Photos I Grew Myself


Just like the Photos I Cooked Myself category, I have to give credit where credit is due. Although my love of plants (especially cacti) started at an early age, I have to give my wife credit for most of my green thumb. In fact, many of the tomatoes and veggies in this section are cared for mainly by her.


Friends
Monday, April 30, 2007
Friends

When the Epiphyllum get going they really go wild. This blossom (the red one) is from the beautiful cactus that got us kicked out of our last apartment. Well, maybe not that dramatic, but I sure was not going to trim the cactus like the land lord wanted!

The lilies lived here when we moved in. They are actually in the ground in what we now call "Cactus Corner". They have had to stretch a little taller to see the sun. But they make an amazing contrast with the cactus and they always seem to be intertwined, I like to think they are friends.


Spring Epiphyllum
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Spring Epiphyllum

It's looking a lot like spring around here. We've spent the last couple of weekends working on our yard. New pots and more dirt all around. This beauty now has an automated dripper. Even though it is a cactus, ours are the happiest when they are sitting in a puddle of water for a couple of hours a day. Of course if you have been treating yours like a desert plant, I would recommend making the transition to hydroponics slowly, so as not to shock it.


Stripey Season
Friday, April 13, 2007
Stripey Season

Oh I'm so excited! It's tomato time again! (yeah I know I need a hobby! oh yeah, I have my camera!) This is one of our "Mister Stripey" tomatoes from last year. But it is time to start looking for this years varieties. A couple weeks ago we had to search all the nurseries to find only common tomato varieties, but they are out in full force now and I have lost count of how many we have.

Of course, one of our favorites is still around from last year. It is a big mass of vines that seems to be very happy and produced fruit all year even through our mild frosts here. (It was nestled against the wall under our living room window and, luckily for him, they didn't seem to have anything like insulation in the 70s when the homes in this area were built. :-)


Bouganvilla
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Bouganvilla

There is always something blooming around here! Which is great for someone who loves to take flower pictures. This is the Bougainvillea that we have coaxed over our back fence, it's always happy. So happy in fact I just had to tuck all it's new growth in so the gardeners don't come by and cut it.

As I recall, last year this time I almost had to change the name of the site to "The Calla Lily of the Day," since they go wild this time of year too. Fortunately, this year we planted some spring bulbs out front and they are looking good already so I'll have lots of subjects to keep things interesting. Now all I need is more time to play with my cameras. Too bad that won't grow as easily. :-D


Calla Valentine
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Calla Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!

I was trolling the logs and it looks like there have been quite a few people looking for Calla Lily photos lately. (as well as Valentine's flowers) This was the scene a couple of days ago in the back yard, and I thought the shape of the flower was particularly fitting for the day.

Have a wonderful valentines day!


Yellow Canna Bract
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Yellow Canna Bract

This is another Canna that my mom sent me as a bulb about 10 years ago. It has bloomed a couple of times each year for the last few years but it never had such a cool leaf or bract around the flowers like this. Even in the back yard there are always new surprises.


Mandevilla in the Garden
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Mandevilla in the Garden

This was another one of those "break from my computer" images. I had to go out back and wander around the flowers for a while.


Bougainvillea
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Bougainvillea

One of the important tasks I had to do to get ready for the holiday was clean up our giant Bougainvillea.

When we moved in, we noticed this plant peeking under our fence. On the outside of the fence they keep it trimmed back so often it can barely bloom. We decided to coax it over to our side. It is now in a huge arch over our fence and it is constantly covered in blooms.

I think it appreciates the chance to grow. Rather than trim it, I tuck the new growth in and tie it so it goes in the direction we want it to. I do this about once a month which is just often enough that the new growth has not quite wooded over yet so I can still train it to go where I want without breaking it. My wife fed it with a high phosphorus fertilizer (10-50-10) one time that is supposed to promote blooms, and it really worked!


Flaming Boquet
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Flaming Boquet

I recently took a similar photo of this Canna. But, this time the light was just a little bit different. I can only assume that these guys are called Lucifer Cannas because they look like fire when they bloom. And the evening sun only enhanced the effect!


Banana in the Rain
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Banana in the Rain

A few weeks ago we found two beautiful banana plants at the hardware store that were looking for a good home. They live right out front now. The other day it started to rain just as I was leaving the house and when I saw how the drops of water collected on the leaf I had to run back in and get my camera.


Backyard Blossoms
Thursday, October 5, 2006
Backyard Blossoms

This is a plant that my mom sent me many years ago ('bout 9) as just a root in a package. It has survived the heat of the desert in Palm Springs and living for five years on a small patio. It is finally really happy. It has a spot that it loves and an automated dripper. And every time it explodes like this I think of my mom!

This photo looks a bit like a watercolor to me. Especially the out of focus plants in the background.


Rebel Cyclamen
Friday, September 22, 2006
Rebel Cyclamen

A few months ago we put some new plants in near our front door. Among them were a few white Cyclamen and one purple one. The Purple one was right next to this white plant but it did not seem to do so well. There is not much left of it above ground But it has managed to make it's presence known. (they are tubers, so hopefully it is still down there)

These plants are interesting and beautiful anyway. The flower is actually pointing down and the petals turn around and point up. (called "reflexed petals") But this little addition has made this one of the more interesting plants in the front yard at the moment!


Backyard Rose Bud
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Backyard Rose Bud

Well most of our tomatoes have faded in the hot weather. But the roses are still happy! This one is just about to burst.

I really enjoy close up photography. The green covering of the bud is made of modified leaves called bracts. But I never really appreciated the tiny little leaves sticking out from the edges of the bracts before. There is a lot of beauty out there!


Glowing Mandevilla
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Glowing Mandevilla

The light was particularly nice in the backyard so I had to take a break from my computer and wander around with my camera.


Wild Pepper
Friday, August 25, 2006
Wild Pepper

I would tell you what kind of pepper this is, but my wife grew it from a seed and the seed was in a packet of mixed seeds. Hope they taste as good as they look. Of course, this one is particularly wild lookin'.


Mandevilla Buds
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Mandevilla Buds

We've been setting up new misters in the yard for the plants and that made for some excellent photo opportunities.


Tomatoes from the Garden
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Tomatoes from the Garden

These are some beautiful little tomatoes from our garden. My wife has an incredible green thumb. Our biggest plant is about seven feet tall! So this is the first of many tomato dishes.

These are Pink Grape Tomatoes. They are translucent, beautiful, and delicious. The basil is from the garden too. Now we just need our own buffalo for the Mozzarella. :-D


Misty Mandevilla
Monday, June 19, 2006
Misty Mandevilla

It was hot here today. REALLY HOT! Fortunately we got this little mister thing from the hardware store. We hooked it up to our hose and made our little back yard a little cooler. After it was on for a while I noticed a nice effect on some of the plants near it.


Blooming Passon
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Blooming Passon

Having more fun in the back yard. This is a great vine, it has come back from the brink with a vengeance. We should have lots of butterfly habitat this fall. :-D


Orchid Cactus in the Fern
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Orchid Cactus in the Fern

This plant is getting huge! I love it! It sits high on a stack of clay pots and wooden planters in the corner of our yard. This is one of its "exploration" runners that it has sent off in search of rich soil or water (or in lieu of that possibly small farm animals).


Night Blooming Epiphyllum
Monday, May 29, 2006
Night Blooming Epiphyllum

Another one of our Orchid Cacti started it's show this evening. From what I read this is more what they are like in the wild. This beautiful blossom opened up as the sun was going down. The flower has a great fragrance and it is about twice the size of the flowers on our big day-blooming Epiphyllum. It is at least 6" from tip to tip of the outside petals, with the cup of petals in the middle being over 4".

Most of the wild Epiphyllum blossoms last only one night and fade by morning so I wanted to get a shot of this right away. This is the first time this guy is blooming since we got him, so I don't know exactly what to expect. But, If I can get him in full sunlight I will try to get a nice shot with some reference to the size.

So, blooms at night, Has a blossom the size of a salad plate that is white and fragrant that you could see even if you were flying around half blind. Can you tell what they are trying to attract?


Epiphyllum Blossom
Friday, May 19, 2006
Epiphyllum Blossom

This is one of our blooming Orchid Cacti that I mentioned the other day.

If you have one and want to know what makes them happy, we have one in full sunlight and several in the shade. (this guy is actually hanging from our patio umbrella) The full sun one is HUGE, the others are still happy. One was inside for a while. It is much happier outside, although it grew very long thin pads looking for food while it was inside. Now that it is outside it is popping out all kinds of thick little pads along the lengths of the woody thin pads. Makes for a very interesting plant. One thing they all have in common is they love water. You may think since they are cacti, they like to be dry, but they are definitely jungle plants. More about their history, and one of the reasons I love them so much see this photo of the day.


Bougainvillea Sunlight
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Bougainvillea Sunlight

This is a nice Bougainvillea that was growing on the outside of our fence. We have been coaxing it up into an archway over our gate. It is starting to bloom like crazy and it is quite a site especially in the evenings when the light shines through it.


Mallow Drops
Monday, March 20, 2006
Mallow Drops

Last year after a nice trip to Monterey I posted a beautiful photo of a Sea Tree Mallow. I loved it so much that we went out and found a tree at Home Depot. This is a blossom on that tree during a recent rainstorm.


Passion Vine
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Passion Vine

Another view on my Passion Flower vine from a few days ago.

We did not get any more rain as promised. So no more rain photos yet, perhaps later this week! I'm sure the Basset will sniff out some beautiful subjects for me this weekend anyway.