If Two is Company and Three is a Crowd, What is Four?

Four purple coneflower blossoms grow close together

Four purple coneflower blossoms grow close together in our garden. I’ve propagated several patches around our yard as this is my favorite flower, but this old patch from when we first moved in continues to be the most vigorous. I don’t deadhead them late in the fall so the birds can eat the seeds during the winter, as the juncos are doing now.

Gray and Green

Our cat Templeton sits in the mint and raspberries in our garden

Templeton in 2006 exploring the backyard. I used to give the cats supervised time in the fenced backyard but don’t do it anymore, it was easier then with just the two of them and the yard more closed off. Everything in this picture has changed. Templeton died a year later. I dug up the mint and raspberries years later (but they keep coming back). There’s a wildflower garden there now.

The View From Our Sidewalk

The New View From Our Sidewalk

Last fall the good folks at Habitat Gardens landscaped half our yard. The most visible change is the front, where we replaced a mass of juniper bushes that covered the front slope (shown below) with a garden with terraced rock walls (above, covered in a dusting of snow). It’s hard to tell from the angle of this picture, but there’s a nice gentle curve to the rock walls, and we love the natural look of the stacked rocks. The garden above this, below the big picture window, was also replaced with a rain garden, and the gardens on the side of the house to the right were also replaced, including a French drain and another rain garden.

I love seeing this view when I walk home from the train station, it will be more work to maintain (and I need to learn how to prune all the new plants) but it feels more like home. Mandi was great to work with, we said we wanted either native or drought-tolerant plants so that once established everything would be fine with our dry summers without need for a watering system, and she picked out this wide variety of plants, as well as everything for the rain gardens. It was all very easy on our end and we love the result.

I hoped to test out my old macro lens with the new camera as the plants have started blooming but it’s been a bit too breezy the last few weekends.

The Old View From Our Sidewalk

Water Slide

Raindrops cover the surface of the flowe of a black-and-blue salvia

After an unusually hot and dry summer, we got some much needed rain this weekend so I grabbed my macro lens for some pictures of the flowers and insects in our garden covered in raindrops. This is a close-up of one of the flowers of our black-and-blue salvia. I ended up with a sore back from standing or sitting in uncomfortable positions to get the macro shots that I wanted, I find it rather unfortunate that Canon didn’t put an articulating LCD on the back of the 7D Mark II, which I would use constantly for macro or pet photography.

I pre-ordered the Sony A7R II back when it was first announced and I need to decide in the next week or so if I should cancel the order. I would vastly prefer a mirrorless camera for macro work, and they have a stunning new macro lens for their system, but while the LCD tilts it isn’t fully articulated.