This is probably true: gardeners obsess about the weather, even moreso when it doesn’t seem to behave positively for their gardens. I’d like to understand it better, especially when I find myself wondering if my experience with the same garden for fifteen years has any broader meaning in terms of changing weather patterns or climate change. I also often wonder about how my proximity to a large urban area — downtown Atlanta with all its glassy skyscrapers, concrete, and pavement is just a couple miles away — affects the development of storms in my area, since it seems I can often observe thunderstorms popping up in the distance that skirt the city center and the areas around it. I have a dim understanding of the impact of urban centers as heat islands — but I can’t really explain how those heat sinks are thought to impact weather. Still, a personal unscientific observation is that late summer weather has changed over the past decade and a half: this time of year used to be one of frequent intense thunderstorms late in the day several times a week, but for the last few years that same July-through-September time frame seems more like drought. Gardeners intuitively know that rain supports a garden in ways water from a hose can’t, and that with extended rainless periods — especially during late summer and early fall — watering becomes an exercise in hoping that it’s enough to support perennials as they transition to winter. So while the hot sun seems to be thinning out some plants and bleaching out some leaves, the lantana, hydrangeas, vines, ferns, and hostas should be hanging in there well enough for next year.
It’s late in the gardening season regardless, so I’ve about run out of back-yard flowers to photograph. I have a Rose of Sharon that looks like it might put out a few nice blooms (if it survives this heat), in the next week or so. I’ll be planning some expeditions to other kinds of gardens or some nearby woodlands … so it may be fun to see what I come up with. I also hope to educate myself more on climate change over the next few months — something of a challenge since it’s so difficult to get a handle on useful research versus excessive politicization — but I’ve decided to spend some time with Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers to get me started. Other suggestions are welcomed (please leave in the comments); book reports lateron!
Keeping with the theme of the past five posts…
… here are four before-and-after images from my third set of Mary Ann Lantana:
And here are the fifteen completed images that make up this third gallery. My Lantana Gallery page has also been updated with all the Mary Ann’s.
Thanks for taking a look!
Keeping with the theme of the past four posts…
… here are four before-and-after images from my second set of Mary Ann Lantana:
And here are the fifteen completed images that make up this second gallery. Thanks for taking a look!
It seems hard to believe, but here in the U.S. southeast the days are already shortening, as we move from summer toward a fall that’s not too far away. Of the four varieties of lantana on my property, Mary Ann Lantana is the most prolific bloomer; it continues to add new flowers through late August and well into September (sometimes even October!). After that, I cut it back — almost to the ground — to get it ready for cooler weather so it can rest over the winter.
For these photos, I used the same post-processing approach that I described for images of my Landmark Citrus Lantana (see Making Pictures: Landmark Citrus Lantana (Gallery 1 of 3), relying heavily on Lightroom’s radial filters and adjustment brushes to emphasize the blooms and, in some cases, darken or eliminate backgrounds. Here are before-and-after versions of four of the eleven photos, those that I transformed the most. The last one’s my favorite!
Funny thing happened as I was assembling this blog post: I realized that I had written several times about my “Miss Huff” Lantana — but as it turns out, I don’t have Miss Huff, I’ve got Mary Ann. They’re very different; see here versus here. Several blog posts, tags, and brain cells have been corrected…. 🙂
Below is the first set of Mary Ann Lantana images. Thanks for taking a look!