Picture This – Best of 2014

Kudos to Saxon Holt for reviving the Picture This photo competition at Gardening Gone Wild. I hesitate to call it a competition. I think of it more like a challenge to improve my own garden photography skills. And I’ve missed it dearly. It was great motivation to get out in the garden with a camera. I hope others join in so that the feature enjoys a long life. And I had the privilege to judge one of the early contests when Nan Ondra had the courage to challenge participants to try out scanning plant material, a technique that I’ve been known to fiddle around with.

I’ll admit that my photography and scanning has been pretty paltry this year. I’ve been busy with a new granddaughter, weddings and work blogging at Cornell Horticulture and this fall a big push on the Cornell Titan Arum blog. Much of my creative efforts — photography, video, time-lapse — have been tied up in those efforts. But I vow that during the 2015 growing season, I’ll do a better job documenting what goes on here in Ellis Hollow. Especially if I have a challenge from Picture This.

So I don’t have a lot to choose from image-wise from 2014. But I did grab a decent shot of a new Turk’s cap lily (Lily leichtlinii), though I’m having a hard time deciding which view is the most pleasing.

The portrait?

Or the landscape?

Or maybe the blue bottle shot.

Venture over to find out which.

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10 favorite photos (and scans and videos) of 2013

Have I really neglected this blog since Labor Day?

Apologies. Life has been hectic. Plus I’ve been able to scratch my blogging itch some at work through the Cornell Horticulture blog. The little vacation from blogging here has made me start yearning for spring already and getting back to shooting photos and creating scans.

Following Les’s lead at A Tidewater Garden, I figured I’d pull together a quick collection of favorites from the past year, drawing from both blogs. In most cases, you can click on images for a larger view.

New Year’s cyclamen

With a corm nearly the size of my fist, this cyclamen reliably pumps out blossoms on the kitchen windowsill this time of year.  More manipulations of this scan.



Valentine’s Day scan

Cyclamen and begonia kaleidoscope. More manipulations here

cyclamen and pelargonium



This is why I long for spring: The chance to get my knees muddy shooting little things. Hard to chose just one.

Below, an Eranthis — a special variety though I don’t know its name.


Iris histrioides ‘Katharine Hodgkin’


Ephemerals scan nicely, too.

april scans

More ephemerals.


Daffodil season

Scan of daffodils, Leucojum and tulips the deer missed.

may scan



This one pumps out the prettiest flowers. Good thing. It’s leaves are butt-ugly.



June scan

Kaleidoscope mosaic with Aruncus, among others.  Original scan. More manipulations.

june scan manipulations


Allium bulgaricum

At least that’s what John Scheepers is calling it these days. One of my favorites.

june pix and scans


Tools of the trade

Shot this at a weed control workshop at a field day for gardeners at Cornell’s Thompson Vegetable Researcg Farm.  Read more.
Charles Mohler, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, demonstrated a wide range of weed control tools.


Sod sofa

Every fall, students in the Art of Horticulture class build a sod sofa on campus.  It’s one of my favorite afternoons, as I get to shoot stills and usually make a time-lapse video.

View photo gallery

Art of Horticulture students lounge on the sod sofa they built.

View time lapse video:


Labor Day scan

4-pane of my Labor Day scan. More manipulations.

september scan


Patrick Daugherty’s Stickwork installation

One of the first posts I wrote on this blog was about how much fun I had helping ‘Stickwork’ sculptor Patrick Dougherty with his installation in Collegetown. He returned to campus in October for a series of events including a hands-on community build at the Ithaca Children’s Garden. You can view a time-lapse video of the build below or view one of his talks, Stickwork: Primitive Ways in an Accelerated World.


Art of Horticulture final projects

What would I do without this class. My second favorite day of the school year (after sod sofa day) is when the students in this class present their final projects. I usually give a talk about digital art, and this semester I was so pumped that one of the students was inspired to try some manipulations. (You can view them here.)  You can also view most all of this year’s (and previous years’) projects at the Art of Horticulture gallery page.
Floral appliqé and wire bonsai sculpture


Also of interest …

A couple of things I discovered as I was reviewing the year that I should have plugged here earlier:

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