A few weeks ago, The Mindful Gardener posted about buying a macro lens- with some fantastic photographs to go with it. Not quite got the budget for that, and was also limping on with my much-loved Panasonic Lumix FX70, managing to dodge the dustspots that had started to gather at the back of the lens inside the camera. Overnight, one night, the dustspots got serious- and there wasn’t a bit of an image that you could fudge past them with. An attempt at microsurgery was made by Andy, but he retreated as the camera innards looked in peril, so I decided to bite the bullet and find a new-to-me camera that would shift me very slightly into a more sophisticated camera field.
I have been playing with my Nikon Coolpix P510 all week and enjoying it- whilst gradually trying to work my way through the extensive manual to the things that I want to be able to do, rather than everything that it can do- except cook my supper, apparently. It is a much bigger and more serious looking item than my old camera, and I do feel slightly fraudulent at slinging it round my neck as if I knew what I was doing. But it is fun.
As the heat is now in the late 30s for the next few days, I am retreating indoors and remaining there pretty much all day- I am not of a stern constitution when it comes to heat, too much sweating and pale skin- not an attractive combination!
Back in the garden, when the heat is hanging, a colour co-ordinated yellow spider has turned up on my adored Patrinia scabiosifolia. Talk about blending in. He should be working for MI5 or 6.
That spider is still there, 4 days later, simply getting fatter.
Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’is not enjoying the heat. She always flowers a good month after the rest of the Crocosmia tribe, but is smaller in every way, except for the flowers which are a gorgeous jaffa orange, scarlet and yellow combination. I think she is probably at the limit of her endurance with us, especially this summer when the heat has suddenly really cranked up, but crocosmia are incredibly tough, and will battle on almost regardless of the circumstances.
Rudbeckias are part of the turning from mauve and blue to yellow and orange in the garden about this time of year. ‘Goldsturm’ is a really good plant, especially if their golden colour can be discovered accidentally mingled amongst other plants, and if the light is just right, there really is a flash of gold.
Another Rudbeckia that I love is Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’. A taller (up to 2m this year), more graceful, refined fellow with multiple small, reflexed petals like quills. I have worried in the past that I have lost this plant, as it is slowish to get going in the spring, and can easily be mistaken for a regular, annoying old Helianthus- of which I have way too many. But, whatever is going on, except for monsoon conditions, he appears and gently spreads, drifting about through and amongst other plants.
And new to me this year, but I am already smitten, is Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’ which I bought from the excellent Bernard Lacrouts at Sanous. Multiple flowering goes on, up and down the branching upright stems, small flowers which dot about very gracefully. The jury is out, as yet, but the signs are good for a reliable, take what weather comes, kind of plant. The colour mutes a little in the heat, it was a bit brighter last week before the craziness started.
Time to hide away indoors now. Thank you so much to all who have commented in the last few weeks, I am sorry I haven’t replied to each one as per usual, just too much going on! The comments are wonderful and are very much appreciated.