Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In the Garden 05/24/11

Chorus Line

I walked around and snapped a few pictures in the garden yesterday. The photos below would give the appearance everything is lush and green around the garden. The truth is, this very dry spring is taking a toll on it. Even with a drip system there are crispy plants everywhere. Only the diehard plants are thriving. The day lilies are looking very ragged and stressed and we haven’t even gotten into the season good yet. The plants just aren’t where they should be for this time of year. What happened to the April showers? I’m going to give the garden a little TLC this coming week and see if I can’t nurse it back around to a happier place. We just need some good, steady rain. Looks like this may be another summer of losing plants and crispy grass.

On another note, the photo blog is finally up and running. Blogger never responded to my support request so I just decided I would rebuild the blog, give it a peak sometime. The following photos were taken in the afternoon so they aren’t the best, but I hope you enjoy them anyway. God Bless~ Randy

Bee Balm

Little Mystic Moon



Darla's Mom's Coneflower

King Lamoni

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Around the Garden 05/17/11

Well the first Balloon flower of the season has opened and I was happy to see it. Last year seed was dropped all over the ground and by next summer there will be a nice big patch of them. I can’t wait to see them in bloom! This one is called ‘Sentimental Blue’. I’ve been shooting my photos with manual settings lately and so far I’ve been very pleased with the results. When I purchased the camera I used for these shots at the time I was under the assumption that I had purchased this VERY nice camera. And, it is indeed very nice, but the more I learn about photography the more I am beginning to realize how limited I am by the settings. Looks like a new camera will be in the picture sooner or later. While I’m having fun with the new information I’m learning, I really can justify buying a new camera just yet.

Sentimental Blue

‘Daring Deception’

Daring Deception

Photography can become a reallllllllly expensive hobby when you get to buying new lenses and cameras. If I win the lottery though, the first place I am headed it to a camera shop!


‘Stella Supreme’

Stella Supreme

The KnockOut roses have been really pretty this year. I admire something so resilient! I trim these babies any time of the year I feel like it. The rose hedge, while absolutely loaded with blooms this year, had gotten too tall. So after the burst of blooms were gone I pruned it down to about two and a half feet and its getting ready for its second flush of flowers now.



‘Tequila Sunrise’ Coreopsis

Tequila Sunrise

As I was walking around taking photos I realized the garden is going to need some re-designing done soon. So Many plants were lost last year as a result of negligence and the weather. The poor ‘Crimson Queen’ maple in the far corner appears to have died about half way down from the top. I hate that, it was such a gorgeous tree. It’s starting to come back now, I’m not going to cut the top out of it until I know for sure it has no life left in it.


The garden suffered a lot of stress last year and it’s not as perfect as it usually is, but it’s bouncing back and in the meanwhile I’m planning the changes to be made to it. At this point I’m not replacing the items that have died. I’m just going to let the things that are living continue to grow. I want to decrease the number of plants in the garden yet let the volume of the ones there increase. Instead of having lots of little plants I want large drifts in few amounts. A garden is always evolving… Hope you enjoy the photos


With a bit of luck the new blog will be restored soon. I’m really excited to get it up and running again! I’ve been going out of town a lot and I’m trying to get in the habit of always having my cameras with me when I leave. I need a place to share my other photos that aren’t garden related. Gosh, I have so much to learn. But, maybe we can learn some new things together as the posts get rolling out?
Blessings~ Randy

Milk and Wine

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I popped in on my folks and visited with them a pretty good while on Sunday. Once a month my sister brings my Dad to the house for the weekend to give him a break from the nursing home. Since he was home this past weekend I got to visit with both my parents at the same time, which was really nice.


When I was younger I planted lots of different plants around the house. Over the years they’ve all disappeared and my parent’s home is pretty much devoid of any blooms these days. As I was walking around the house my mind became flooded with memories of my childhood and the way the old house once looked. When I was a child I would take my little green army men and lie under the azaleas on my belly. Instantly I would be transformed to the height of two inches and my army men and I would be hidden in a huge jungle filled with large trees. I would place them on a twig in the azalea forest and pretend they were on a large branch in one of the ancient trees. Ants suddenly became animals the size of a small dog. I can still remember the smell of the moist soil. Isn’t it amazing how quickly our imagination can adapt to a situation when we are children? The world was a different place then and I long for those days back.


I’m still very much in touch with my inner child even as a 44 year old man. I allow my imagination to take over as often as I can, though it’s never as vivid as it was when I was a child. I think as adults we allow society and even friends to steal parts of our soul. We are told and expected to act a particular way. I’m certain that there are those in my circle that are convinced that I am a fool… But despite their opinions and their attempts to change who I am I still on occasion wish on stars, jump in mud puddles and sometimes on warm evenings I dance in the rain wearing nothing but my underwear. The warm rain has a way of cleansing my soul and washing away all my troubles and fears. But, I digress…


As I was strolling down memory lane and the yard, I came across this Hydrangea. I was fascinated by all the different shades and colors of the blooms as they age. For some reason I was over whelmed by the beauty and the process of it all. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s just the state of mind I’ve been in recently. Colors seem to resonate with me more some days lately… Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mr. Johnson's


Whenever I meet a new gardener and I hear them say they want to buy statuary or benches the first thing that comes to mind is I need to take them to Mr. Johnson’s. I’ve met a new friend that is busy creating a garden and I took him to Mr. Johnson’s to find the things he needed. While we were there I snapped a few pictures for you guys to see. His prices cannot be beat. He has three tiered fountains that you would pay 800 to a 1000 dollars retail sale available for purchase for 175 dollars. You would still have to buy the pump, but that’s minimal expense. He has everything, huge stepping stones for 3 to 5 dollars, birdbaths for 15, all sorts of planters; the list just goes on and on. So if you are in the market it would be a great day trip for you if you live in Alabama. I have no affiliation with Mr. Johnson; I just wanted to share his business with you because I can guarantee you cannot come close to finding these items retail for the price you can buy them from him. Here are just a sample of items and prices.



Concrete benches with legs - $50.00


Four foot concrete benches with marble and legs-$ 60.00


Very large urns and bases- $40.00 each. I’ve seen these same urns and bases sold as a pair for hundreds of dollars.




When I asked Mr. Johnson why his prices were so low he just had a puzzled look on his face and said, “Well, it’s just concrete…” His business is located 6 miles north of Clanton, on Alabama Highway 31. Below you will see a sign with phone numbers, if you are driving from a long distance you may want to call first to see if he has what you are looking for in stock.


In other news, I went to see the surgeon Wednesday and he said my new injury will heal just fine and will go away very soon. He insists that walking is the best way to strengthen my back so I continue to do as he says so I’m still walking a mile in the morning and one in the evening. I’m happy to report that I have now lost 20 pounds and I am tickled to death about it! I also got my car out of the shop yesterday and it looks fantastic too, so everything is falling back into place again. As for Digital Impressions I am still working on the blog and I haven’t posted anything yet. In the meanwhile, I’m learning to use Manual focus on my cameras rather than the auto shot, so I am curious to see how my photos will look when I start to post them. I’ll do some with manual and some with auto to see how bad the difference will be. ROTFL. Okay, I’m off to do my mile then I have yard chores to do. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there. God bless~ Randy