I've featured this particular cultivar at least twice before, once in 2017 and again in 2020, and it's interesting to see how the blooms have become more ruffled and more deeply coloured as the soil quality, fertilizer levels and especially water levels have improved.
Sony ILCE-7C, 09Jul22:10:57, lensbaby sweet 35, ev-0.7, 1/1600s, ISO 100, WB daylight; scaled only. This lensbaby image is my favourite, even though the stamens are (unfortunately) a bit out of focus.
To some extent this represents a change in philosophy as for many years I was grimly determined to grow plants that could survive on their own, watering only when they were in dire straights. But I've come to realize that the garden looks so much better when I supplement the water. I hand water with a hose (and yes, it's just as time consuming as it sounds), economizing on water in other areas of my life as much as possible to justify this usage.
Above, a pretty conventional shot; there's no way I'd’ve attempted this before the sony full-frame (& professional quality lens), which has the dynamic range to cope with the sharp, contrasty light.
Another cute way to soften mid-day light is to shoot through foreground foliage as in this image—something any professional photographer would have in their bokeh arsenal from the get-go, but is a relatively new technique for me.
Rain barrel collection frex. I should note, I live in an area where water shortages are not really a problem, I just don't like the idea of wasting fresh water.
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