Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Garden clearance





















Every year at about this time I have to have my gardener and his son in for a day's work to clear my garden. I am not a gardener myself, and am generally content for my garden to be a green one, with little in the borders but some flowering shrubs, and anything else that seeds and grows by itself, without much help from anyone. But I have to keep it under control, or it would go completely wild and annoy the neighbours too.


This year I decided to be more ruthless than usual, and ask them to cut my lilac so drastically that it will not flower for two years now. The trouble is, as it grows taller and taller, I can no longer appreciate it from my diningroom, where I spend a lot of time, (doing paperwork on the table, NOT eating!), and can only enjoy its blooms from my spare bedroom window. So now and again I sacrifice a year's blooming to get it down to ground floor level again.


The other drastic job was done on a holly tree, which has been about halved in height. This has produced quite a surprise, which is the rather odd phallic looking growth on the other side of the fence at the bottom of the garden. It was quite obscured by my holly tree and has caused me some amusement. I haven't managed to get a decent close-up of it, as it never seems to get really well lit by the sun, or if it does, it is always at a time when I have forgotten about it. But the picture will enlarge for a closer view.


Also, to my great annoyance, it seems that I am no longer able to hold the camera steady enough to get sharp pictures. I don't think it is shaking hands, so much as a gentle swaying of the whole body, which begins to lose it's balance as I try to focus in the viewfinder. I plan to get a new camera anyway, but I suspect that will not make much difference. It is going to be very frustrating if I can no longer take the pictures I want for my blog, as I believe pictures are very important for it.
Am I right in thinking that digital cameras are going the way of having display screens only, and no viewfinders - or the cheaper ones anyway? I would appreciate any comments from readers who have cameras like this, as to whether it is a disadvantage or not. The only one I can think of is, if the sun is shining directly on the display screen, you can't see the picture of what you are taking.

10 comments:

Annie said...

I haven't tried digital cameras, yet, so I don't know what they can do, but I've had the sways and trembles for some years and I overcame it by using a camera that I could set to a very fast speed-- a speed with which the sports photographers take action shots? I think I souped it up to 1/500 of a second.Maybe 1/1000 sometimes. And I used a fast speed film. But this was in the 1970's. I don't know what is available now. My camera burned in a fire and I haven't found a way to replace it, so am way behind the times.
annie

Annie said...

PS. I forgot to comment on the most important thing besides our swaying, and that is the viewfinder. I had the best luck with a viewfinder because it would rest against my eye and help steady things.
I did not have luck with a box type camera in which I looked down through the top to compose the picture.
annie

Judith said...

Thanks, Annie. That all seems like good advice which I can take into account when choosing a camera.

Sheila Joynes' Musical Diary said...

Sounds as if you need to go for one with IS (image stabiliser) which comepensates for a certain amount of wobbliness. I insisted on having a view-finder when I bought my little Canon Ixus - it was near the top of the list for "must haves" along with not more than 5 megapixels and at least 4x zoom. View finders are becoming a rare thing butto me, they are vital because there are so many times you can't see the screen in strong sunlight.

Judith said...

Thanks, Sheila, that's rather what I thought.

Granny J said...

Being about your age, I can understand the problems. I have a Canon 3IS, with a 10x optical zoom and it also has a viewfinder, which I use almost exclusively, because this is Arizona and the sun absolutely wipes out the image in the display screen. I think it does 6 megapixels, though I seldom go past 1.5, since my pictures are intended for my blog. Blogger reduces the size of pictures down to well under 100 megapixels when they are posted. Incidentally, the speeds on digital cameras are impressive -- usually well over 1/1000th, except in low light conditions. I think that Canon is up to model #5IS, but would recommend it any any event. I've had good luck with mine. Hope you find a camera that meets your needs.

Judith said...

Thanks, Granny J,that's all good stuff. I shall put it all together and make a list of my requirements and start a new camera search.

My brother thinks the weird plant might be an 'echium'. He saw one in the Trelissick Gardens in Cornwall this year.

Fiona Goble said...

Hi Judith
Thanks for your kind comments on my blog - I've had fun reading yours. I'm trying a bit of garden clearance too at the moment - we had builders in today for our small kitchen extension. We've had to replace our cars recently, repaint the house, replace the shed... soon I'm beginning to feel we'll be true suburbanites - and a lot poorer! From Fiona, Julie's friend at Stitch a Day

KeithD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KeithD said...

Here's my pic of a big echium, Judith, together with a link to a shot of Sheila's and a couple of catalogue pics: http://tinyurl.com/5a442k. Can't really see from your pics, but probably you can tell whether what your neighbour has is an echium pininana.