Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Day in the Life...

Of a garden center employee...
well, the scenic bits, at least.

From 6:15 AM to 6:32 PM, it was a day of welcoming the morning, embracing the day's activities and celebrating the journey, right through to it's conclusion.

6:52 AM: Look past the power lines of suburbia...
sunrise is a fleeting thing ~ a thing to be savored.
Hmm - "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning!"
I think they're calling for thunder showers, later.

6:23 AM: Pets fed. Time to monitor the fading sunrise.

6:53: Quick glance from the Northwestern
window reveals "nothing but blue skies."
A few more chores, get Lucy ready for work
(she guards the office) and off we go... a commute that
concludes with a drive through horse country.
Much to Lucy's delight, we spotted quite a few!

"Wild and woolly" is the view from the lower parking lot, as we pull into Corliss Bros. Garden Center & Nursery. I love this area - everyone needs a little "wild and woolly." Such areas attract pollinators and may offer larval food sources for butterflies.

Take time to appreciated the tiny pink spires of Pennsylvania smartweed (Polygonum) and rain-dampened foxtail grass heads, bobbing gently in the breeze.

Goldenrod, quintessential fall wildflower, is much-maligned as an allergen. Ragweed, blooming at the same time, is the real culprit responsible for the misery of hay fever. A hardy, graceful plant, you may even find Solidago hybrids, sold as perennials, in garden centers.

Backlit by morning sun, this Japanese red maple
is nicely framed by the twin trunks
of an adjacent white birch.

Those same trunks draw one's eye to a dense blue spruce.

A hike up the parking lot, is rewarded with a stop at the fish pond and a quick shot of the mini waterfall. Lucy enjoys pausing here, as well.

Just inside the entrance to the display area, we're met by great color combinations and tempting ways to liven up that fall landscape. Ornamental grasses, blue Caryopteris, golden juniper and mums contrast nicely.

Nor does this next display disappoint!

Garden Mums ~ so many colors, so little time!
Let's enjoy a stroll (maybe that should be scroll?)
along bench after bench of these autumn beauties...

A sudden breeze stirs, setting the foxtail-like seeds heads dancing ~ Purple Fountain Grass , Pennisetum setaceum, is not hardy in this area, but what it lacks in hardiness, it makes up for in visual impact. This is a perfect foil for garden mums.

The purplish or cream undertones of ornamental cabbage grow progressively deeper, with the onset of cool, fall weather.

Ornamental kale, though more frilly, lends that same rugged contrast to fall gardens, complementing those vivacious mums.

Oops! Look at the time!
I stow the camera and in we go
for the start of another work day.

Remember that red sunrise? Showers and a
heavy thunderstorm during the afternoon,
give credence to that old proverb.

After a busy, interesting day, Lucy and I are
homeward bound... well, maybe just a couple more
clicks of the camera?

The store front is bordered by a banked shrub bed, filled with maturing specimens of many of the garden center's offerings. The "Dwarf and Unusual" section of the catalog is well-represented in this planting, which serves as a reminder that even slow-growing specimens need the proper spacing. Above we see a weeping Canadian hemlock.

"No more photos!" says Lucy, as she awaits the ride home. The prospect of viewing even more horses than on our morning route, makes this her favorite trip. Well, that, and the fact that home and supper are at the end of this ride.

6:15 PM: Home sweet home, and a skyward glance shows the clouds just starting to break in the east. In we go, to start supper and feed the pets ~ Lucy's overjoyed!

6:32 PM: The northwestern sky is slower to clear, but I hear rumors from the forecasters that sunny, fall-like weather is on our horizon for the next few days. It's not a pretty sky, in the traditional sense, but the shifting patterns of light and shadow are peaceful and almost mesmerizing. And this, dear reader, is positively the last photo of the day. Thank you for sharing this journey through an ordinary Tuesday... I hope your day will be worthy of celebration ~ enjoy your own journey, on this crisp, cool September day!

All photos & text: ©Deb Lambert 2008


Anonymous said...

By the time you get to work the work day must be just about over... but what a nice start to your day!Tiderunner

GardenAuthor said...

Thanks, Tiderunner... nice start and finish to each day! I'm getting a little faster and better at composing the shots, but if practice makes perfect, I'll be at this for a long, long time.

I'm finding that the camera is keeping me in closer contact with nature, gardens and critters... more aware of bloom cycles, play of light and shadows, textures and the sky ~ oh, my goodness, the sky ~ I seem to be specializing in skies. No sunsets (I've got an "in" with a local sunset photographer - fabulous stuff and plenty of them!)

Clear blue, dotted with fleecy clouds, threatening storm clouds, after-the-storm skies... can't get enough! Now I'm on the hunt for "angel rays" and spectacular sunrises, preferably without power lines dissecting the shots.

I think part of the fascination is "the hunt." Got pretty creative on our nature walk today, especially with those turkey tail fungi - can't wait to see them in iPhoto (shameless "plug" for iMac and all things "Apple").

Yesterday, I minored in "wild and woolly," but on this gorgeous day off, "wild and woolly" was definitely my major, as we investigated every nook and cranny of the park.

Trusty "wing-dog," Lucy-Maude, has lunched and is now slumbering in her mom's recliner. That's OK, I want to play with photos, anyway.

Thanks for the visit & comments!

P.S. The workday wasn't quite over when we arrived in the store from that impromptu photo shoot. I punched in with 2-3 minutes to spare ~ phew! ~ maybe I got a little carried away.

Anonymous said...

Your mom always said "you never want to be late for work"! I suggest you buy LUCY-MAUDE a wrist watch,as she seems to be very focused on the time even without one. She could be your alarm clock... a little tug when its time run. Mr T

GardenAuthor said...

Mr. T ~ So far, so good... I've not been late for work. In fact, I'm usually 20-30 minutes early. This way I have time to settle Lucy in for the morning and snap a few photos on the way in.

It's the camera which threatens to make me late. All those photogenic plants - I am fortunate in my occupation, able to combine all my glorious obsessions.

Also, consider the fact that I maintain six blogs, two of which are garden blogs. And further consider the fact that one of those two is maintained for the very garden center where I'm employed. Now, add to that the fact that many of my new plant and nature photos will be displayed on the garden center blog, and maybe there's just a little "wiggle room" with that time clock? I'm just saying...

Finally, in Lucy's defense, she does try to keep me moving along, as she's anxious to meet and greet all the staff, inside and out front. I keep telling her to wait a minute, when she gets fidgety and starts to whinny. Maybe I'll pay a little closer attention to her not-so-subtle hints.

Thanks for the input!

Joanne said...

Love the pictures of your day. You sure have a "whole latte" mums here! Beautiful!

GardenAuthor said...

Joanne ~ Thank you... it was fun! Enjoyed your "whole latte" pun. This was just a sampling of the fall bedding plants at the garden center.

It's really an awful place to work, if you're a gardener. The temptation to spend one's entire earnings on plants and associated items is enormous. But it sure is paradise to a novice photographer, such as myself. Never a shortage of photo-worthy specimens!