Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gardening in Sunglasses

Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia
It's been quite hot and sunny here the past two weeks and my gardening has been limited to brief sorties into the glaring, humid heat.  When I went out around noon it was 95 degrees in my Zone 7b part-shade backyard and 105 in my Zone 8a full sun front yard (my house is probably not literally the boundary between horticultural zones, but it often seems like it).  My sunglasses, usually not worn while gardening, gave everything a surreal look, and inspired these photos.  No, I didn't put sunglasses on my camera, but I went for subjects where the high contrast between the light and the dark really stood out to me.  The first subject that caught my eye was the Virginia creeper above.  The glowing red and green of the sunlit stems and leaves contrasting with the dark grain on the brown fence is what caught my eye.  I didn't quite capture how this looked through sunglasses but it's a fun photographic experiment.  
Shasta Daisy, Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky'
Next up is Shasta Daisy.  In these lazy, hazy, daisy days of summer, I always enjoy seeing the crisp white of the daisies.  With sunglasses on, the white jumps out against the dark background of the evergreens behind it.
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'

Similarly, a beam of sunlight playing across the gigantic flower cluster of Hydrangea arborescens in my shady side yard brings out the cool buff white of the bloom.  I love hydrangeas and this buffy color seems to really add to the grandmothery charm of them.
Blue-eyed grass, Sisyrinchium (atlanticum? angustifolium?)
My final photo is blue-eyed grass, a wildflower I have encouraged in my garden.  With sunglasses on, it seemed to me that these tiny blue flowers really jumped out of the shade.  The contrast of the blue with the yellow center and pollen grains stands out boldly in shade, too.  I don't think the two plants are closely related, but this color combination had a similar effect on me when I noticed a spiderwort flower in deep shade in the very same part of my garden, in another post, in May.