Friday, 30 September 2011

An Indian Summer in the Garden

I read this week that an Indian summer can only occur in October.  Well if that is the case then ours is about to start tomorrow.  If you are a gardener, love gardens, have a young family then you are going to just love having summer at this time of the year.  Or are you?  It certainly great to extend the time you can get out into your garden and enjoy it.  But is it great for everything.  Are those plants and animals who use temperature to determine their behaviour going to get slightly confused?

In my garden the gains of warm sunny days are:-
  • Those green tomatoes that never ripen may actually all turn red this year.
  • Its been a great season for raspberries and they are still producing fruit and those apples may just ripen on the tree before becoming fallers.
  • For everyone growing pumpkins -  as a plant that does not like the frost, they may just get to stay in the ground until the end of October. 

Being in the garden this time of year enables us to listen to the acorns dropping and spot the squirrels squirrelling away those acorns. We have fantastic spider webs in the garden with highly active spiders for at least the last month. Tonight we are going to take full advantage of the warm, but dark by 7 o'clock, evening and do a torchlight safari.

On the minus side I am still having to cut the grass, with the help of my six year old, who is really keen to have a go at the push mower.   The pots and the remaining vegetables are going to need watering. My harvest of fruit and vegetables is ripening like mad in the kitchen.  So there is an urgent need to store, cook and/or freeze them.

This heatwave must be a goldmine for phenologists ( those who study how plants and animals are affected by variations in climate).  My garden certainly looks a mismash of plants from all seasons.  I have full red holly berries, together with a rose which started flowering in May and still has buds on.  I know in Dorset there are still swallows around and wonder if they will now be leaving later then usual.

I will be making to most of the sunshine and be out in my garden this weekend. Its a great opportunity for everyone else to do the same.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Creative Business Photography Workshop

On Friday I was in seventh heaven. Why? Because I was in a walled garden, having a go at photography, with a lovely bunch of ladies. I attended a creative photography workshop run by Vicki Knights at the Medicine Garden in Cobham.

If you are a regular reader of this blog or my Kidsinthegarden website you will know that there is still much room for improvement in my photos. We were given a really good grounding in the basics of lifestyle product photography, which in my case covers kids outdoor toys, children’s gardening gifts and, of course, plants and flowers.

I loved every minute of it. Its great to learn new things.  We were given loads of hints and tips from adjusting exposure to what to do post production. As a result of the workshop I am beginning to look at light in a very different way and consider how it will affect my shot. I am also far more aware of the composition of my photo. I now feel far less intimidated by the technicalities of my camera.

I hope you like the photos I took on the day. Please watch out for more changes. I will be working hard in the next couple of weeks. I have to, for we have been given homework!
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