Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Unnamed double zonal pelargonium


I bought Fantasia Salmon ( see photo) in the spring of 2008.
It spent the summer months planted directly in a flower bed facing south.
When night temperature started dropping, I lifted it, removed the soil with a soft water spray then let it soak in soapy water for about 30min.

Once cleaned and bug free, it was placed in a clay pot with in a soil less mix.
I feel safe doing this after overwintering a Raspberry Ripple last winter, upside down in a box.

Once a week, the pot is placed in a tub to soak for a few hours and fed once a month with a natural seaweed fertilizer.
The photo was taken on Christmas eve.
To me that makes it worth the extra care.

Since this is a keeper, I did research to find the name of this pelargonium. I found a photo of P. Fiat Supreme in Geraniums and Pelargoniums by
John Feltwell that looks exactly like mine. According to Feltwell the Fiats are only available from specialist nurseries. So if mine is really a Fiat, it was a lucky find. Most nurseries in my area sell pelargoniums as unnamed, which makes preserving varieties more difficult.

P.S: I accidentally dumped this lovely pelargonium in the compost pile.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Climbing Toad T-Shirt

Finally finished the toad t-shirt design. They can be ordered from Zazzle no purchase necessary to visit the gallery. I'd love to read your comments ;-)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Non stop red begonia

Shooting indoors without a flash or studio lights is a great way to practice low light photography. I like the fuzzy yellow stamens of this begonia. Getting the red to come out right was a bit of a challenge. With time I hope to add lights to my kit. You can find more details in the Photo index

Last summer, I had this potted begonia outside in a shady spot and it did bloom non stop. Now placed under grow lights it continues to bloom while the garden is waist deep in snow.

To learn more about this tuberous variety visit the Begonia Nonstop site

Visit Zazzle to order this image on note cards.

Pelargonium Peltatum Barbe Bleue

This red pelargonium is in a class by itself. The classy look gives it heirloom potential. A must have in any pelargonium collection.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Red Pelargonium Peltatum

Red Blizzard pelargonium

I've posted information on this pelargonium before but without an image. That made the post kind of boring. If you would like to see how this image would look on your wall, visit Artist Rising. Click on the image and then on frame it. There you can change the wall colour, the frame, the mat and even the glass. My favourite frame is the Sovia Pecan.

Details  Art print

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New search engine

The new search engine will help find my images online. Hope you like what you'll find.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pine tree shadow

I could fill a book with photographs I've taken of this tree. In every season, with my children playing under the wide branches. With birds taking refuge from bad weather or protection from predators.

The pinus strobus also known as Eastern white pine was growing here long before we arrived and will still be here long after we're gone. Which reminds me of an old Native American saying:

We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Greeting cards

One way of sharing our love for flowers and photography is by creating photo cards and T-shirts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pine tree shadow

Pine Tree in Shadows is now available for poster prints on Artist Rising and on canvas from Imagekind The tall white pine is on the east side of my home. So I see it every day. Through the years I've had the pleasure to observe wildlife taking refuge in its branches.

A few days ago it was a large wild turkey. I read only recently that they perch high up in trees at night to protect themselves from predators. I watched the large and agile bird walk closer to the trunk. The next morning he was the first at the feeders. Later, in the afternoon the rest of the flock joined him. This gave me an opportunity to take lots of photographs. Some of the photos will be posted in the new album on the McFingon.com site. I’m still trying to work out the design for the photography section.

The album at this location will no longer be available. All of my work is being moved to McFingon.net

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Trying to renovate an old website. Its use was to share my genealogy research now it will be a portal to all my work online. First task; updating the genealogy then moving it to a new sub directory and the clan badge needed to be redrawn.

Update: Moved again. McFingon.net is managed with Joomla. The site combines the photo album and articles.

New T-Shirt on Zazzle.

All for now, take care

Friday, December 12, 2008

Artist Rising

I now have a gallery on Artist Rising. They approved the image I submitted and I'm very proud of that. I've chosen to offer it as a 24 x 20" Fine Art reproduction. And I intend to have one hanging over my own mantel soon.

I'm also working on a website. There you will find links to all the sites where prints of my work can be ordered and a bookstore. I love books as much as I do photography.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dark Red Blizzard Pelargonium

Red Blizzard

I don't have a macro lens yet, but I was able to take a close enough shot to see fine details. As Bryan Peterson would say, I filled the frame.

To see this image in a frame visit Imagekind, click on frame it, then select your wall colour. This will give you an idea how it would look on your wall.

A new photo is now on Garden Images

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hibiscus bloom in winter

This Hibiscus plant was given to me to overwinter after it was left too long outside in the fall. It's always best to bring plants in before the weather turns cold. Makes it easier for them to adapt to indoor conditions.

Now placed by a south facing window, it blooms well in spite of the low temp outside. It also gave me a chance to try using the window as a background for a few shots. But the bloom is well over my head, so a ladder was needed. This is one of my first tries, got the window frame which doesn't look to good, right? So I tried again and again, moving and zooming in and out. Keeping Bryan Peterson's advice in mind.

Now only one bloom appears in this photo but the plant had two blooms and ten buds. So I'm hoping for blooms on Christmas day.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Regal Pelargonium

The first time I saw one is in Geraniums and Pelargoniums by John Feltwell. Click on the image for a larger view and you will see why they make such great show plants.
Had mine growing in a pot outside last summer but it didn't do so well and thought I killed it. So I checked in Success With House Plants
for proper care and repotted the poor thing and let it rest for a couple of months as directed in the book. Now my Regal is healthy and blooming in December.

I took close to 20 shots before I got one I felt gave it justice. Thank you Bryan Peterson. Before I would have taken just one and convinced myself it wasn't possible to do better.

If this photo peeked your interest on Regals, visit the Geranium Galery where you'll find lots of photos of named varieties. For myself, I've added yet another book to my wish list, this time 1001 Pelargoniums

Larger View

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Using photo editing software

One advantage of using a digital camera is being able to do your own editing. But not everyone can afford Adobe's Photoshop CS4 or even the earlier versions. I had to settle for the little brother, Photoshop Elements 6. For the first few months, I used it for some basic editing not sure how to use the rest. I was new to layers and a bit reluctant to experiment with them. Fear of the unknown I suppose. So I had this great software and was using it like any freebee you can download online. What a waste! But it did give me a great excuse to buy another book. So I went to my favourite online bookstore and searched for books on Element 6. There was a lot of choices, but I had already figured out the basic stuff so I wanted something a bit more muscled. The description for Advanced Photoshop Elements 6 for Digital Photographers was right on target. Plus Amazon.ca lets you see inside. This feature as saved me from buying the wrong books.

Using this book made me realize that I don't need to upgrade for some time yet. Which is a relief for my budget.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Understanding Exposure

I'm very proud of the gardens I care for. Taking photographs helps me share the experience. Before I invested in a DSLR, most of my shots were disappointing, but having a better camera still wasn't enough. I had to learn how to bring out the best of my subjects. So I turned to books written by experts. Using a few keywords to find exactly what I needed got me Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. The man is a great teacher. I recommend this book to anyone switching to DSLR cameras.

Now I like to think that my garden photos can entice you to grow your own or see the flowers as the works of art that they are.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Siloam Ury Winniford

As a plant collector, I like to learn as much as possible about all new additions to my flower beds. For example: I've learn that this particular daylily was hybridized by Pauline Henry and introduced in 1980. The AHS online cultivar database, describes this one as deep cream with large purple eyezone and a green throat. As you can see by the photo, it's a great colour combination. If you follow the links I supplied, you can learn more about this lovely hemerocallis.

Garden Images


Sowed directly outdoors three years ago. These old fashioned, double spurred Columbine with leaves like shamrocks are from the
McKenzie Seeds collection. I have them growing at the base of a Syringa X hyacinthiflora.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lychnis Coronaria

First saw this biennial growing in a part shade flower bed of a cottage garden. The colour of the flat one inch flowers is best described in Garden to Vase
as shocking fuchsia. The author also recommends them as cut flowers. Something I intend to try next season.

Left to reseed they are easy to pull up or move. The Angel Blush variety is snow white with a hint of pink that slowly deepens to a rich rose with a white edge. I will be starting some inside in March. You can find seeds for Lychnis Coronaria Alba at the StokesSeeds site.

The old fashion look of this flower is ideal for a Keepsake box

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Art Pad digital canvas

While surfing the net I stumbled on the Art Pad site and I'm impress. Though I use Painter X with a
Wacom Pen Tablet myself, I like the idea that a digital canvas can be used online for free. It gives you a chance to get a feel of one before making the investment.

I draw a great deal more now that I don't have to waste so much paper. It's also ideal to enhance photos.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pine tree shadow

Though I've tried to draw it several times over the years, it's not until I completed the Trees in winter step by step project in Learn to Draw with Pencils, Pens and Pastels that I felt confident enough to tackle my morning view.

Larger view

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gleaming Mahogany

Tropaeolum majus, better known as Nasturtium have a wide variety of colours. Gleaming Mahogany from Mr Fothergill's Seeds is one of my favourites. As you can see in the photo they grow well in pots. They are also good companion plants.

Another reason I grow these gems is because ants don't like them much. With my sandy loam, ants can be a problem. I also plan to use the photo as reference in a drawing.

Apothecary rose

Old Garden Roses
According to Complete Roses: Featuring 100 Easy-Growing Favorites the Gallica rose is one of the oldest rose in cultivation.
Whenever I need to learn more about a specific plant, I prefer books written by experts and my favourite way of finding these books is google book search.

You can order a Gallica Rose from Hortico
P.S: These roses make a wonderful hedge.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cloud reflection

lac bataille quebec

Took this from a beach on Lake Bataille, Quebec. I was there to photograph a cottage surrounded by autumn colours. I liked the way the leaves on the lake's bottom showed through the clouds reflection. A perfect postcard image.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cherry Rose Sunflower


Early blooming pollen free Helianthus Annuus the Cherry Rose performed very well in my flowerbeds. I'll grow them again in the 2009 season. If you can't find seeds at your local garden center, you can order them online from Ontario Seed Company

Tip Apricot Nasturium


Tip Top Apricot tropaeolum minus. The flowers sprouted from seeds that were left to overwinter in an unheated garage (forgot to bring them in). I use them in the garden to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects. They also look nice growing at the base of tomato plants. As you can see by the photo, their seeds are well worth saving.

You can find the seeds on the Thompson and Morgan website.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blue Hydrangea

The bloom came from a garden where I was hired as a helper. Some of the blooms were more pink while others more blue. This one has a little of both. I now grow a few moheads of my own.

The shades and fine details of the petals made it perfect for practicing close-ups. Then with Photoshop Elements, I modified the not so great background.

For more information on Hydrangeas, visit Hydrangea.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Nicandra physaloides

If you ever grown shoo-fly in you garden, you know how large and beautiful this annual can get in just one season. I first saw one growing in a friends garden and loved the flower's blue shade. Now I collect seeds from my own plants to make sure I have fresh seeds for the next neason. The actual name is Nicandra Physaloides but they are also known as Apple of Peru.

Visit the Photo Art Gallery

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Night time sky

Night Time Sky by Joanne McKinnon
Night Time Sky by Joanne McKinnon

Before getting a Canon EOS 40D I couldn't take this kind of shot. With a DSLR camera I can practice as much as I want.

See more in the Photoart Gallery