Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An IRIS, At Last

It may be another month and a half before the big boys bloom but the iris reticulata lets me know the season has begun.

This little gem only stands 3" tall and is mistaken for a crocus at distance. A bulb, not a rhizome, like its cousins, it is great for naturalizing, that is to plant in you yard.  By the time the grass needs mowing it will have bloomed and be gone. Don't mow too close though. The leaves need to store enegry in bulb for next year's bloom.

You can see below that the deer leave iris (and daffodils) alone.  They have feasted on the tulip next door even though the area was sprayed with "Liquid Fence." Tulip bulbs should be in the deer food aisle.

These are the first bloom pictures with Canon T5i.  The pictures above show good use of depth of field.  With a wide aperture, the plane of focus is shallow.  The iris is in focus but the leaves only a few inches beyond are blurred.  The texture is appealing and even though the leaves and branch are recognizable, they do not distract from the subject.  In the first picture the "rule of thirds" is employed to break away from a center placed object and add interest. More contrast between the shade of iris and the leaves at top would have made it better,

Below however depth of field absolutely spoils the picture.  If I tell you that I had to put the camera on the ground it will explain why this happened. I did manage to show the size of the iris but even the rule of thirds won't save this one. The twig is in beautiful focus, but it is the last thing I want you look at.  If the iris, or even the hand were in focus it would have worked better. 

Not a Pretty Picture... Yet.

Trying to Bud
There are many frustrating times in the garden, but this is perhaps the most testing in my area.  The snow has melted, but in the course of its melt, refreeze and remelt, the ground is so saturated with water it looks like it will never dry out.  Rhizomes succumbed to frost heave and have to be tamped back in. Many of them look so sad that one's hope in their recovery is weak.

Mud and Heaved Rhizomes
 The softened ground weakened the anchors of this trellis.

Fallen Trellis
Even St. Francis could not withstand the winter

Fallen Francis
Cock-eyed Bird Feede
Despite liberal applications of "Liquid Fence" two weeks ago the deer and/or rabbits were not deterred on these tulips.

Eaten Tulips
 The rhizomes that Jim and I potted look pathetic, but alive!

Potted Iris
 The tools of the day: Besides a foot to reinsert rhizomes, these will help clear leaves before the foliage buries them from view.

Tools and Leaves