Wednesday, August 09, 2006

RR: How Does Your Garden Grow?

With our first names,
And online games,
And pretty shots posted just so!

I had an even weirder parody going in my head earlier today.

This is my entry for the Round Robin Photo Challenge topic, "Summer Gardens," as suggested by rRose. It's not going to be one of my text-heavy extravaganzas, but I do have a few interesting photos to share.

First off, here are a few that I played around with quite a bit, boosting saturation beyond all reason and using the fine art oil painting effect. Hey, I like bright colors!

The first four shots here are of the trees and large flowering bushes in front of an office building near St. Michael's. I've shown you pictures of this before, but it's really the closest thing to a flower garden that I see on a regular basis. Living in the Arizona desert, I do see some flowers, but generally it's nothing like Back East. For us, it's kind of a big deal when the saguaros or barrel cacti bloom.

This is a patio at the edge of the office building, given privacy by all the plants between the wall and the street. It's intended for people to eat lunch here, and I've seen them do it, even in high summer. But mostly, from what I've seen, it's a smoking area. Pretty, though.

Back across the street at St. Michael's, we have more traditional desert landscaping, a xeriscape. The tall thing is an ocotillo. Part of the year, ocotillos look like a spray of tall, thorny sticks, with no green to speak of. During the monsoon, though, they take advantage of the moisture and put out a bunch of small green leaves.

Here's another St. Michael's xeriscape, but it makes me sad. The tree with the reddish brown leaves is dying. It used to have green leaves, sometimes bluish-silver. The other day I came upon a guy with a landscaping company as he raked up the fallen leaves from this tree, which was my favorite tree at St. Michael's. I told him I was sad that the tree is dying. He said he was sorry. In broken English, he told me that an infusion of leaves from this tree, mixed with honey, is good for a sore throat. So what does that make it, slippery elm? I wish it would survive, but I think it's too late.

At home we have two - count 'em, two - flowering bushes. This is one of them. It's kind of interesting, though, with all its green tentacles. The other one is our firecracker bush, which has tiny orange flowers that hummingbirds like. That's why we planted it. It's grown so huge that we really need to cut it back.

That's enough for tonight. Now go see what everyone else is up to!

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Patrick's Portfolio - Posted!

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Carly said...

It's nice to be able to see some examples of South/Western landscaping. Cool pics!

Suzanne R said...

Very interesting photos and narrative! I am always sad when a tree dies.

Tammy said...

I loved your saturation artwork :) Great shots!

Janet said...

what a feast for the eyes! Just gorgeous!

I played :)

Globetrotter said...

Heehee. That second picture could be one of my paintings! You know how much I love color!

Considering that you don't have a lot of flowers around, you did a wonderful job, Karen! Too bad about that tree. God gave us so many natural remedies, and somehow we take them for granted. That tree could have prevented mucho sore throats! I have an aloe plant planted near our pool. It's prickly as hell, but I've learned how quickly a squeeze from its leaves can relieve all sorts of burns. The cats don't like it, and that's good because it's poisonous to them. But I'm keeping it right where it is.