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The garden in summer

morning glories

My favourite photo of the garden: morning glories bathed in early light.

Back to my parents’ garden for this post, a look at the garden in its summer finery.

Eat your veggies

In my family, the beans below have been known as “mystery beans from Russia” for years. My parents were introduced to the beans by the people from whom my grandparents bought this house. All that was known about the beans is that the seeds came with immigrants to Canada from Russia. A bit of Googling reveals them probably to be Yellow Romano beans. Regardless of their name, they are very tasty!

You can’t cook without herbs! Though in these photos below, the herbs look nothing like you’d find in a supermarket packet.


Dill

Dill

My parents also grow plums and pears. If I remember right (Mum, feel free to correct me here) they harvested more than 500 of each this year. (The evil squirrels took a few hundred for themselves.) I know, you’re thinking “what on earth do they do with all that fruit??” Mum preserves some, but most of the fruit is turned into wine by Dad.

Flowers galore!

These are the show stoppers, in my opinion.





Hanging baskets on the site of the old apple tree.

Hanging baskets on the site of the old apple tree.

Birds and critters

There are also cardinals and blue jays, both of which come to the patio for peanuts, but they never stay still long enough for me to capture them as anything other than a blur moving out of frame.

Cute, but Public Enemy Number 1

Cute, but Public Enemy Number 1


Also cute,  but Public Enemy Number 2

Also cute, but Public Enemy Number 2

This Monarch butterfly regards the garden as his (her?) own territory, and patrols each day in early evening. This is a terrible photo (extreme of my zoom), but I’ve applied some filters and softening for an arty look to hide the grainy lack of focus.

Monarch butterfly on zinnia.

Monarch butterfly on zinnia.

Relaxing

Could anything be more pleasant than dining on the patio with the garden as a backdrop? Food made by Mum, wine made by Dad.

Note the tomatoes in the dishes, straight from the garden.

Note the tomatoes in the dishes, straight from the garden.


Tropical Prawn Cocktails and sparkling wine

Tropical Prawn Cocktails and sparkling wine


My parents' garden

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The roses of Billong Street

Imagine an entire street of rose gardens! You will find one on Billong Street, near Mosman Bay on the north side of Sydney Harbour. According to the plaque below, “This rose garden was established in 1993 by local resident Mark McGuire. The remarkable floral display from October to April attracts visitors from all over Sydney.”

The Roses of Billong Street

The Roses of Billong Street

There are about 400 bushes including 80 varieties of roses. Here is a very small selection!

If you’re in or around Sydney, don’t miss this display. Click here for a map link.

October’s Garden Challenge theme is Favourite Gardens.


Click here for other Garden Challenge posts

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Winter Garden 1 – my patio

tulips in snow

Okay, I admit it — this is staged. I thought the punch of the tulips’ colours would look good in this photo of my patio and communal lawn in winter, so I brought the vase outside.

Gardens in Winter. Well, that poses a definite challenge for me (thanks Jude!). I was not even semi-seriously interested in photography until a couple of years ago, long after I moved to Australia — and although we have a winter of sorts in Sydney, to me (having lived in Canada until I was 29) winter means snow, and serious cold. What I’m getting at is that my “gardens in winter” photos date to the small span of years that matched me living in London and owning a digital camera. So, here are a few shots of my patio in London, in the winter of 2007.

Brave yellow mini rose after a January snowfall.

Brave yellow mini rose after a January snowfall. (You’ll see this rose again in March for the Wildlife theme!)

Rosehips in January.

Rosehips in January.


Click here for other Garden Challenge posts

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One Four: Roses 4

Roses 4 - adjust hue, saturation and luminance colours.

Roses 4 – adjust hue, saturation and luminance colours.

And here is my final, week 4 edit of my roses photo for July’s One Four Challenge. In this edit, the monochrome plus pink look was achieved by adjusting the hue, saturation and luminance colours of the original. Speaking of which … this is the image on which I made the edits:

The original photo of roses in Central Park, New York City.

The original photo of roses in Central Park, New York City.

As a refresh, here are all four edits to compare — and to help you vote for your fave!

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roses-week2-thumb

roses-week3-thumb

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Thanks must be once more given to Robyn for hosting and organising this challenge. It’s a great way to learn new skills and get new ideas. For me, this around it was all about colour!

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One Four: Roses 2

Roses 2: colour replace, shadows & highlights, whites plus poster edges.

Roses 2: colour replace, shadows & highlights, whites plus poster edges.

For my Week 2 edits of my rose photo for the One Four Challenge, I started with the image from Week 1. In my quest to get closer to the look of the original photo, this time I played around with replacing colour so that the flowers are pink and the leaves green. Then I adjusted the shadows, highlights and whites, losing the x-ray look of Week 1 and bringing indistinct shapes into the background. To finish off, a touch of poster edges to give a non-photo look.

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