MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2014 Garden Memories and 'Picture This' Contest Update


Following Saxon Holt's suggestion, I spent several hours going through  my 2014 photo archive and selecting my favorite garden pictures. I then chose one image that is special to me.
The Gardening Gone Wild contest encouraged me to look again at my garden and recall some nice moments from the last year.

It was a good year. I had several new plants blooming for me for the first time. 
Actually, before  this assignment, I didn't realize how many new blooms were there!

Romneya trichocalyx (Matilija Poppy) liked loose sandy soil in the cutting garden:


Peony 'Green Lotus' gave only one bloom, but what a bloom it was!


Talking about peonies, the 'Coral Charm' was a nostalgic reminder of a peony nursery in Kingston, WA that we were lucky to visit right before its closure. 
We are so glad we bought several of these beautiful plants:


Salvia memorosa 'Sensation white', also new in the garden, liked its spot under the leaves of 
Red Banana ( Ensete ventricosum Maurelii):


Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa) was a valuable addition to the garden:


Japanese anemone from my friend's garden gave us a profusion of so simple but oh so elegant blooms:


Meconopsis blue flowers were not new, but they are always exciting:




My old favorite plants showed maturity and didn't disappoint in 2014 either.
As much as I like individual plant pictures, I also enjoy the wide views of my garden.
This shade corner pleases me with spreading groundcovers, tropical look of Tetrapanax and Aralia, neighboring with Rhododendron and grapevine.






The back garden with a small kitchen garden always pleases me with its minimalist color scheme:




In 2014, we continued to watch a growing friendship of Clematis montana and a huge fir tree, admiring how the clematis vine was making its way from the metal arch to the tree branch:


The cutting garden surprised us in 2014 with the height of its plants, such as Joe Pie Weed and Thalictrum rochebrunianum (Meadow rue):


Going through the pictures, I was thinking about my love for tall plants that give a vertical dimension to the garden and serve as exclamation marks:




The pictures reminded me again how important garden ornaments are for creating a mood in the garden. 
For example, the brand new pagoda looked good in summer, but when fall and winter came, it added so much to this corner of the garden:




The same is true about this fleur de lis:


And, animals are important for the garden atmosphere too!


My dog was following me during a clean-up after a windstorm, but looking at this picture, you can think that he was doing all the work and now he is having a break!

Now, at last, the picture I chose fot the contest.
The picture submitted for the Gardening Gone Wild  contest should be with a strong composition that uses the entire frame to tell a story.

'The Unexpected Snow'


I like this picture, which was not staged, and the story behind it. 
It is a story about an unexpected snow that came in late November and about a gardener who was late to hide the garden furniture and accessories in the garage for the winter. Those, who visited my garden, know that this chair belongs to my shade garden and stands in front of my potting bench. I moved it  here to  let it dry after a rain and forgot about it.

The picture doesn't only show the specific moment when the first early snow caught me off guard.  I also can see how much my garden grew and changed in the past ten years and how well it blends with our wooded lot. 
Fir trees create a good natural background for the garden. Garden plants, such as clematis, ligustrum, hydrangea, berberis, etc. coexist nicely with native salal and huckleberry. I also like how clipped boxwoods, which are spread through the garden, fringe the sidewalk and paths and serve as a uniting feature.
For me, it's also a story about the upcoming spring with its daffodils and crocuses as yellow as the chair's fabric and about the sun which we lack so much in the Pacific Northwest during winter.
The story related to this picture is ongoing inasmuch as the splash of bright yellow color serves as a harbinger of future sunny days.

Let's see if the picture follows the principles of a strong composition.
- Simplify the scene. Hmmmm...  I don't think this scene is simple. There are so many elements here: the chair, stepping stone path, plant beds, a curtain of trees in the background, shrubs, grasses, little sculpture in the middle of the potager, ceramic moon on one of the firs... No, the scene is not simple!
- The frame should be filled. Oh, yes! This frame is choke full!
- Place the main object not in the middle. Yes!
- Direct the look of the viewer. Yes! The stepping stones and a sidewalk are my helpers here. My blogging friends know where they lead: to the back patio with the clematis arch, a bird bath, palm trees in containers, through the piece of lawn to the cutting garden.
- Love diagonals! I clearly see diagonals here. Do you? From the chair to the cone boxwood in a terracotta pot, to the row of clipped boxwoods and to another cone boxwood in a terracotta container.
- Show the movement! Well, my eyes are certainly moving from the chair to the other parts of the garden.
- Attention to the background. Well, the background is not simple, but it doesn't consist from alien elements either. Everything in it relates to the same garden theme.
- Colors! Use them creatively. I like the monochrome colors of this shot. Green, white and yellow-brownish hues make the scene calm and peaceful. The yellow color of the chair's fabric, with the light shining through it,  makes the chair a focal point. The yellow pops up from the moment I look at the picture.
All in all, I'd say that the majority of the composition rules are followed in this picture.
Not all, but here comes one more rule:  Break the rules!
That's it. 

As for the snow, it was the only snow so far this winter, and it was nice to catch its short-lasting, fleeting charm (First Snow in My Garden Zone 8a).

A view from the cutting garden to the center of the backyard 
with a patio, bird bath, fir trees  and back border

Berberis thunbergii 'Maria' (Gold Barberry)

 Grapevine Gazebo and Ilex crenata (Japanese holly) hedge

Morning sun

Thanks for walking with me through my garden and thank you, Gardening Gone Wild, for restarting the Picture This photo contest!
***
Update, 2/11/2015:

'Picture This' Contest winners: PICTURE THIS WINNERS- BEST OF 2014

***Copyright 2015 TatyanaS

56 comments:

  1. I remember that unexpected snow from last November, we got it here too, but it melted very quickly. I have not missed the snow, I am so relieved we have gotten so little so far this winter.

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    Replies
    1. Alison, I agree - no, no, no, we don't need more snow! But, I remember February and even March snow!

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  2. What a fab shot and story and I love all your pictures....

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    1. Thank you Donna! It's a good reason to look at the photo archive and make a final post about 2014 garden.

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  3. I remember some of these pictures, Tatyana! Love your garden!

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    1. Irene, thanks! It was difficult to choose just several pictures!

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  4. Hi Tatyana, Your photos are beautiful. You have such a romantic, classy garden. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your photos wins!

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    1. Thank you Grace! I'd be happy if someone could use my shot to show what is wrong with its composition, what are the minuses and mistakes. It'd be a great lesson! I like good critique!

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  5. Beautiful photos of flowers and scenes. I agree with Grace, your garden is romantic and classy. Hope your photo wins.

    Happy Valentine's Day week ~ FlowerLady

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lorraine and thanks! It was an incentive to make a final post about the last year garden.

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  6. All very beautiful pictures but I'm very touched by the ducks in the sea of "bedroom happiness", as we call this plant of which I do not remember the Latin name. I have it as a groundcover in my greenhouse.
    And your dog having a rest from gardening, so adorable.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Janneke! I guess, Soleirolia soleirolii feels as soft as a carpet under your feet in your greenhouse!

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  7. Winter is a great time to reminisce about the past year in the garden. It seems like you discover new things about your garden by looking through the photos again! Your garden has such great structure and design - it looks incredible even in winter/snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spurge, I can tell the same about looking through my pictures of the other gardens - there are so many details which I don't notice while walking through the gardens! Photographs are precious! I'm glad you liked my garden! Thank you!

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  8. Those are beautiful shots, Tatyana! Your garden is beautiful in all seasons. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Beth! It's almost an impossible task - to select just several pictures of the garden, when there are thousands of them!

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  9. Your garden buried in November unexpected snow beautifully looked. Regards.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Giga! We have less and less snow every year...

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  10. You have so many beautiful photos of your garden, Tatyana, it would be hard to pick a favorite! I love the contrast between the two photos of the pagoda, but I think you came up with the best choice artistically. Your garden really is a garden for all seasons--lovely!

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    1. Rose, yes, it was very difficult to choose. The unexpected color splash surprised me so much when I saw that picture! I really forgot about the chair still standing outside, and I am glad I forgot about it! Thank you!

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  11. You are not only a great gardener, you are a great photographer. I saw Saxon Holt's contest but couldn't pull off an entry. I"m awfully glad you did. Just beautiful. I really love that pagoda. Winter and summer

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    Replies
    1. CommonWeeder, you are so kind! Thank you for your encouraging words! I needed a push to write a post about my 2014 garden, and I got it!
      The pagoda, I think, found the perfect spot in the garden.

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  12. It is wonderful to see your garden transformed by snow, Tatyana. I like both the color and b/w images you made. Lovely!

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    1. Thank you Pam! Snow is welcome, but only for a short time!

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  13. All of your pictures are beautiful and all of them tell a special story, but for me the picture of your helper in the garden most interesting - it shows the drama and passion and love and life of nature!

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    1. Thank you Klara! I do love the dog picture! He is almost 10 years old and he is my garden companion.

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  14. A beautiful look back at the past year!

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  15. Wonderful pictures, Tatyana. I wouldn't know how to pick a favorite. I love it when the picture tells a story. P. x

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    1. Pam, I think there might be better pictures in my archive, but I like this one - I remember how strange and even weird the chair looked that morning! It was like a piece of summer forgotten in the winter garden.
      Thank you!

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    2. Congratulations, Tatyana, on winning the contest! Well done! P. x

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  16. Beautiful memories! As always, your pictures are spectacular and they're even more special now that I've seen your garden in person and met its wonderful creator! I've been thinking of you lately as 'Coral Charm' is showing up at nurseries this year. Each time I've seen one, I've thought of yours that are so lovely!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm so glad that 'Coral Charm' is available! Thank you Peter for this news and for your kind words about my garden and pictures!

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  17. Your photographs are all amazing and I love the stories behind each one. The snow captures are exceptionally beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Lee! Snow is a talented artist!!!

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  18. Congratulations on your first place win in Gardening Gone Wild!

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  19. i just saw on Facebook that your photo had won 1st place--congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. Rose, I'm glad I got that chair, LOL! Thanks!

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  20. Hi Dear,
    your garden is a paradise, absolutely breathtaking and your fantastic pictures show the beauty in a perfect way!!! Thank you for sharing.
    All my best
    Elisabeth

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  21. Congratulations on winning 1st prize. There are an abundance of great shots in your post all of them beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Jennifer, I hope to learn more about photography from the Saxon's book! Thank you!

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  22. Oh My! All of your photos are stunning but my fav is the one you picked and now I am seeing you won first place! Big congrats! You are truly talented. One of the things I love about the photo is the contrast between "beach" / director chair and the snowy landscape. Contrast gets noticed! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Andrea! I like how you named that chair! I heard someone called it director chair, but you are right, it does looks like a beach chair!

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  23. Such a lovely photo's and I am jelaouse (positive way ofcourse) I wish I had a garden like yours. And I am happy that I don't have to choose my favorite photo because to me they all are winners.
    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

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  24. Stunning photos! You are a truly talented gardener and photographer. :o)

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    Replies
    1. Tammy, my Dad used to tell me that if one or two images among 36 pictures (do you remember films?) are good, it's a success! Digital photography made it easy! Thank you!

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  25. What a great post! LOVE your final entry photo!

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    Replies
    1. Kim and Victoria, I am so glad you approve my choice! Thanks!

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  26. Tatyana,

    Your photos are gorgeous, and your dog is sweet and delightful. :)

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    1. Thank you Linda! That dog is wonderful - smart and loyal!

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  27. It's a wonderful shot, like so many of your are! Congrats to you on winning, I'm sure you are over the moon with pride!

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    1. Robin, thank you! It's very nice to get some encouraging words from a professional photographer.

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  28. That's an awesome collection of plants and blooms there. And the photography just does justice in showing us the beauty from your gardens. Great Work.

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