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It's All About Small Stuff

Details are important. They often determine the quality of an object, a home, a relationship, one's life. In the end, I think it's all about the small stuff. This is true in a garden, too. Little elements can bring joy to a gardener, even when the over all vision for the garden is incomplete.

I like to look at photographs of my garden. I especially like close-up photography; it allows me to appreciate details in the garden my eyes may have missed. The patterns and colors could provide inspiration to any fashion designer. So, take a closer look at my garden with me, and enjoy!

Above is a gray hairstreak butterfly, a small and often overlooked beauty, on a zinnia. Fellow blogger, Donna of Garden's Eye View presented me with zinnia seeds as part of her Save the Bees project. They have grown well, and I appreciate how attractive they are to pollinators.

Dusty Miller, shown in the top photo below, grows in a planter in front of my house. Like zinnia, it is a commonly grown annual, but I love its fuzzy texture. Below the dusty miller are two varieties of crepe myrtle. Pure froth!Gardenia and Calla lily add creamy white notes to the garden, so welcome in the summer heat.

Below, clockwise from top left, are annuals with bright color: A pretty petunia that reseeded itself from last year's plant; Persian shield; Stromanthe sanguine 'Tristar'; Japanese bloodgrass.

Coneflowers produce abundant seeds for the birds:

A tiny ant explores the center of a 'Tropicana' canna lily bloom:Clockwise from upper left above: 'Tropicana' canna lily; Swiss chard, my new most favorite veggie; a marigold grows in my vegetable plot; portulaca - see another ant!

A balloon flower rejoices in a recent rain:

Spores cover the undersides of autumn fern:Above, clockwise from upper left: 'Moonbeam' coreopsis; Variegated liriope; Asclepsia tuberosa, also called butterfly weed; 'Annabelle' hydrangea.

I hope you have enjoyed this 'detailed' look at some plants featured in my summer garden. Have a great week!  Deborah

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Reader Comments (35)

A veritable rainbow of colors in these photos! Love the zinnias. Your garden is far ahead of mine. I'm still waiting for my Balloon flowers.

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHelen at Summer House

Loads of luch up close beauty today. I so enjoyed all your close-ups, especially the one showing those fern spores. Great post.

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBernieh

Lovely photos, the detail is very pretty indeed!

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

The details are amazing, and the camera is such a great tool to see them. Even if you pay attention in the garden and really notice everything, you just don't see the detail that the photo freezes. Great shots!

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Oh Deborah these are exquisite and I am so glad the flowers were a success...the butterfly shot is amazing and I love that butterfly's colors...I have not seen him in my garden...thx also for the shout out...you are right...the details we miss are the best which is why I love the close up shots too!!

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

The detail in plant life is the awe factor for me - so beautiful, so amazing, so awesome in how it all works together. Loved looking at your detail shots.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGinny

Hi Deborah... What a spectacular butterfly as well as all of your other photos! Your site is really beautiful and interesting! very nice! Regarding your comment on irises on my site, We seem to do quite well with irises excepting bearded which attract borers and rot here and ensatas... not acid or damp enough soil I suspect. Moving irises isn't that big a deal once the mind is set on doing it. My wife dug out, divided, replanted, and gifted 100's of intermediates after one day of working on the project this past weekend. I wasn't much help as in addition to my shoulder concern, I am recovering from a dislocated rib... quite the year for my arthritic body! Digging and replanting iris is really the only way to deal with a grass infestation which had occurred here as we didn't get to that part of the garden soon enough in the spring and the lawn crept in! Our intermediates only get east light in the mornings and are in an extremely dry location and perform beautifully. Good luck with the move!! Larry

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

The details of your photography is stunning! Gives me a motivation to buy a new camera...:)

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Wonderful photos! I love love the zinnias...I am really looking forward to having zinnia blooms here.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

This is wonderful!! I see my garden so differently when I take macro shots. I'm rotten at capturing shots of butterflies or birds, though. I need them all to hold really still until I get all my shots! :o)

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

Gorgeous! Loved looking at all the details up close. Shows the wonder of nature.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolley

Beautiful! Thank you for these spectacular collages. I love the butterfly picture especially, so sharp and vivid.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMasha

What an incredible constellation of truly luscious images. We gardeners are often so busy smelling the roses, we sometimes forget to stop and look and listen.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

These are wonderful, Deb. I especially enjoyed the butterfly on the zinnia and the blue balloon flower (a favorite of mine).

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJean

What a fun post! Thanks for pointing out that ant on the portulaca! I almost missed it. And yea for you taking the time to notice the details. Too often I'm so busy that I don't stop to appreciate the small stuff. My busy season is done now, so I am looking forward to many days to just leisurely walk through my garden and appreciate the little details -- like an ant on a petal.

Such a lovely exploration of your garden. I too love how close ups allow you to look at the plant differently. I like to show the habit of the plant and then a close up of the flower or foliage for GBBD.

Your images are really beautiful in this post. I too won seeds from Donna and planted them this spring. Unfortunately they did not survive our plentiful rains. I was hoping to show them too, but the seedlings perished by damping off.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself. One of my oldest friends lives outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I've been looking for some Southern blogs to follow for when I'm homesick for New Orleans. All the photos are beautiful. I can smell the scent of gardenias!

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGirlSprout

I think gardens do indeed allow one to focus on the small stuff. Every morning I go outside inspecting plants, not for the overall effect, but looking for new growth, bug damage etc. That butterfly, btw, is incredible.

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess

What a lovely post!! That first photo of the butterfly is amazing!
Thanks for sharing the little details of your garden.

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

I have dusty millers too. I thought they would look nice as edging for a border. I didn't realise they would grow so tall and produce yellow flowers

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

Beautiful shots! I especially love the butterfly. Great captures.

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvoOrganic

I tried Zinnias once but had very poor germination rates and the plants were weedy. It was a cold and wet summer so maybe that had something to do with it. I may try again next year as yours as so pretty

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

It's true that garden photography makes you focus on details you might otherwise miss! You have a lot of beauty to focus on in your garden. Your butterfly weed looks so golden. Mine is the more common orange color.

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Deb, what beautiful macro shots from your garden. The autumn fern is especially interesting.

June 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Deborah, so many great close-ups and macros. Insect captures, too. It was a feast for the eyes.

June 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBom

Thanks so much for commenting on my blog yesterday. I can't believe your Lady garden is in the middle of a small city...it looks as though you are miles from anywhere!
You take great photos by the way..what camera do you have?...I am looking to upgrade my point and click!

June 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

Hi Deborah,
It is so easy to get swept up in the rush of everyday life and overlook the small moments of beauty in the garden. This post was such a great reminder to take time to enjoy the little things.

June 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Really gorgeous photos. I was wondering, what camera do you use? The images are super crisp, and the colors beautiful. They give a whole new view of gardening. Well done!

June 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNitty Gritty Dirt Man

A beautiful collage of color, and texture! It really is amazing what you can see when viewing the garden through a macro lens, up close. Sometimes though I forget to pull back and photograph the big picture, but then again, if I don't look closely, I feel like I miss so much! The photograph of the fern spores is just perfect, and honestly, how often do we remember to look underneath the leaves of our plants?

June 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

I love the small stuff! I often look closely at my garden, too, but become very frustrated with my limited camera in trying to share this view. I find zinnias amazing. My seeds are just beginning to come up. The humming birds love them, too. Especially love the capture of the fern spores. I used to have balloon flowers in Maine ... why haven't I added them to my new garden? Thanks for this eureka moment. Wonderful post. The small stuff seems to force you to slow down. It's nice.

June 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthevioletfern

Love the close ups of the Zinnias, can see how the bees and butterflies would love them. Must sow some seed next year for my Bee & Butterfly border.

June 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

An enchanting way of looking at all the different aspects of plants and the hairstreak image says it all. Would look lovely framed on my wall!

July 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura @ PatioPatch

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. I appreciate all of your kind and encouraging words. They are important to me. For those who are wondering about my camera, it is a Panasonic DMC-FZ40. It is sort of a hybrid between a digital point and shoot and a SLR. I am no professional, but it works well for me. Deborah

July 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

I love looking at these closeup photos. As you say, the camera can capture things we can't see, or see them in more detail or from a different viewpoint. This blogging hobby is slowly morphing into a photography hobby.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercatmint
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