Archive for April, 2014

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The Rise and Fall

April 30, 2014

PEONY BUD

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SOON OPENS

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WITH GRACEFUL BEAUTY

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AND REACHES FOR THE SUN

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THEN REVEALS ITS SOUL

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BEFORE THE END COMES.

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These photos are of the peony plant (Festiva Powder Puff) that I had purchased two years ago at Dragonfly Peony Farm. Each year, my plant produces more buds and larger flowers. They bloomed three weeks and were destroyed a week early by rainfall.

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Up the Mountians and Down the Hill

April 27, 2014

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Dragonfly Peony Farm, West Point, California, is a small operation surrounded by redwoods, and sits at the base of a steep hill. People come from all over Northern California, and no one seems to mind the walk down the nearly vertical hillside. If anyone slips and tumbles to the bottom, once they land they can simply pretend to be Dorothy or the Tin Man stretched out in a wave of captivating blossoms. There’s even a sweet spaniel, Lilly, who will lick your face.

The farm is operated by Julia Moore who once lived in a houseboat on the Sacramento River with a floating peony garden. After Julia moved to dry land in the Sierra forest, she removed dead trees. This allowed space for her peonies which are deer and gopher proof. Eventually, as Julia added more peonies she decided to open a peony farm.

Julia works hard all year, and then welcomes the public three to four weekends during peak season. She offers a large variety, all spectacular blossoms in corals, whites, pinks, reds, and yellows. Many of the flowers are seven inches and larger. In addition to the crowd of repeat and new customers who come to buy every year, Julia is accustomed to artists who take photographs to later paint the images on canvas. But few artists leave the farm without making a purchase.

Julia serves complimentary lemonade and sweets then sends her elated customers and their plants up the steep hill to their cars. This is when first-time customers learn about the free shuttle and loading service. Although there is no signage at the entrance, those who prefer to ride the shuttle down the hillside can call the farm once they arrive. The number is 209-293-1242.

Everyone receives detailed printouts on peony transplanting and care. Here are Julia’s top tips:

  • Six or more hours of sun (light afternoon shade in hot regions.)
  • Shallow planting: Place root system with top eye no more than 2” from surface. In warmer climates plant a little shallower for as much exposure to winter temperatures as possible; planted deeper, lots of leafy growth but no flowers.
  • Good drainage
  • Good air circulation
  • Prolonged winter chill

Dragonfly Peony Farm (www.dragonflypeonyfarm.com) will be open:

Friday, Sat. and Sun, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
May 16, 17, 18th
May 23, 24 & 25th
May 30, 31 & June 1st

Coming soon, photos of my peonies purchased at Dragonfly Peony Farm two years ago.

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From the Color Wheel

April 17, 2014

From the Color Wheel

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More Photos . . .

April 15, 2014

Here are the rest of the photographs that I promised to you in yesterday’s post, I Threw a Fit and Then I Danced! Happy Tuesday!

 

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I Threw a Fit and Then I Danced!

April 14, 2014

I thought I would update you on an earlier post, Challenges | Photographers Input Needed, so here’s the latest.

Challenges: After making it through two thyroid surgeries, the doctor has put me on a 14-day, low iodine diet in preparation for a radioactive iodine treatment. The list below is my allowable food intake. Two days into the diet and already I was GRUMPY! I even threw a fit. My husband quickly exited to the outdoors with our pet dog, Ralphie. What else can a man and his dog do when his woman is throwing her body around like a mad rap dancer?

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My fit lasted less than a second. Good thing. Body contortions hurt! Frustrated, I grabbed my camera and headed for the garden. A few steps into my short trek across the lawn and I realized there was no reason for me to have gone into a mad dance. Friday, glaucoma tests showed that my eye pressure had finally lowered. This means the glaucoma has stabilized. Grateful, I took in a deep breath, then danced around the garden, this time in graceful celebration.

Update on Photographers Input Needed: I have received good suggestions for choosing a new camera. For those who shared, thank you so much. Hoping to make enough funds to buy a new camera, I opened the Fine Art Studio (see sidebar). It isn’t easy selling art. I knew this beforehand, and unfortunately it hasn’t happened. That’s just the way it is. But I’m not one to give up. A good thing, as there has been a lot of faith-testing—and faith-building—going on in my heart and soul the past six months. Thanks to prayer warriors, my faith in God and His in me, I’ve managed to remain optimistic.

Tomorrow, look for more garden photographs taken after my graceful dance.

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A Pensive Scene

April 8, 2014

The other morning, when I looked up from the kitchen sink and saw sunrays drift among a faint fog through the silver maples, I ran for my camera. I knew it would be months before fog and the sun’s rays meet up again. We had very little fog this past winter, and this was a moment not to be missed. I had to run, camera in hand, down the driveway before nature’s magic disappeared behind the trees. As I looked through my camera’s LCD screen, I could see the visiting light, shadowy lines, and soft mist quickly disappear from sight. Within seconds the attributes that had created the scenes below were gone. When I turned around, white vapor hovered over the green pasture in the distant valley between rolling hills.

I suppose this was a small farewell to winter and the last of nature’s moisture until summer passes and we enter the cold season once again.

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Relax with a . . .

April 4, 2014

Relax with a . . .

The main character, Jenna Hamilton, is a passionate gardener. I hope you enjoy the scene in Chapter Three: The Choice, as you walk through the garden with Jenna. Only $2.99. FREE apps available on Amazon for any device. https://www.amazon.com/author/diannemarieandre

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