Saturday, June 05, 2010

Round Robin: A Different Kind of Garden

For Round Robin Challenge: Garden Portraits, Carly asks us to "Take an overall photo of a garden, any garden, then choose one flower or one vegetable, and showcase it as a portrait." The topic is based on the suggestion "In The Garden," by Sherrie of the blog Sherrie's Stuff.

From my Picasa gallery Tucson Botanical Gardens

When I splurged and spent $6 (including a $1 discount the guy gave me out of pity) to visit Tucson Botanical Gardens on Wednesday, I was vaguely remembering the "In the Garden" idea, but not the portrait concept. Not being a flower fan, I didn't take any closeups of single flowers. And frankly, single flowers aren't what Tucson Botanical Gardens is about. I don't think there's a rose on the entire 5 1/2 acres, which comprise 16 different gardens. These are gardens for people who appreciate a wide variety of plants, large and small, from cacti and trees all the way down to beds of herbs. The place features lots of greenery, lots of benches, and lots of shade, which is how Tucsonans coped with the hot summers before the advent of air conditioning. TBG is situated at the former property of the Porter family, who had been gardening there (and ran a nursery) as far back as the 1930s.

Not sure whether this is a kingbird, a vireo or...? But I'm guessing it's a cherry tree.

So anyway, here's what I'm going to do. I will show you a few shots that feature basically one plant, and then we'll move on to some "special effects" edits that highlight one particular plant within a larger setting. Sound good?

Here's less than a whole plant. This prickly pear cactus is quite large!

When a saguaro looks like this at the top, it's called a cristate growth pattern. It's rare. In honor of the history of TBG, I've turned the background here sepia. The cactus itself would have already been there when the Porters moved in.

For the original version of the shot, click here. For the same shot with an "oil painting" effect for the background, click here.

TBG has a butterfly garden, full of butterfly-friendly plants. For this shot, I used a marquee tool to select (and lighten slightly) a circle around the butterfly and its chosen flower. Then I selected the inverse and used a pastel effect on the rest of the photo. I couldn't crop this much further because I did not dare to approach the butterfly. It's probably about 15 feet from my camera here.

This is part of the xeriscape (low water use) section of TBG. To make the barrel cactus stand out I selected it with the magnetic lasso tool and saturated it a little, and then lightened the inverse (the rest of the photo).

Incidentally, I later redid this effect with the photo cropped and zoomed in a little bit, but I wasn't happy with the result. The edges of the barrel cactus are too fiddly to select it perfectly for a close-up.

I've used an effect on this photo of a large succulent plant (I've tried and failed to identify what kind it is), but the untreated picture is almost as dramatic. I think the effect used was "light marker."

Sorry I didn't quite follow directions, but I hope you found this entry worth a look anyway. Now let's go see the other Robins' plant portraits!

Linking List
as of 11:02 PM MST 6/5/10

Sherrie - Posted!
Sherrie's Stuff

Carly - Posted!

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin

Linda - Posted!
Mommy's Treasures

Sweet Memories

Rich - Posted!

Jeanette **Welcome, New Participant!**
Net On The Net

Tara **Welcome Back!** -Posted!
A Long Road Home

Sandy - Posted!
From the Heart of Texas

Monica - Posted!
Shutterly Happy

Suzanne R - Posted!
SuzyQ421's Photo Blog

Freda - Posted!
Day One

maryt - Posted!
Mary Tomaselli's Photos

ellen b - Posted!
The Happy Wonderer

Ruth - Posted!

Jill **Welcome Back**-Posted!
South Bay Soliloquy

Gattina - Posted!
KEYHOLE PICTURES (photos only)

Manang Kim - Posted!
My Lifes Journey in Focus

Fhaye - Posted!
Your Daily Photo Depot

Peggy - Posted!
Holmespun Fun Memes and Themes



Kim, USA said...

Oh my the bird is taking my cherry!! Haha! Happy Saturday!

My Flowers

Sherrie said...

Hi Karen,
Wonderful garden! As there are no Cacti in Indiana, I really enjoyed your garden tour. Love that Barrel Cactus. Have a great day!

Sherrie's Stuff

maryt/theteach said...

Clever and creative idea, Karen! Love it and your photos! :)

ellen b said...

The good ole prickly pear! I'm amazed that it has so many interesting uses. Like who was the first person to mess with it and get stabbed in order to figure out how to eat the thing. But I digress...
Have a wonderful Saturday!

Carly said...

Hey Karen :)

It's all good! You are showing us what it's like in Arizona. I was actually hoping you would show us the green of the gardens and of course the cactus! Some cactus bloom such interesting flowers. So different from the usual stuff. Lovely. I am actually thinking of planting one in the backyard. When I was a child my mom had one in our yard, and I love the pretty pink blossom. The bird looks like one I photographed a while back. I will get my bird book out later and try to track down the name of it. Lovely photos! The last one looks like fireworks!


Scrabblequeen said...

I don't recall ever going to the Botanical garden, but I have enjoyed the Desert Musuem several times. ( I did mention I'm a Tucson native before, right?) I confess I love your untreated photos the best. Lovely blues and greens and browns in them appeal to me very much.

Gattina said...

What a beautiful garden ! I love the cactus !
Sorry I completely forgot to put the link, it was too early !

Linda said...

Seeing the Botanical Garden might inspire me to get out and work in mine. :-) I love the textures of the cactus.

Monica said...

Normally I avoid even looking at cactus plants. When I was about 5-6 years old I fell into one and had to have all those stickies removed and pulled out of me. Ever since I cringe at the sight of them. However, I must admit, from this safe distance, I like picture # 4 - what a cool cactus!

Wishing you a great weekend.

Unknown said...

I like the photo number 1, 2, 3 and... all of them. lol! Actually I dont love cactus because its stingy something, but I like its form. I also like birds, unfortunately I dont have the right camera to still those lovely and colorful flying creatures.

Jama said...

Your garden is so special due to the cactus! I love seeing them and the butterfly.