A slight photography fail

We haven’t done much in the garden for weeks. This is not because there’s nothing to do – it’s because J has a repetitive strain injury in his arm which is also causing back pain, so until he feels up to it he’s really doing as little as possible. There’s also the fact that whenever I think about going outside it starts to rain.

So it’s just as well that the garden is heading into the time of year when it looks after itself. We’re not quite there yet, though, and the photos I took this morning will no doubt show some of our shortcomings. There is weeding and dead-heading to do, and we have some bare patches so will need to move a few things around to fill them. There are leaves everywhere, mostly from the cherry laurel; it’s been very windy here this week, as well as wet, and it shows.

Nevertheless, I took the camera outside to record our progress. The flowerbeds are looking lovely and full, on the whole, and once again everything is leaning to the south to make the most of the light. Lots of plants have burst into flower in recent days and weeks; the santolina is still making me wait, but this week I have seen and photographed flowers on the cistus, scabious, ceanothus, scarlet lychnis and weigela. The rose is covered in buds and will be glorious this year.

The photography was a bit of a trial this week. One of the things I have discovered about this camera is that it tends to overexpose when out of doors and on any auto settings. I went out and took a load of pictures on auto (using landscape, portrait or macro settings depending on what I was photographing) and all were hopelessly washed out. Now, it is a gloomy day today and with the conifers along the north side of our garden the light isn’t great, so I went back out and tried again using manual settings. I’m still a little nervous of the manual settings but can hear my dad in the back of my mind telling me to experiment with them, because it’s the best way to learn. The problem in the garden today is that it’s so gloomy it needs a slow shutter speed, so I’m relieved there seems to be very little camera shake showing up.

Anyway, the general views:

General shot – to my eyes still rather overexposed, but much better than the first attempt.

The bank – looking colourful.

And this week’s star performers:

A nice group – artemisia, santolina, scabious, heuchera, hardy wallflower, and dicentra.

Lychnis Coronaria Atrosanguine, or rose campion. I have white as well. It self-seeds everywhere.

Cistus, or rock rose. The petals are like tissue paper and the flowers only last a day, but there are so many of them.

Ceanothus – this really shows off the amazing electric blue colour.

Campanula – we planted several little clumps last year, and they have taken off really well.

Hoping that you  are having better weather than we are!

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