The weather has been very warm for this time of year. For me, this makes a great change after the freezing two weeks I had abroad. Coupled with the heavy rain we had last month, the warm period has meant an explosion in these beautiful flowers. They are quite literarily everywhere you look…
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If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for your photography, read the flickr blog. Back in June, I read a post titled Past Present(ing), and I immediately started my research. I looked for old photographs of Ealing, where we live(d) in London, printed them in Kuwait ready for this post. Today, I took some time alone and went on a shoot walk.
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A couple of weeks ago, I bought what in my opinion is the queen of Nikon lenses. The Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 is my first fixed lens - which I always thought were for grown-ups – and I’m still getting used to it. I’ve been spoilt by the choice a zoom lens offers – with this lens I have to move a little more which is a great way to learn more about composition.
Whilst I find myself bopping my head back and forth like a chicken, the results are best described as graceful. For my non-photographer friends, a lens with these credentials, of a low f stop and Nikon quality, would cost thousands of dollars. For some reason, this particular one – which not so different in quality especially for non-professionals - is probably the best value for money out there. I love it and highly recommend it.
I took these shots this morning. Click for the larger versions.
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Staying in the frame of gardening, this collection was captured on Friday afternoon. The weather was beautiful and my mother’s garden: gorgeous.
It’s not a surprise that I love plants. My late grandfather (father’s side) was perhaps my first influence. I don’t remember him much as I was very young when he passed away, but I spent all of my early childhood playing in his gardens. This was in Rawdha, which incidentally means ‘Garden’ in Arabic, and my memories are of trees… Many tall trees. There was no lawn, not many flowers – but a wall of trees surrounding the house inside the main walls and out. The sound of leaves on windy days still takes me there!
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In case you didn’t notice it’s Spring time, look at this. I took it late this morning in Shuwaikh. The little flowers were in a pot and the surrounding area was full of butterflies. I don’t know what family this butterfly is from, but I know I’ve always seen it in Kuwait. I have many childhood memories of this exact colour. I remember catching them and placing them into jars – only to watch them stop moving a while later. Before you write to the UN, we were five or six at the time.
I promised the family I would buy these flowers in the hope of attracting butterflies into our garden.
UPDATE 23 03 2009
The flowers are called Lantanas & the butterfly is called Plain Tiger.
I love this time of year. It’s Spring time and we’re shaking off the cold weather. The garden starts to blossom like no other time in the year. New shoots, new flower buds and the grass is standing upright ready to invade the bald patches. We have two trees in front of our house, one of which insists on shedding almost all its leaves around mid February. It’s now filling up with new fresh green foliage, and the result is very pleasing indeed. It baffles me how two identical trees getting the same amount of water and light, of the same species and age, behave very differently. When this happened the first two years, I thought the tree was ill.
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With the weather changing every day, our gardens don’t know what to do… The Zenias didn’t do well at all. They lost their colour within a month and are now unfortunately due to be removed when I get a free weekend. The Alyssum however seems to love the colder weather. Even those in pots have filled up and are beautifully overflowing. I’m still and will always be addicted to their wonderful scent.
That wonderful scent of honey filling the space around this plant is what makes it one of my favourites for this time of year. I’m not sure why, but I seem to do better with the white variety and not so well with the purple. Great clusters of little white flowers contrasting with the bright green foliage means they’re always a nice addition wherever you choose to place them.
If you have empty pots lying around, or if a neglected bed is looking at you every time you’re in the garden, this is the perfect friend for the next few months. It grows beautifully, smells like a breeze from paradise and is very easy to care for (water it when it doesn’t rain). You shouldn’t pay more than 1KD for 7 shrubs. I only have little space and above are my 7 which joined us last Saturday.
With the weather conditions finally changing, I have made my biannual change to the front flower beds. Previous heroes have been marigolds and patunias. This year I’m trying these beautiful Zenias.
They come in red and pink but this yellow/orange is, in my opinion, the brightest. As long as the heat doesn’t return, and we don’t get frost in the winter, these should last until spring.
I love the mini flowers within.
We walked home yesterday instead of the constant driving. The children loved it – even more than the funfair we were visiting. Yousef’s three daisies reflect three things for me: peace, love and HOPE.
I hope your lives are full of all three.
It was a beautiful day today. Perfect temperature, clear skies and the gardening was “up-to-date”.
The children spent most of the morning playing with their new friends. The black one started the trend of playing catch with Yousef.
Please tell me the name if you know it. In Kuwait, the Arabic name for it is: Fitnah.
Update 22 06 2008: It’s called Plumeria. Thank you Ariston.
Despite the heat, the Marigolds have lasted well this year. They gave our entrance a beautiful, natural and unimposing feel. It also took care of some of the bees.
Next year Petunias…. The year after Marigolds again in shaa’ Allah.