Archive for the ‘Garden Photos’ Category

Dogwood Flowers – Eddie’s White Wonder

Eddie’s White Wonder Dogwood flowers (a hybrid between Cornus nuttallii x Cornus florida) in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada.

dogwood flowers in the fraser valley of british columbia

Dogwood Flowers – Eddie’s White Wonder (Purchase)

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   Last year I photographed both this Dogwood tree and a few others that were flowering in the backyard. This year I photographed the tree again, but tried to do something a bit different than I had before. This photograph was made on one of my first tests of my new camera. I’ve been quite happy with the files from the camera and this Dogwood flower is the first published “keeper” from that camera. Since this photograph was made I’ve got out on a few trips as well as photographed various flower species, baby rabbits, and other foliage in the backyard. Those photos are coming soon!

Ruckle Farm Buildings at Ruckle Provincial Park

Panorama of Ruckle Farm and the Daniel Henry Ruckle house in Ruckle Provincial Park on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada.

panorama of the ruckle active farm and buildings in ruckle provincial park on salt spring island

Ruckle Farmland and Daniel Henry Ruckle House in Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   Last weekend I made my first photography trip to British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring is the most populated of the Gulf Islands, and I’ll have the chance to explore it more often as some of my friends have moved there. Despite some rain I managed to get enough breaks in the weather to photograph these scenes at Ruckle Provincial Park. Salt Spring is new to me, and so photographing an entirely new place can be a bit more of a challenge as you don’t know where things are or what might be right around the corner (which is also a bit more exciting). I was mostly doing some exploration and scouting on this trip, but the stop at Ruckle Provincial Park was probably the highlight – and I came away with a few photographs too. The panorama above shows some of the still active farmland within the park as well as the farmhouse built by Daniel Henry Ruckle (Henry Ruckle’s son) starting in 1907. The Ruckle Farm has been in continuous use as farmland since Henry Ruckle began farming it in 1872. Ruckle Provincial Park itself was purchased from the Ruckle family in 1973 and established as a park in 1974. For a lot more information about Ruckle Park you can read the following file which I used as one of my sources for the dates and building names in this post: Ruckle Provincial Park Master Plan.

ruckle farm house daniel henry ruckle house ruckle provincial park on salt spring island

Daniel Henry Ruckle Farmhouse at Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   Henry Ruckle first started to clear this land for farming in the early 1870’s – and much of it remains the way it was then (though a bit weathered). The first noteworthy building you pass near the entrance to the park is the Alfred Ruckle House built in 1906. Much of this part of the park is lined with no parking signs, so I stopped further down the road near the park headquarters building (a house built by William Norman Ruckle in the 1930’s) – parking by the farm stand. Walking back up the road I made these two photographs of the Alfred Ruckle house. While standing on the side of the road photographing I tried to wave down a passing minivan which had a rather flat rear tire, but he just stared at me as he went by. More about that guy later.

alfred ruckles farmhouse in Ruckle provincial park on salt spring island

Alfred Ruckle House at Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   Alfred Ruckle house was built in the Queen Anne style which is certainly a little more stylish than the other wood frame homes (that I’ve seen so far) on Ruckle Farm. I’d like to have been closer to it for photography but it is not in the public area. The one farmhouse I did not photograph and that was the original home built by Henry Ruckle in the 1870’s which is still standing. I would have, and you can get close to it, but I simply didn’t know it was there at the time – despite being only a few hundred feet away. Next time I am on Salt Spring Island I intend to fix that oversight! The second photo of the Queen Anne house here also shows some of the split rail fencing that is common throughout the farm and on Salt Spring Island.

alfred ruckles queen ann style house farmhouse in Ruckle provincial park on salt spring island

Alfred Ruckle’s Farmhouse at Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   This building *below) is known as “The Forge”. It is the oldest building at the Ruckle farm and was constructed in 1878. This location is only about 200 feet from Henry Ruckle’s original farmhouse, but for some reason I never looked in that direction and never saw it. While I was photographing the Forge (amidst some chickens scratching around in the grass) a man walked through on one of the trails with his dog. The dog, to it’s credit wasn’t at all excited about chickens and didn’t react much when he saw them so this wasn’t an issue. A park employee immediately came out of the nearby building and told him that he wasn’t allowed dogs in the area. I think this guy must have passed 20 signs in the park saying the same thing. I take it they have had a lot of problems with people’s dogs scaring and chasing the farm animals.

the forge the oldest farm building at ruckle provincial park farm on salt spring island

The Forge at Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   After photographing the farm area I drove the short distance to Beaver Point and went for a short walk to a few viewpoints. Rain drove me back to my car but I noticed the minivan I mentioned earlier that had a flat. I put a note about it in a sandwich bag and walked over to the van but I heard a whirring noise as I got there. The owner was using a small pump to fill up his tire. I said he could probably get that repaired in Ganges but he said it was okay, he’d been doing this frequently since he left Quebec! I wouldn’t have the patience to pull over and pump up a tire all the way across Canada! That along with the dog thing makes me wonder about this guy’s decision making skills, if they exist at all!

For all of my photos of Ruckle Provincial Park please visit my Ruckle Provincial Park Gallery.

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) Flowers

   The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is the official flower of the province of British Columbia. Growing only in the southwest corner of British Columbia, the Dogwood is not yet endangered, but is nearing that distinction. A fungus (Dogwood anthracnose) infects Dogwood trees and has helped diminish their numbers along with deforestation and the 2002 removal of protections against destroying Dogwoods (and other species) by the Provincial government. Dogwood flowers are a familiar sight in British Columbia as they are used on many company logos and even the Provincial Coat of Arms. The High School certificate of graduation issued by the Province is called the Dogwood Diploma (I have two of them – figure that one out).

pacific dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii - in british columbia

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) flowers (Purchase)

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   The photograph above shows the native species of Pacific Dogwood here in British Columbia, but there is another common Dogwood tree as well. “Eddie’s White Wonder” Dogwood is a hybrid between the Pacific Dogwood (C. nuttallii) and the Flowering Dogwood (C. florida). This hybrid was developed by British Columbia’s Henry Matheson Eddie (1881-1953) in 1945. The hybrid was created from the Pacific Dogwood and the Flowering Dogwood partly to avoid the fungus that damages the Pacific Dogwood.

hybrid dogwood flowers - pacific dogwood cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

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   The hybrid has shown to be only partially resistant to the Anthracnose fungus, however. The hybrid Dogwood is shown in the photographs below, and tends to have larger, broader overlapping bracts and a much higher density of flowers. Some also have a slight pink hue to the flowers, as some of the original dogwood crosses were with pink varieties of C. florida.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

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   The last photograph here shows another individual of the hybrid Dogwoods with a much higher density of flowers.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood – note high density of flowers (Purchase)

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For more photographs of the flora of the forests of British Columbia (and Washington) take a look at my Forest Photos Gallery in my Image Library.

North Quarry Gardens in Queen Elizabeth Park

Magnolias and Rhododendrons blooming in the North Quarry Gardens in Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

magnolia flowers in queen elizabeth parks north quarry gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park’s North Quarry Gardens

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   Most people visiting the gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park head for the main quarry garden just beneath the Bloedel Conservatory. To the north, under the Seasons in the Park Restaurant is the North Quarry Gardens. This area has a lot of nice Magnolia and Rhododendron flowers, as well as more trails and routes through the park. Something to check out next time you are Queen Elizabeth Park!

For more photographs of Gardens, including Queen Elizabeth Park, visit my Garden Plants Gallery.

Stanley Park’s Air Force Garden of Remembrance

Fall flowers and the wishing well at the Air Force Garden of Remembrance in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

flowers at air force garden of remembrance in vancouvers stanley park

Air Force Garden of Remembrance (Purchase)

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   One of the many small areas in Vancouver’s Stanley Park that has been on my list to photograph is the Air Force Garden of Remembrance. This is a small area, located just west of the Stanley Park Dining Pavilion and contains a bench, a small garden, a waterfall and a pond. The garden was created in 1948 to commemorate the Air Force personnel who died in World War II. I had previously photographed this in the fall fo 2013, but came back hoping for some nicer leaf colours and a few more of the flowers still around – and I picked the right time this year. The pond’s waterfall was dry, however – likely due to our historic dry summer months in 2015.

wishing well and bench at air force garden of remembrance in vancouvers stanley park

Wishing Well at the Air Force Garden of Remembrance (Purchase)

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   I haven’t tried the starburst/sunburst trick before. It can be a bit of a gimmick in my opinion – you’ll see some photo galleries with the majority of shots with a sunburst in them. Here the sun was right in the way, and I either embraced it in my composition or tried to block it with tree trunks or foliage. Setting the aperture to f/16 and f/18 allowed this effect to work in these photographs. I like the results, but I will probably only use this technique when the sun is getting in the way.

   The photograph below isn’t from the Air Force Garden of Remembrance, but is actually just above the Stanley Park Rose Garden. I liked the way the Douglas Fir trunks lined up, though this certainly doesn’t show a natural forest setting.

silverhope creek fall foliage colours

Fall leaves on the ground in the forest at Stanley Park (Purchase)

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For more of my recent Vancouver area photography please visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

Akebono Cherry Blossoms in QE Park

Tourists viewing the spring Akebono cherry blossoms in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

tourists looking at Akebono cherries in queen elizabeth park

Tourists viewing Akebono cherry tree blossoms in Queen Elizabeth Park

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   This is one of the hotspots for Vancouver cherry blossoms – Queen Elizabeth Park. I have been here in previous years to photograph these trees and the QE Park gardens, but this time there were crowds well beyond what I had experienced in the past. Seems I had forgotten that this was during spring break week, and there were a lot more people out viewing the cherry blossoms. There are many popular spots to view cherry blossoms in Vancouver during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival but this spot and Stanley Park remain my favourites. I decided to embrace the reality of the crowds and made this and a few other photographs of the people enjoying the cherry blossom. Surprisingly, the rest of the gardens had very few people in them despite the abundant daffodils, magnolias, tulips, and other flowers.

You can view more of my garden photos in my Garden Photography Gallery in my Image Library.

Organic Concord Grapes (Vitis labrusca)

A cluster of organic Concord Grapes (Vitis labrusca) in a British Columbia vineyard.

concord grapes in a fraser valley vineyard

Concord Grapes in a Fraser Valley Vineyard

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   A photograph from the fall of 2009, this was one of my first photographs using my (then) new Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS. This is a group of Concord Grapes (Vitis labrusca) which are often used for grape jellies, grape juices, and sometimes wines.

Organic Peas

   A few weeks ago this was the harvest from my organic vegetable garden. I had many bushels of peas out of the garden this year which is always nice. Nothing quite like fresh peas and considering how labour intensive they are compared to my other crops it is satisfying to get a lot of them.

organic peas

A bushel of organic peas (Lincoln Homesteader variety )

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