About Janice

I love color, in my Southern California garden and the world around me. My passions are gardening and photography. My goal is to make Plum Bird Corner a happy place people want to visit often.

Monochromatic Photography


I have a fascination with monochromatic photography right now. My photography class took a field trip last Friday to see the Edward Weston photography exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Most of his work was done in black and white, and I love it. I couldn’t wait to do the same. I took the photo above on my morning walk, and the one below is a close up of a spider web in my neighbor’s yard. I’d been eyeing it for several days, and this morning I took out my cell phone and snapped a picture.


This is Luna. I took his photo in an ice cream shop we stopped at during the field trip. He was a beautiful dog and not at all interested in us, as you can see.


This last photo is the bark of a tree I saw at the Bowers Museum. The original was in color, but I was able to edit it in black and white. In fact all of these photos started out in color, and I changed them to monochrome. It really is amazing to see what you can do with a digital camera. This wasn’t my first time trying monochromatic photography.  Two years ago while in Zion National Park, I took quite a few photos in black and white and loved the affect. I wrote two posts, Monochromatic Photography, and Another Monochromatic Day. Take a look if you would like to see those photos. Edward Weston was a world renowned photographer, and I had fun trying some of his techniques. He of course did not have a digital camera, and we learned that he didn’t manipulate his photos with editing, which makes his photography even more amazing. The exhibit is well worth seeing.

Purple Lantana in a Very Special Container


We had the same neighbors for 40 years. When they recently moved to New York, they asked if I would like this ceramic plant pot for my garden. Our children all grew up together and this container was made by their oldest daughter in her high school ceramics class. It meant something to my neighbor, but was one of those things that had to be left behind, as often happens when people move. The plant pot was empty when I received it, and I  thought that my new purple lantana would go well in it. I really like the purple contrasted with the black and white.
After seeing my recent post, Lantana in a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden,  my old neighbor asked  me to peek over the fence and see if the lantana was still growing in their  yard. I did peek, and was happy to tell her it was. I hope she sees this post and knows I’m taking good care of this special gift.

 

Lantana in Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardens

Lantana is a wonderful addition to your garden for attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds.  Last week while at the garden nursery looking at roses, I suddenly thought it would be nice to add some plants to the yard  that would attract butterflies. A very helpful employee showed me many different plants, and told me that most plants that attract butterflies also attract hummingbirds.  I was immediately attracted to the lantana with its many beautiful colors.

Lantana is considered a perennial in areas that don’t have hard frosts, but in colder climates, it’s treated as an annual.It grows well in both the ground and in containers, and is very popular because of its extended blooming season. I learned that In some areas it flowers all year round. This is the first time I’ve grown lantana in my garden, so I’m not sure how long we’ll have flowers. I’ll have to let you know.

Lantana should be planted in full sun, because it’s prone to mildew if grown in a shady location. It should be watered deeply, but not too frequently once established. Lantana is drought tolerant which is especially nice here in California. An occasional feeding of mild fertilizer is good, but too much water and fertilizer can actually cut down on bloom. As you can see from the above photos, I have four different colors in the garden. I brought home three last week and my husband surprised me yesterday with the lavender one in the top photo. I love all four colors and so do the butterflies. I’ve already noticed a few fluttering around the new plants, and I’m sure there will soon be more.