Spring Beauty and Abandoned Blight

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Red branches reaching… The sky is sleeping… Gray skies and thunder rolling… The clouds are weeping… Saturday evening darkness leads to sunny Sunday mornings… Float away to greener lands away from city warnings… The trees reach out to me… Waving tiny branches… Always be alert to step away from shady glances… Understand empathy… Practice individuality… […]

Floating Sea of Green – Anonymous Mountains

TrilliumCarpet2 copy

“Floating Sea Of Green” – Keystone State Park – Westmoreland County, PA – Trillium as far as the eye can see… Right here… On the side of this mountain… I am but a small part of this picture… Yet… When I am among the Trillium… I feel like a king… Exploring natures beauty…

Sitting on the side of an anonymous mountain…
Among jack-in-the-pulpit and white trillium fountains…
Spring beauty blossoms through last years leaves…
A garden is growing among the woodland trees…

A garden is bigger than the size of your yard…
Gods creation is more than just broccoli and chard…
Heaven is a garden… And here on Earth it’s blue…
A bee that visits my garden brings sweet gifts to you…

Among the trees I realize I am a part of this land…
It is my job to defend the places that I find so grand…
If it came to it I think I would be willing to kill…
Stand on top of my Trillium and I’ll do it for the thrill…

Morel

“Mountainside Morel” – Keystone State Park – Westmoreland County, PA – Among the treasures to be found in Keystone State Park… A single Morel Mushroom growing among the Club Moss… Trail side… Hidden by the leaves…

So while I slowly tiptoe across this sea of green…
Knee deep through Mayapples I guide my queen…
Carefully we navigate these Appalachian thickets…
Among the mason bees and the mountainside crickets…

I let go of my baggage and release my inner fears…
A garden is a state of mind and my mind is right here…
A garden has no borders… There are no class walls…
A plant doesn’t see us unless we get down and crawl…

Big degrees… Pedigrees… Even the smart and dumb…
A plant doesn’t give a damn about your annual income…
I garden… Because it requires nothing but the desire to learn…
I sow seeds because I realize it will soon be my turn…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 14 – White Trillium

TrilliumG

“Perfect Light” – Trillium grandiflorum – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Seven Days of Spring Wildflowers

April 23rd, 2013… Bright green buds breaking against a baby blue sky… Hiking through Frick Park enjoying the air… As I walked the path I noticed a sea of white above me on the hillside… After a short hike up the slope… I found myself surrounded in White Trillium and Dutchman’s Breeches…  I sat for a while… Took some photographs… Became familiar with the colony… Trillium is a magical plant that I will seek out every spring from now on… If for nothing else than to reproduce the feeling I got the first time I found one…

Grandiflorum

“Laughing Hello” – Trillium grandiflorum – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

Trillium grandiflorum… Known by many common names… “White Trillium”, “Great White Trillium”, and “White Wake-Robin” are among the more popular ones… It is a perennial that grows from a short rhizome… Producing a single… Showy white flower atop a whorl of three leaves… The leaves and the stem share a dark green color that often persists into fall… The single root will produce colonies that can become very large…

Trillium grandiflorum has a pink form… It is very uncommon and it should be noted that all Trillium grandiflorum turn pink a few days before wilting… This should not be confused for the much rarer pink form that actually blooms a light shade of rose-pink…

ColonyTrillium

“Among the Colony” – Trillium grandiflorum – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

Trillium grandiflorum has long been thought to be self pollinating… This is a result of a lack of insects during flowering period… The “Science” guys have proven this to not be the case… In fact… They have actually proven Trilliums are not self-compatible… They produce an enormous amount of seeds during years when pollen is plentiful… And they rest on years when it is not…

Fruits are released in the summer… Each fruit contains around 16 seeds… These seeds are typically dispersed by ants… The seeds have an oil-rich body attached to them… This oil causes the ant to believe it has encountered a corpse… The ant then carries it back to the nest… Ants are the only animal that transports the seeds… White Trillium is a favorite food of white-tailed deer… Where ants can transport the seeds 30′ from the nest… Deer have a much larger range and are often responsible for random patches found in the woods…

NATIVE PLANTS DO NOT TRANSPLANT WELL AND SHOULD BE LEFT IN THE WILD… It takes a great deal of experience to transplant from the wild… 99% of the time your transplants will be dead before you even get back in your car… Please don’t dig wildflowers…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

One Week In May

BleedingPuddle©

“Swimmers” – © chriscondello 2013 – Wilkinsburg, PA – Dyed puddle, bleeding hearts and reflection – I have shot bleeding hearts from every angle imaginable… This has been my favorite angle so far…

Kerria1©

“Spring Fireworks” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Sun yellow flower shining in the sunlight…

Centauriac

“Cornflower” – © chriscondello 2013 – Wilkinsburg, PA – I was trying to take an out-of-focus photograph of Jeanette Street… But this damn in-focus flower kept getting in the way… Had to settle…

Forget©

“Forget Me” – © chriscondello 2013 – Wilkinsburg, PA – Private Garden – Underneath a pine tree… Between two flagstones… Grows a tiny little alpine forget-me-not… Waiting for me to weed around it… I had to clean up before her close-up…

BackYardStack

“Garlic Watcher” – © chriscondello 2013 – Wilkinsburg, PA – Sculpture of stone – How do you see a pile of rocks?.. It just depends how you stack them…

SAM_2070

“Red Trillium” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Trillium erectum – These plants stink like rotting meat because they are pollinated by flies…

Albino

“White – Red Trillium” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Trillium erectum var. Alba – Same flower as above but with a different morphology…

Stretch

“Stretched” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – I saw this log laying on the ground broken… So I stood it up… I attempted to add a stone head… But the structure was very rotten…

PaPerWhite©

“Paper White Photo Bomb” – Wilkinsburg, PA – Campbell Street – I shot this photo in a sketchy neighborhood… I was kind of in a hurry to avoid coming into direct contact with a group of teens… After the photo… I quickly moved to the other side of the street… Then… The scary group waved at me… And I realized I knew half of them… Personally…

Skewed©

“Askew” – © chriscondello 2013 – Wilkinsburg, PA – I was trying to take photos of dandelions… But my eyes kept getting drawn down the path… I couldn’t immediately figure out why… So I sat… And observed… Then I squinted… And I realized what I was seeing… This photo is as close as I could get…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

One Cloudy Week In April – Frick Park

This gallery contains 8 photos.

The past week has not really been one of creation for me… Given the sudden loss of a very close friend it has been more of a week of observation and reflection… This post is simply a gallery of the places I stopped to reflect… I broke the week up into two posts… Natures creations […]

Searching For Color

Selfie

“Selfy” – Sculpture – © chriscondello 2013 – Created on 4/7/2013, and destroyed on 4/7/2013 – Frick Park,PA – As soon as I saw this log, I knew I needed a big stone… My natural self-portrait…

Today, I spent four hours hiking around Frick Park looking for wildflowers. Although the flora was few and far between, I managed to find inspiration in all kinds of places. I plan on taking weekly wildflower/art walks in Frick Park for the rest of the season, my goal is to photograph and identify all the native flowers of Frick Park…

For info on Frick Park click this link – http://pittsburghparks.org/frick

I have a goal of photographing a few native orchids this spring, I will need advice on places to look for them. If you can offer some tips, please email me… Do not post location info in my comments… Please email them ONLY…

BurntSienna

“Burnt Sienna” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park, PA – A boy and his father were walking in front of me today, the boy slipped and fell on his ass leaving a red scar. I noticed the red color from a distance, like the ground was bleeding…

SpringBeauty

“Spring Beauty” – Claytonia virginica – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park, PA – Color was scarce as the flora has yet to spring forward, but I found this gem hiding on a steep slope.

Cornus-mas

“Cornelian Cherry” – Cornus mas – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park, PA – I was rather excited to see some life on a tree, not sure what kind of insect that is but I am guessing that it is a beneficial.

ComplimentaryMoss

“Complimentary Colors” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park, PA – This was a lone mound of moss situated at the top of a trail.

RiverStone

“Stoned” – Sculpture – © chriscondello 2013 – Created 4/7/2013 – Frick Park, PA – The tree rings are what initially attracted me to this log, and the hole looked like a bullet hole. I sat down to take a break and noticed one round rock in a sea of sharp ones, this stone needed to be featured.

Toadshade

“Toadshade” – Trillium sessile – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park, PA – Just a few days early, I will be back for the flowers.

Stacked

“Stuffed and Stacked” – Sculpture – Created 4/7/2013 – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park, PA – As I climbed to the top of a ridge to look for fossil bearing limestone, I stopped about half way up to catch my breath. In front of me was this tree and a few rocks, this was the result…

peace – chriscondello

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Practical Permaculture – Gardening In The Shade

100_0861

Bleeding Hearts, formerly known as “Dicentra spectabilis”. But based on our recent ability to see plants on a molecular level, the name has been changed to “Lamprocapnos spectabilis”.

Let me start this off by saying I love shade gardens, and I love my ornamental plants. I believe that it is important for me to note that although permaculture is primarily focused on food production, a true permaculturist understands the importance of promoting all forms of gardening regardless of yield. As far as permaculture promotion is concerned, the last thing on earth we want to do is exclude all of the flower gardeners from the mix… They play an important role in pollinator promotion and I think as permaculturists we should promote ornamental gardeners as well…

All too often shady spaces are cursed by gardeners, it can seem like anything you try to grow fails. Grass fails to grow properly, and the common plants found at the big box stores grow poorly and discourage interest. This unfortunate, but common situation could have been avoided had proper shade loving plants been chosen. Many plants have evolved over time to prosper in low light by developing delicate, thin leaves that efficiently absorb whatever sun falls on them.

When filled with cool flowers and foliage spread out below an interesting tree canopy, a shade garden can be the most beautiful spot in your yard. It is important to remember when learning to garden in the shade, not all shade is created equal. Figure out exactly which type of shade you’re dealing with, because the type of shade will ultimately affect the variety of plants you can grow.

toadlily

“Tricyrtis formosana” or Toad Lilies prefer shade or part shade and grow naturally at the edge of forests.

Deep shade is all day shade where no direct sunlight hits the ground; this often occurs under heavily foliated trees. Deep shade may be dry or moist depending on whether the trees are surface-rooted or deep-rooted. Fewer plants thrive in this type of shade, especially if dry, than in brighter conditions.

Part shade means shade for part of the day with direct sunlight during the other part. Many sun-loving plants bloom well in part shade because they receive from four to six hours of direct sun each day, though they may not perform as well as in all day sun. Morning shade followed by afternoon sun may be too hot for many shade plants, causing them to wilt in the heat. But the cooler morning sun with afternoon shade is good for many shade loving plants.

Light shade occurs under an open branched tree canopy where spots of sunshine filter to the ground in a constantly shifting play of shadows, a wide selection of plants prosper in filtered shade.

Open shade occurs on the north side of a building where no direct sunlight falls, but where light may be reflected to the ground from surrounding walls. Open shade often remains damp, unless the building creates a rain shadow and blocks rainfall from reaching the ground. This is a very common urban garden problem, usually requires one to get creative.

"Arisaema triphyllum" - Jack-in-the-pulpit

“Arisaema triphyllum” – Jack-in-the-pulpit

Many shaded locations are cool and damp, but some are actually dry. Upon close examination you may discover that certain shady spots in your yard have poor, dry soil because your trees have surface roots that suck up all the available surface moisture and nutrients. A thick canopy of tree leaves may worsen the problem, acting like an umbrella and deflecting rain from the ground beneath. Lack of moisture, not lack of light, often proves to be the culprit when shade loving plants fail to grow in their prefered habitat.

Dry, root-clogged soil feels and looks hard and compacted; when you try to dig a hole with a shovel, it can’t easily penetrate the ground. If you discover that the soil in your potential shade garden is hard and compacted, try digging in lots of organic matter, like rotted manure or compost, as long as you don’t mess with the major tree roots the tree will not suffer.

Where digging will tamper with tree roots, spread a layer of topsoil no more than 4 inches deep over the ground. Cover this layer with a 2 inch mulch of chopped-up leaves, which will decompose into a rich humus. Anything deeper than this could smother the roots. Earthworms will eventually move into the decomposing leaves, further speeding the decomposition, and also burrow into the harder subsoil beneath the topsoil, making it easier to garden. Where shallow-rooted trees pose a problem, you will be waging a continuous battle and will need to replenish your mulch every once in a while.

When gardening in dry shade under a tree, water regularly and deeply during the summer months. Where you might normally apply an inch of water a week to satisfy your garden needs,  you may need to apply 2 or even 3 inches of water to compensate for the water absorbed by the tree. Many plants will adapt to the dry shade after a year of stabilization, if you can water regularly for a year you can usually garden under a tree.

Shade loving plants do not usually bloom as abundantly as sun lovers, perhaps as an energy-conserving measure, but you can enjoy a variety of flowers in the shade by choosing the right kinds. however, your shade garden will rely upon an assortment of beautiful foliage plants for much of its allure. You can brighten up the shadows of your garden using a few simple tricks.

"Trillium erectum var. album" - The white flowered form of Red Trillium...

“Trillium erectum var. album” – The white-flowered form of Red Trillium…

– Grow lots of plants with white-variegated leaves or white or pastel flowers, brighter colors tend to glow in the shade.

– Dark red and purple flowers tend to recede into the dimness, they should be used sparingly.

– Brighten open shade along buildings by painting walls in bright reflective colors.

– Use golden-leaved plants and those with yellow flowers to create the impression of a beam of sunshine scattered across the garden floor.

– Contrast plants with finely divided, fern-like leaves with those featuring big, tropical-looking leaves to add excitement and drama.

I am a man who really enjoys ornamental flowers and understands the importance of a diverse eco-system. As a master gardener, I know many people who have beautiful and beneficial ornamental only gardens, but have no interest whatsoever in growing food; to exclude them from the mix would be a kick in the nuts to the principles of permaculture. To expect the world to conform to us will ultimately lead to the failure of the movement… Ornamental plants need loving too!..

peace – chriscondello

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.