Sunflowers

September... Already?

It's been a prolific summer, one among many for the books, friends!  The sunflowers have taken off and up, blooming tall and proud.  I had specifically chosen sunflower varieties that would grow approximately 3 feet overall, yet, this patch has far exceeded 6 feet - some closer to 8!!  Geez, guys, talk about over-achievers!!!  Ha!  I wonder, though, if I had planted them farther apart, spread out more if they wouldn't be competing so hardily for the sun's affections?!  This gives me plenty of ideas for next year's garden of flowers!!  Regardless, the gold finches, bees, butterflies and other buggie critters aren't complaining.  They rather keep sending me flashes of beautiful "Thanks" and "Appreciation!"  I'll take it!   

(c) my 3 girls photography
(c) my 3 girls photography
(c) my 3 girls photography
(c) my 3 girls photography
(c) my 3 girls photography
(c) my 3 girls photography

The hubby fixed our small Mantis 'tiller with new blades (yea baby!) and dug up the earth adjacent to the sunflowers, like a boss!  AND just in time for fall planting.  I can't believe we are staring at fall already!!  Don't get me wrong, I love the changing of seasons.  There's always something to look forward to in the garden.  I'll be moving some of the spreading perennials to the new patch and saving seeds for next year's garden.  Hmm, now to decide which patch of grass is next to cover, starve to death and then prep to plant in the spring!  

(c) my 3 girls photography

I had to share this colorful growth by my home studio sign by the mailbox.  Non-local peeps, I'm guessing you all have heard the news of our rain drenched, wet summer by now.  No, we did not float away (although, there were times when I contemplated building an ark in the backyard) and, YES, the flowers are in heavenly delight - they don't seem to mind all the dampness, not a bit.  The chrysanthemums I planted last fall - from 2 inch slivers of root found on the discount rack - have multiplied by the millionth power of sun, heat and rain!!  I'm in awe at how magnificent they have become this year.   

(c) my 3 girls photography

Whew.  Well, this felt great to get back to my blog, give it some love and fresh images!  Thanks so much for stopping by to have a view.  I have much more to share here and I'm thinking of a month to month style of a summer wrap-up of images.  June highlights is first to come on that list!  

Wishing everyone a beautiful September!  
Have a happy Labor Day holiday with your family and friends!
God bless all the fruits of your labor. 

(c) my 3 girls photography

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Sunny Sunflowers

Nothing quite says "summer" the way sunflowers do.  And we're in plentiful hands this summertime!  The sunflower patch I planted almost 7 weeks ago is about to bud!  After my struggles with the rabbits, affectionately now named, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter (whom I'm constantly scolding for losing his jacket!), the sunflowers have bounced back!  It's a race to see which one will bloom first and which one will grow the tallest.  So far, the Lemon Queen variety is in the lead, with the Autumn Beauty trailing far behind!  These are fun times in the garden.  I'm easily amused, can you tell? 

family and child photographer (c) My 3 Girls Photography
family and child photographer (c) My 3 Girls Photography

My home gardens are blooming all over the place!  I love this time of year when everything is full of life!!  I'm inviting you to join me for Sunflower Summer Portrait Sessions in the evenings during the next few weeks in my gardens!  I'll post more about it and examples on my Instagram feed.  Won't you join me?  The kids will especially love this time with you!!  There's lots to explore!    

family and child photographer (c) My 3 Girls Photography

The Sunflower Sessions at my home studio will be #1) evening appointments only, preferably beginning just before sunset for that warm, golden light.  They will be #2) 15 to 30 minutes in length and #3) five to ten images with download capabilities to share and print for personal use only.  Contact me for more information and specifics on package details.  Email is best: 
my3girlsphotography@gmail.com

family and child photographer (c) My 3 Girls Photography

In other news... say "hi" to my new friend.  I'm not sure what to call her/him?  Can you help me out, friends?  Is this a katydid, cricket or grasshopper?  Or all of the above?!  Here's another look on my Flickr stream --> click here <--  

Fancy fella, if you ask me...

family and child photographer (c) My 3 Girls Photography

It's been an amazing summer so far.  We've had many memorable visits with family and friends, far and near.  I am working on a summer round-up of photos to share with you.  My Busy Bee Girls will be joining me come Monday for 4 full weeks of giggly silliness, loads of art projects, a play performance of the Aristocats, and lots of mermaid time in the pool!!  I love summertime!  

I couldn't remember if I'd shared a photo of my home studio sign by our mailbox or not.  The zinnias I planted are beginning to bloom and the nasturtiums - hiding behind the flourishing chrysanthemums - are preparing to take over the sign.  Now you know where I am, come see me!

How's your summer been?!  What's popping up in your garden?!  I do hope you are enjoying your summer to the fullest!  Savor every moment.  :)

Barbara Liszcz Portrait Photographer Berks County Pennsylvania

If you plant them, they will come...

After dreaming of the idea for many months now {number 5 on my Eighteen for 2018 "bucket" list} about the notion of creating a sunflower patch in our side yard - to attract butterflies, bees, birds and children and families and their high school seniors to my home studio - the plot has been planted.  

First, we mapped out our plot.  I would have dug up the entire side yard, but that's a whole lot to take on!  I'll gradually chip away at the new one, though, so that gives me something to work towards.  We measured and looked to the sun for the optimum growing area.  Sunflowers need abundant sunlight!  This location is just right...    

My 3 Girls Photography Family Portrait Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

We had toyed with the idea of renting a sod remover - yes, they make such a creature!  One day, seemingly out of the clear blue (but possibly not), I remembered reading about using tarps to starve the grass and keep it from growing making it easier till up the earth underneath!  Yes, tarps!!  This method does take longer than the quick, one-day option of gas powered equipment, however, we had time on our side.  

After many weeks, roughly 5 to 6 weeks, Kurt pulled up the brown tarp and tilled the 12' x 16' ground.  The first pass with the tiller went well in breaking up the sod, but did not dig deep enough to loosen the nutrient rich, organic soil underneath.  It was time to take action!   

Curious note:  If you try the "tarp method" at home to remove sod, be sure NOT to use the blue tarps!  We tried that at first in combination with the brown one.  The blue tarp actually encouraged (Vigorously!!) the sod to grow underneath!  The blue tarps have an opposite effect - so if you have a patch of ground where you want the grass to grow -- throw a blue tarp over it and watch with wide-eyed wonder at the results it produces!  No lie!  Crazy blue tarps. 

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Portrait Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

I set to work hoeing the patch in preparation of planting!  I got about half way, before giving in.  Farmers (especially organic farmers) do not get enough credit for the intense hard work that gardening is.  My right hand was so sore that I couldn't use it for a full day afterwards without shooting pain.  I suppose I should be thankful that was all that was in need of bodily recovery!  I guess carrying around heavy camera equipment has helped to strengthen my arm and back muscles -- Oh the benefits of photography that keep on producing!!  Ha!!  

I'm happy to report that Kurt helped me with the hoeing and together we finished the plot; hands recovered fully!   

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania
My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

I was careful in my selection of seeds.  I chose Sow True Seeds' openly pollinated, untreated, organic seeds:  Evening Sun;  Lemon Queen;  Autumn Beauty.  And planted them in neat rows according to size (taller ones in the back, shorter in the front).  What can I say?  I'm part OCD after all, for which gardening is my therapy.  Things out of my control do me good.  Plus, I get pretty flowers to admire!   

I planted last Sunday and noticed this morning on my garden walk - because I'm obsessively observing the patch every day - the little wonders sprouting up out of the earth!!  Hooray!  Gardening.  What an absolute thrill!  

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania
My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

I will report back here from time to time to let you know how these little babies are growing!  Aww, so fast!!  Grow, babies!  Grow!!  

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

In other news... 

Today is the girls' last day of third and sixth grade!  Hello fourth and seventh graders!!!  I can't believe it!  So, as I write this, they are enjoying their last day of the 2017-18 school year in preparation for summer vacation!  I have a feeling they may not be as excited as this photo from this morning.  Emilia, I'm most surely, will come home crying this afternoon.  She loves school and her teachers and her friends, the sensitive soul she is, and doesn't like to say good-bye.  Even though it's only for 11 weeks, that's a lifetime to a nine-year-old!  

Me?!  I'm enjoying this beautiful, quiet, birdsong, seed-sprouting, quiet (oh, did I say quiet again?!) morning all to myself.  I love summer and having the girls home with me 24-7.  I also love quiet, sunny mornings of reflection, photos, and coffee...  And on that note, my morning is complete.  Summer vacation, here we come!!!         

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

Happy Summer to you, friends!!  Make loads of FUN-fabulous memories!!!

xoxo

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania