas on the Island had up to 3 feet...oh my.   Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens it is time for another walk in the garden.  When I heard the blizzard was on its way I quickly ventured out into the garden to get some photographs. Come along for a tour of my February garden. 

 'Skylands' Oriental Spruce, Dwarf Fountain Grass and Juniper 'Lime Glow' with Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar in the Backdrop

 It all began a few days ago when the garden was starting to look a little more like spring was on the way.  After all, the groundhog did not see its shadow and the little coating of snow we did have was all melted!   

 'Skylands' Oriental Spruce, Hinoki Cypress 'Aurea Nana' and Barberry 'Royal Burgundy'

The reddish-pink hue on the bark of the Coral Bark Maple was glowing in the backdrop of the Oriental Spruce and Hinoki Cypress and the Barberry was showing its small red berries. 
 Red Cutleaf Weeping Japanese Maple

I tried out the new Nikon camera with a close up of the Japanese Maple's twisted trunk and was quite pleased with the clarity of the close-up.  I love these beautiful and graceful trees in the landscape and enjoy their interesting structure even more so in winter.

 Nandina domestica Winter Berries

Here is Nandina domestica which is always a pleasure during the coldest days of winter with its bright red berries.  

Sedum 'Brilliant' New Growth
  Signs of spring....the Sedum 'Brilliant' is starting to show its new little buds...

   Barberry 'Rosy Glow', Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Chamaecyparis 'Gold Mop',  Arborvitae 'Emerald Green' (right) and Western Arborvitae 'Virescens' (left) with Dwarf Buddleia in front

and it almost looks like the Barberry is showing a reddish hue, perhaps from tiny new buds forming.

Heuchera 'Caramel'

And within a matter of hours the snow started coming down and gently landing on the garden.  

 Weeping White Pine, 'Yaku Jima' Maiden Grass, Golden Hinoki Cypress and 'Montgomery' Globe Blue Spruce

By evening the flakes got larger and soon everything was covered in snow. 

 'Montgomery' Globe Blue Spruce (Grafted)

So much for signs of spring.  We are now a winter wonderland for a while and the landscape is covered in a blanket of pure white.
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and Barberry 'Rosy Glow' Snow Covered 

I do love the look of the winter's snow on the peaceful and serene. 
 Weeping Pussy Willow

 More snow is on the way tonight.
Garden Gal...Always Smiling!
Maybe we will have to wait just a little bit longer for spring and enjoy the scenery for now.  Be sure to visit our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens and take a look at what other gardeners have blooming in their gardens.

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Garden Photography Close-Up with the Nikon P510

Amaryllis with Nikon P510

We are snowed in here on Long Island with 19.8 inches and 3 foot drifts so I thought I would try out my new camera from the window. The camera I am using is the Nikon Coolpix P510 with 42X Zoom Lens. I mainly use my Canon Rebel EOS for all the photographs on this blog but was looking for an additional camera for taking close ups that would give me additional sharpness. I have only had this camera for a few days and am impressed with it so far. The first photograph is of my Amaryllis plant on the windowsill with the snow in the backdrop. The only enhancement done on this was a border added. I have been wanting to get a photograph of this bloom for several weeks now and this was a good opportunity.
Knock Out Rose in Winter's Snow
Today I tried a second photograph of my snow covered Knock Out Roses through the side window with the snow in the backdrop.  The lines you see in the background were not from editing but rather from the screens in the window.  The snow in the backdrop has been providing the advantage of a clean white canvas. 
Azalea Close-Up with Nikon P510
I was actually able to venture out to the back patio to take a photograph of this distant Azalea poking up through the snow.The photograph was taken from about 15 feet with the optical zoom. I am finding that it is actually better to be a little further away to zoom in and get clarity. I am still learning with the new camera.
Amaryllis Cropped Photo Close Up of Flower
Lastly, here is a cropped view of the original Amaryllis photograph to see how the clarity turns out.  The resolution of the pictures on the new camera is higher allowing me a little more play with the originals.
The point-and-shoot cameras have come a long way and I am finding that I can zoom from quite a distance and get clear shots.  Hope you enjoy the photos and for those of you snowed in...keep warm. I hope to venture back outside real soon and get more practice! This taking photos from the window is not an easy task and as soon as the plow gets here I'm out! If you would like to check out some excellent photography visit Donna at Garden Walk Garden Talk.  Thanks to Donna for writing an entry about the Nikon camera and recommending it!

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Long Island Arboretums-Majestic Trees

100 Year Old Beech Tree (Planting Fields Arboretum)
Trees certainly tell a story of time and on my journeys through various Long Island Arboretums I have come across some spectacular works of nature worth noting.  These trees range in ages up to 150 years, are virtually irreplaceable, and their beauty and stature are unsurpassed.    Enjoy the journey.

150 Year Old Beech Tree (Old Westbury Gardens)
Weeping Purple Beech (Planting Fields Arboretum)
American Redwood (Planting Fields Arboretum)
Weeping Cutleaf Japanese Maple (Old Westbury Gardens)
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (Planting Fields Arboretum)
American Beech Tree (Planting Fields Arboretum)
Weeping Japanese Maple 'Crimson Queen' (Old Westbury Gardens)
Blue Atlas Cedar (Planting Fields Arboretum)
Weeping Alaskan Cedar (Old Westbury Gardens)
Sargent's Weeping Hemlock  (Planting Fields Arboretum)
The oaks and the pines, and their brethren of the wood,
have seen so many suns rise and set, so many seasons come and go,
and so many generations pass into silence,
that we may well wonder what "the story of the trees" would be to us
if they had tongues to tell it, or we ears fine enough to understand.
~ Author Unknown~,
quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren, 1938
As Always...Happy Gardening!
Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved