What were you doing at 7:43am on January 16th 2011? Although the temperature was well below freezing, love was in the air, at least for our resident foxes (http://tinyurl.com/6luovkw). Using an unusual configuration, which I had to validate through Google Images, they didn’t seem to be particularly enjoying the moment, but must have been successful, judging by the fox cubs we had playing in the garden later in the year. On the same page you can also see the fruits of the labors of Mr. and Mrs. Raccoon. Two of the cutest babies you have ever seen (http://tinyurl.com/7ygdk47) played around in the garden for a few weeks in the summer, even though we no longer saw their parents after we put baffles on all the bird feeders. Apart from eating the bird food in very large quantities, they also wore some rather robust paths through large patches of Phlox stolonifera and Anemone nemorosa. We haven’t seen any of them since just after the photos were taken in late July. You can also see the local does (http://tinyurl.com/7pa423h) viewing the garden from the best place – outside the deer fence. Culls in surrounding parkland by sharpshooters have reduced the numbers somewhat, but they still do massive damage to the environment, however nice it is to have them around.
I’ve updated the Edgewood gardens web site (http://www.edgewoodgardens.net) with around 1450 new images. You can choose to view just the updated images, or find them amongst all the others, arranged by family or season. Plants can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/7wnljl9 and general garden views and the family cats are at http://tinyurl.com/8xjct7p. We have a ‘new’ cat that comes here for the weekend most weeks. Kingston has taken on the role of lookout (http://tinyurl.com/7dvl4j5).
I’ve also done some more clearing out of old images. This year I bought two new lenses for my Canon EOS 50D – an EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM fast zoom lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens. Up to 4 stops of image stabilization with both means I can get hand-held perfectly sharp shots down to below 1/8th. These two lenses perfectly complement the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM telephoto zoom I bought last year and the image quality from all 3 is amazing.
I continue to grow more hardy cacti (http://tinyurl.com/6uh5dq3) in the garden. Not only are the flowers spectacular, their forms and spination are attractive year round. I did have to invest in some new needle-stick proof gloves and long forceps. A combination of twin-wall polycarbonate sheets and row cover keeps the less hardy ones warm and dry in winter, meaning there are hundreds of different taxa which can be grown successfully. They are complemented by some beautiful agaves, yuccas and stunning succulents (http://tinyurl.com/893vwqn), especially the x Aloinanthus hybrids (http://tinyurl.com/6m58mne) offered by Bill Adams at Sunscapes Nursery in Pueblo, CO, and Delosperma Fire Spinner (http://tinyurl.com/7kdyyqw) from Panayoti Kelaidis. Viola pedata (http://tinyurl.com/6vywaaa) enjoys the same conditions. Edgeworthia chrysantha in several forms (http://tinyurl.com/7kdyyqw) continues to be the best shrub in the whole garden and Fritillaria eduardii was lovely this year (http://tinyurl.com/7kdyyqw).
There are a lot of new photos of woodland plants - Anemonella thalictroides continues to seed everywhere (http://tinyurl.com/6u7f4mg), and the ‘orange’ form of Claytonia virginica is stunning (http://tinyurl.com/6pot4yb). The unseasonably warm fall and early winter made for great flowering conditions for snowdrops (http://tinyurl.com/85mcyqq). Galanthus reginae olgae selections like the gorgeous Fotini (http://tinyurl.com/7mmkawj) and early flowering forms of G. elwesii (http://tinyurl.com/6p9gmvn) were especially nice. Spring conditions were especially kind to hellebores, including H. niger (http://tinyurl.com/6rcsbrl) and H. x hybridus (for example http://tinyurl.com/7ovypdv and lots more pages). Some doubles that I raised from seed from a yellow Party Dress strain flowered nicely – in a whole range of colors that included some lovely peaches and apricots (http://tinyurl.com/8493m5h). It was also a great spring for Hepatica acutiloba and jeffersonias (http://tinyurl.com/6rs7asq), with seedlings of J. diphylla flowering well for the first time, with the added benefit of great foliage http://tinyurl.com/6uhnt3o). I got some nice images of Mertensia lanceolata and virginica (http://tinyurl.com/83lsa6o). As usual, there are lots of photos of Trilliums, my favorite being the first flowering here of the yellow form of Trillium decumbens (http://tinyurl.com/6pxfhhk) and the tremendous variation within Trillium cuneatum – often considered a less glamorous species (http://tinyurl.com/6pxfhhk).
Please enjoy the images, feel free to drop me a note with any comments, and let me know if I’ve messed up any of the names.
Thanks and all the best,