Posts Tagged ‘“grape hyacinth”’

There’s A Rainbow Of Color In The Garden!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

A variegated tulip

Variegated Tulip

Beauty Across the Color Spectrum

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet — the colors of the rainbow. These colors actually appear throughout nature, often before our eyes. During the summer months, most of us see a rainbow more often than we realize. To borrow a phrase, “We can’t see the forest for the trees.” Let me explain…

Right Before Our Eyes

I’ve been doing a lot of nature photography lately, which got me to thinking. What colors of the rainbow do the flowers in my garden represent? Can I find one for each major color in the spectrum?

Indeed I can!


Nothing captures the color red as perfectly as a flawless red rose — especially when using a macro lens! I love the color red and I love my macro lens, so spotting this beauty was a match made in heaven.

Red rose bud



Depending on how the light hits them, orange flowers are quite interesting. Their color can range from one extreme to the other. I loved how these petals were being backlit by the late-day sun, creating shadows that varied the depth of color.

A backlit orange flower



A Black-eyed Susan has a way of making me smile. Such a hardy flower — even after this week’s incredible heat. They are always a bright spot in my garden and a welcome splash of color. Every year I wonder what new piece of garden real estate they will claim as their own. They do like to spread out.

Black-eyed Susan flower



This color was a tough one. There are not many plants that actually have a green flower. Certainly not in my garden anyway. So, I’m taking some liberty here with a poppy bud. It is green for a long period of time — so that has to count for something. Besides, look how devoted it is to protecting it contents. I call that love!

A poppy bud



I have a particular fondness for balloon flowers. They look so different when sealed up like a balloon than they do when they pop open. I have both white and blue balloon flowers nearby. Depending on whether they are open or closed, the blue can take on a more purple appearance. My favorite time to photograph blue balloon flowers is right after a rain shower.

Open balloon flower with raindrops



In the color spectrum, indigo is such an interesting color. Its deep, dark blue hue can really provide some great color in the garden. Although I don’t know the name of this small flower, I loved the contrast of its gold center against its petals.

A small indigo blue colored flower



While actual violets would seem to be the natural flower to showcase here, I don’t have any of them in my garden. Instead I’ve chosen my beloved grape hyacinths. I love these little guys and think they, too, represent the color violet quite nicely! Besides, they’ve served me quite well.

Grape hyacinth flowers


Take The Rainbow Challenge!

How many different flowers can you find that match the colors of the rainbow?  Let’s see!  LIKE the Liz Mackney Photography Facebook page and post your photo with the phrase “Rainbow Challenge.” Don’t forget to include the rainbow color you feel the flower represents.

Your Friend – ROY G BIV

Helpful Hint! If you have trouble remembering the names of the rainbow colors, think ROY G BIV. It works every time for me!

I look forward to seeing what flowers and colors you find!

~ Liz Mackney


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Macro Mania Season Begins!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Spring’s early arrival has awakened the gardens ahead of schedule. Nothing could make me happier here in New England. So begins my annual warm weather love affair with my macro lens.

One of the first things that caught my eye was some hyacinth bulbs proudly rising through the bark mulch. For the life of me I couldn’t recall what color I had planted. That detail would have to remain mystery a little while longer. I knew the answer would be revealed sooner rather than later.

Hyacinth bulbs sprouting in spring.

Hyacinth bulbs sprouting

While my flower borders entertain me in their own way, my next door neighbor’s garden has always been a magnet for my macro lens. Every day my dog and I take a stroll in that direction on a discovery adventure. Early on it was the little things — literally — that caught my eye. For example, my neighbors have an arching rose vine that clearly got a jump-start on its bud formation. On this day the vine was at perfect eye level to me. It was practically begging me to take a shot of its new growth. Floral vanity perhaps? Well, I did have my macro lens in hand, so naturally I had to oblige.

A rose bud awakening in spring.

A rose bud awakens

Another little splash of color that caught my attention that morning were these tiny blue daisies. At first I thought were some type of spreading ground cover. They were so tiny and low to the ground. Later I saw that they had risen to a height of 5-6 inches and had opened fully to a diameter of about an inch and a half. I’m still on the hunt for their official name. If you know, please post a comment and fill me in.

Small blue daisy-like flower

A small splash of blue

Back in my own yard the creeping phlox were busy showing off their own color. I have several different varieties around my property. Over the years I have discovered that they do indeed “creep,” for they have quadrupled in size over the years. It hasn’t been a problem though, as my large stone wall borders can handle them quite comfortably. They’ve been totally low maintenance and really are a great accent plant for stone walls.

A single creeping phlox flower.

A solitary phlox flower

Tulips have been another early spring arrival that have grabbed the attention of my macro lens. I enjoy capturing them at two different stages. First, I find them compelling as they first begin to open. Sometimes their petals can form an almost face-like expression. This one I could swear was smiling at me.

Red tulip flower just beginning to open

A ruby-red smile

Of course the colorful diversity of tulips is always a delight. There was a small variegated variety at my neighbor’s house that instantly caught my eye. The multiple colors within each petal were striking. I felt the color combination gave the tulip an elegant appearance. The heart of the flower, however, is what really drew me in. A perfect macro moment.

A variegated tulip stamen

The heart of the variegated tulip

Red hasn’t been the only color in town. Tiny grape hyacinths have been popping up all over recently and from what I’ve seen on the Facebook photography pages, a favorite image to capture. I’m not exception. They’ve been a lot of fun to shoot. Their tiny details are the perfect match for my macro lens and a true test of how steady my hands are. Yes, I primarily shoot macro hand-held. It’s a challenge all right — but that’s part of the fun for me.

Grape hyacinth flowers

Grape hyacinth up close and personal

I soon discovered that I’m not the only one enjoying the rebirth of the gardens. Just the other day I happened to cross paths with a fellow fan. This little winged friend followed me (or perhaps my yellow shirt) around the yard for quite a while before it finally took a brief rest on my white hyacinth (yes, the answer to the hyacinth mystery mentioned earlier). Today as a matter of fact, I saw three of his relatives in my lilac bush. Butterfly activity is on the rise!

Orange butterfly on white hyacinth flower

Fellow hyacinth lover

To see so many beautiful flowers so early in the season has been great. Every day brings with it the desire to explore again and again. My macro lens is always at the ready. At this time of year, there’s no place it would rather be.

So as the warm weather beckons us and the gardens continue to come alive, take a stroll outside your door. Some of the best macro shots are right there in your own backyard!

~ Liz Mackney

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