Grit Blogs > For Dragonflies And Me

The Breakfast Patio, Photographing Your Garden and Rosemary-Cornmeal Foot Exfoliate

Jean SmithThe scent can only be described as Heavenly... as you pass by when it's in full bloom the scene is simply breath taking.  A gentle breeze carries it's perfume wafting pass your face, you close your eyes... your olfactory senses take over...such a pleasant and peaceful experience. Her name is Sweet Autumn Clematis and she is one of my favorite vines. I have a weakness not only for climbing roses but also for this beauty.  I've planted several though the garden's and each year I fall in love a little bit more. My oldest vine climbs on the front arbor beside my breakfast patio. She has two David Austin 'Fairy' shrub roses planted at her base. Their delicate frames hold the tiny blossoms that grow in clusters covering the greenery in an airy coat of pastel pink. I love to sit at the table taking in the sensory overload that surrounds me while having my quiet time early in the morning... listening to the birds flutter about in the depths of her vines until they relax and realize it's only me... keeper of the gardens.

The Breakfast Patio has lent me many hours of relaxation and was one of the easier projects that we've tackled. We laid the black ground cover and then had five yards of pea gravel brought in for our floor. It is nicely sheltered from wind and passing cars by the front arbor, a picket fence, the house and the Banister Garden. The area affords much relaxation and is a pleasant place to visit with family and friends or to be all alone.
To see the photo's of my patio and arbor during different stages, please go to my NEW blog site at  

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Photographing your gardens....
I've been asked if the photos in my blogs were my own and I can happily say that the majority of them are. I've photographed everything from barns and mailboxes to horses, sheep and my favorite subject... yes you guessed it, flora! When I started photographing flowers my eye was always captivated by the intricacies of the petals, the lines and indentations of the foliage... I love my macro lens for intensely close shots. My favorite photo is of a Gerbera Daisy I took several years ago (see photo attached)... you can see the pollen on the stamens and every crinkle in the petals... it simply whispers perfection. I've tried to encourage all of my readers to take before and after shots of the garden spaces that they are creating. You will be very thankful later when you go back and see the progress that you've made. It is also great fun to share with other garden loving friends over a cup of tea... think garden journal!

Today I thought I would give a few tips on capturing that perfect shot.
*Walk the area you want to capture and look around for the perfect angle. I've already knelt or laid down to get it.
*Experiment with different angels, I've got some great shots from a second story window looking into the branches of a tree as well as down a tree trunk.  Likewise stand directly under a tree almost touching the trunk and shoot upward.
*If taking a shot to get a distance shot, stand on the one side of the road and shoot with the angle aiming on the other side of the road; or stand dead center and watch the road turn into a point... great effect!
*Be sure to look behind the subject you want to capture- make sure there are no distractions in the background or on either side.
*Don't center the subject- divide your screen into 3 imaginary column's  |_|_|_| . Put your subject in the right or left column. Try it both ways to see what will be added within the scope of the landscape. If you are doing a close up, look to see which looks more balanced. See my Gerbera Daisy photo for an example of this. (Attached) The nice thing with this is you can use the mirror option in a graphic's program to change it is you may need to.
*Take multiple photo's to be sure you have options.
Like I always say... have fun and be creative, that's how you'll get the best results!

After a long day on your feet what could feel better than a foot rub... here is a great and super easy home made foot scrub recipe! Enjoy friends!

Rosemary-Cornmeal Foot Exfoliate

1/4 cup rosemary infusion (tea)
2 Tbsp. ground organic rolled oats
1/3 cup organic cornmeal
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 nonmetal bowl

1. Brew a strong tea by pouring 1/4 cup of boiling water over 1 cup of fresh rosemary; cover and let steep for 15-20 minutes.
2. Using a food processor or blender, grind the oats until very fine and powdery.
3. combine cornmeal, powdered oats and the oil in a nonmetal bowl; add rosemary tea, 1 tbsp. at a time, until a smooth paste forms.

Massage each foot with the paste, scrubbing rough areas. Rinse using the remainder of the rosemary tea in the rinse water, if you like) and pat dry.
Finish by applying a moisturizing cream mixed with a few drops of rosemary essential oil.

Happy Day,