Sunday, February 15, 2015



Stump planter at a distance
This is a view of my stump planter. It is not the best resolution because it was taken from a long distance. I was testing the zoom on my camera, a Nikon Coolpix P600. This is about 200' away. Not too shabby, just a little shabby.

Stump planter up close
Moving closer, the resolution improves dramatically. The most important thing to know about taking good macro photos is getting as close to the subject as the camera will allow. If it is a sunny day, I can get as close as 2" to a well lit subject for crystal clear pictures. Of course, keeping the camera as still as possible is also important. Pictured here is a mix of Crocus chrysanthus and C. sieberi hybrids. I planted some others in here, but they haven't appeared yet. It should be interesting to see if they will ever appear given the interesting conditions presented to them here.

Crocus tommasinianus

Recent windy and rainy weather has toppled many of the crocuses and disrupted the growth of many freshly germinated seeds. For many of the crocuses, this was fatal. This one above refuses to quit!

Crocus tommasinianus

Crocus x luteus 'Yellow Mammoth'
This is the common "yellow" Dutch crocus found in mixes, usually just identified as 'Crocus flavus', one of its parents. It is interesting how diminished the stigma is compared to other species. The stigma is also hard to see, being the same color as the stamens and petals.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus'
Slugs got to this one while it was in bud. Rain had apparently washed away the pollen, as the closed flower no longer fully protects the anthers. This shows just how important the photoreactive petals really are. Despite being eaten, it is still beautiful.


Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata
This is a beautiful form, a bit larger than the other type of reticulated Iris I have. Yet, the petals are thinner, or rather are curled inwards at the edges to make them seem thinner. They are a darker blue, purple towards the base. The yellow and white nectar guides are meant to lure insects (bees) into the flower from that direction. However, when I have seen honeybees work these flowers they do not bother entering the flowers but instead land towards the apex and tap the nectar directly from the base of the flower.

Iris reticulata
 Some people find that these types of bulbous Irises are difficult to keep alive or they just dwindle away. Not the case here due to our long hot dry summers, something they are reputed to require. They do not set seed, perhaps because nothing actually pollinates them, but they have seemed to increase vegetatively by offsets.

Iris reticulata 'Harmony'
 Here again is the first form I pictured a few posts ago. I believe this to be the common selection 'Harmony'. It is more compact than the other form pictured above, with a smaller diameter as well. Also, the flowers are closer to the ground. Compared to the pictures above, you can see that the differences are quite apparent.

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