Monday, January 20, 2014

Choosing A Camera: Such An Individual Process


One of those things I know least about is choosing a camera [technically speaking] and even less about lenses. This can make for an interesting and maybe stressful experience. Always is when spending money is involved. But at this point, I know what I need from a camera and perhaps that is more than half the way there.  I'm an artist and that is how I view things. As an artist you decide what is art to you because no one will ever see things the way you do and always explaining can steal creativity. I don't think of cameras as artist tools necessarily. For me they provide a way to document. But they can be, and are used for both in brilliant ways and I love that about photography.

Like the photo above: A foggy day at the entrance to a local park. It was a nice shot. But I decided to dabble with it.  Just something I felt after I uploaded the photos that day to my computer and I was pleased with the digital results. Other times I wouldn't use any processing except minor photo adjustments which all photographers use. I do prefer doing as little as possible to a photo.

Choosing a camera this time around is easier and I realize what an individual process it is.. My first camera I was clueless. A few years from now, I might sound more technical and experienced. For now, this will have to do:

1. Budget limitations always makes things easier. I look at this as a blessing.

2. I chose the Nikon D7000 after a suggestion from professional photographers who work in the local camera shop. They know what I do and I knew what I needed. Afterwards, hours of searching and researching.

3. I walked through a lot of photos at Flickr Nikon D7000 groups and more than half a dozen blogs. Comparing what I saw to photos from other cameras in a similar category.

4. Since my main interest is gardens and flowers - sharpness, saturation control and how good the camera does in low light is important. Being a natural light photographer and preferring early mornings, low light is something I've encountered often and the D7000 appears to have this as a primary feature. My current outdated D40 has done well in low light considering it's age and outdated features, but I had to work too hard for it.The new camera is heavier. Not a plus, but I'll adjust. Of course it has video, which the old camera does not. I may never use it, but it's there.

4b. I like taking pictures in fog, light rain and after it rains too. The new camera is supposed to be improved in resistance to the elements. But one of the first things I learned is that there is a good reason many photographers don't specialize in photography in the rain-- no camera can hold up too long with regular shoots in the rain. Every machine has limits in terms of functioning in contact with water and moisture.

My current camera is on the blitz again after finally caving to moisture while I was out shooting last year. Many photographers learned early, some the hard way, to check weather reports when they have a shoot scheduled. Weather is something gardeners do as a matter of course. But I admit I haven't always checked the weather before going out with my camera. Hope to improve in that area.

The new camera has to grow with me. I have no plans to buy another DSLR for a good while. I need a new computer and thinking of getting a laptop. Tired of desktops, though I do believe for heavy use like photography, desktops are more qualified. But I need the mobility of a laptop at this juncture.

5.The truth is I really won't know all I want to know until I have the camera--and use it. All research and suggestions are limited because every photographer is different and unique in what they like and need in a camera. With so many cameras today of every possible kind, including phones, you just have to do the best you can and choose.

 ©vanessadjones|ThePlottedGarden Nikon D40

The final chapter in choosing a new camera has to do with lenses. Four plus years ago, I had no fixed idea as to what I wanted to specialize in. Now that I know, a macro lens as well as a telephoto are next. There is nothing I enjoy more than gardening and shooting gardens. Mostly flowers and would like the macro lens for that.  And there are trees, like the Arborvitae tree [Thuja] above. Yes, the trees! I've mentioned so often that give my garden beds a fit. I've always liked trees but have been forced to appreciate them more since they're in my face constantly.

I saw the cones maturing in the garden one day. They are green in the spring before they mature to brown. They were so beautiful through my lens it took my breath away.

A telephoto zoom lens is for when I want to photograph birds, bees, butterflies as well as other shots a macro lens cannot cover.

For lenses a local camera shop is invaluable. They can help if they know what you need to get out of a lens. Everything else is skill you acquire and I don't think that is dependent on a camera. It's you-- behind the camera.

It's a learning process. No shortcuts. Learning as I grow keeps me anchored. I believe if you've chosen to do something and to do it well, you have to invest first in yourself and then invest in what you need to accomplish your goals and add patience. Oh the patience.

You're the only one who really knows what it will take. To others your goals may seem foolish, uninteresting and even irresponsible. But if you know it's right and the right time for you, go for it. Have a plan, push your faith and make the move. Start where you're able to start. That's part of the hard work it takes to accomplish anything anyway right?  Faith is not a wild card. It's foundational to the life of every believer in Messiah.

Right now I'm waiting for Spring, the warm months [garden season] and to have a new camera in my hands. Some days the waiting is unbearable .

And to tell you the truth there are so many other changes this year is bringing, one day at a time is probably as much as I can handle.

What's your favorite camera? What do you like to shoot most?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hi! Are You Still There?

 (Photo: © 2010 Vanessadjones)

I am so sorry. Should have the courtesy to let you know when I'm taking such a long break from the blog. I've probably lost my readers. If you want to lose readers this is a good way to do it. It's standard-- few if any folks keep coming back to blogs that are not updated on a regular basis or have a posting schedule so readers know when you're going to publish. Please accept my apology for being absent. Now if this was a blog about research I've been doing the past few years, you'd want to tell me to shut up. Anyway let me try and update you on some of what's happening because I'm in transition in some areas of my life. Another reason I did not want to update my blog. And to be can simply get tired of blogging.

I have no excuse having known in advance one should keep a blog(s) updated. It's just there are times when you have nothing much to say or share on a subject. Or things are going on that are not share-able. This blog is about my garden antics as I was learning  flower photography. The garden part became very problematic. It almost took the fun out of it. I mean if you're going to learn flower photography from your own garden--you need your flowers to bloom and the garden to mature at some point right? I'm really back at square one as of 2014. Have to rethink the plot for shade loving plants. Don't know if I want to invest anymore time and money for that in this space.

Additionally, I'm a renter. I can't trim trees, cut them down nor regrade soil or any of the other dozen things that are needed to help my garden thrive. Those are the dilemmas renters face when you're an avid gardener. For the plotted garden to become the potted garden is not in the plan. Dragging plants indoors for the winter won't work. Not enough light during the summer outdoors and certainly not enough during winter indoors. My garage for storage is on the other side of the building--don't even think about it.

Most gardening folks are homeowners, not renters. They keep the garden industry alive. They purchased homes-- besides wanting to raise a family; to have full control over what they can do on their property. And there is a lot to be said for that and outweighs the mortgage, taxes, maintenance, threats from climate, weather, etc. If you're a renter/gardener you've probably dreamed of it yourself. I have. But here are no plans to purchase a home in my road map at the moment. I'm considering moving to a warmer climate at some point which brings me to the transitional list.


A few months ago (End of the fall season) I was taking pictures of a new rose I got from a neighbor. It was raining out and a bit humid too.  But it was still blooming and I was excited. I did post those horrible photos. Anyway, though I've been out shooting in light rain over the past four years since I got my Nikon D40 I didn't think much about it. It wasn't raining hard but moisture got in the camera. I usually cover it in plastic but I underestimated the moisture in the air that day I suppose and the viewer went white.

Couldn't see the photos nor the settings. My camera needed cleaning (dust, etc) anyway so I took it to the camera shop. I had always planned to upgrade at some point. The Nikon D40 though a great starter camera (And still is) is a very outdated model. But I would still recommend it, if you can find one new or used.

As it turned out, got to talking with the guy, who is a photographer as well, most of the sales people at this camera shop are. And he said, -- you're due for an upgrade. Looks like you've pretty much got all you can get out of this one. It wasn't a sales pitch. He was right. Long story shortened, I put a Nikon D7000 in layaway. Ouch! But it was time. So I wrote a check and by Spring I should have it in my hands. I'm giddy! On the other hand, it sets my other plans back about six to seven months monetarily. I'm good with that.

If I'm going to continue as a photographer and continue to hone my craft, a good DSLR camera is a necessary investment. I'm not trying to keep up with the pace of companies upgrading cameras every few years-- along with the prices. But a good camera is a good investment. Next I'll invest in glass (a good lens) and then I'm done for the moment. I'll share another post as to why I chose the Nikon D7000 over other models--- like the D90 which I'm impressed with too.

But for now, that's one of the transitional phases I'm in. My old Nikon D40 is a keeper but I needed to move along to a camera that represents where I'm headed, not where I've been. I plan to have the Nikon D40 repaired, cleaned up and get some new glass for it--later. I'm not miss money bags. I need a return on investment. When money goes out there must be sure potential for money to come in.

Photography is a very glutted market. Gardening has become pretty much the same. I do both because I enjoy them so much. At this point after experimenting with different categories for four years with my current Nikon, I'm sure I want to branch out into flower photography and do more street photography. I don't live in an urban mecca. It's getting there but not quite. Still my main interest as I've been able to prove (for myself) is gardens and flowers.

Though it falls under the general category of nature photography, my niche is gardens, flowers anything related to it, with an added interest in old buildings or structures. That's where I'm headed so the timing for a new camera was on spot. My first hurdle four years ago was to decide what area I wanted to specialize in. So I shot everything in all four seasons. Now that I know; what should have been obvious to me, that gardens are my thing, I can plot a path.

The vision was always there. I literally have flowers on the brain--especially roses and I love documenting gardening in the city. What I plan to do exactly is still in a plotting stage but I'm praying it forward.

Is A Move to A Warmer Climate In The Plan?

One thing is sure, I don't do winter. So a warmer climate is still on my things to do list. I would miss some of the beauty of winter no doubt. I've lived in the Midwest almost all my life and Wisconsin's landscape is breathtaking in all four seasons. I've visited and lived in other places over the years and I'm originally from Chicago. I still love that city.

My top choice would be Seattle, WA but the rain and overcast days may not be a fit for me at this stage in life. My youngest brother lives there. I lived in Puget Sound and Tacoma many years ago--loved it then. Seattle-- I like the urban, city vibe there, and did I say Washington (State) is absolutely breathtaking? No exaggeration. It's that rain and moisture like an urban rain forest. The lack of Sun through out the year and the rain can be emotionally draining. A different eco-system than the Midwest. But still, so beautiful and yes gardening booms there.

Every day I wake up now, I see myself in a warm climate where gardening thrives a lot longer than it does here. Over the past 5 years extreme weather everywhere has become the new norm. So I have to include that in my plans to move anywhere. My second choice would be California, third Atlanta Georgia, then Florida and last, maybe--- Mexico City.

My sister wants me to move to Nevada but the sin city desert is just not my idea of great retirement--but would be practical and simple. I could stay with them until I found a place--but the desert part and rocks for grass? Temperatures in Summer always upward of 100 Degrees F. Nooo...can't see it. But never say never. Financially, it might be the only practical choice.

Well, that's all for now. It's winter and all I can do is get through it and appreciate it's part in the whole scheme of things. I may take a few pictures. I forgot to mention the viewer on my camera began to clear up after I put the new camera in the layaway. Isn't that always what happens? Blessings people. Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On The Street:Queen Anne's Lace

While walking one day in September I took some photos in a bit of a hurry.  I had not traveled with my camera along the ditches of railroad tracks where wild things grow in a while. All Summer I had passed by wild roses, daylilies, grasses and other blooms I have yet to identify. Queen Anne's Lace among them. They grow along rocks and in ditches, on roadsides and along the borders of railroad tracks from late Spring until October.

I knew it might be my last chance to capture it. The other wild things around it had already gone to hide from Fall and Winter. So I stepped over into the ditch along side the tracks just before noon, when even in September the sun would be too high over head and make it too much work to get any of it's beauty.

Unfortunately, this plant also called -- Wild Carrot, is considered invasive and noxious. It hails from Europe and it is called wild carrot because the carrots we are familiar with today were cultivated from this pretty thing. The taproot is a medicinal, edible herb. The leaves are not. Be careful, she has an evil cousin and imposters as well.

To learn more, it's attributes and how helpful this plant is to the garden world follow the links to: (Virginia)

Wisconsin Master Gardener Program

 A garden can be found anywhere because the whole earth is a garden.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Red Rose Bush Joins The Plotted Garden

I've been watching over this rose bush from a friend. It was bare-feet in a water pail in his garden. Friend has many plants he no longer or never did know the exact identity of. But what's special about this rose I got in September is that the single bud had not opened and I didn't know what color it was.

This picture was taken today in my garden--in the rain. It had black spot in September, but I kept removing the bad leaves as they appeared. It appears to have recovered.  It opened the beginning of October. And--- It's Red! The color that says love! And my favorite color for roses.

As you know I'm new to growing roses and shared in my last post that because my garden is becoming more shade I might not be able to grow roses at all unless I can find some that will thrive in some shade and are heirloom.

Heirloom seed and flowers always do better because they are from old plants that have built up resistance to many diseases and pests over time, works similar to our immune system. But I could not resist bringing this one home and putting it in the ground while I still had time. I didn't notice a scent and I do prefer scented roses. Mr. Lincoln was blood red and The White Dawn Climber had such wonderful scent but neither survived my garden. I so miss the scent of them drifting into my bedroom window in the Summer.

Another photo from today pointing the camera down to take a shot of the top. The leaves at the bottom have shed or were plucked off and thrown away because of black spot. All of these leaves come from the pruned branches--in October! And I'm in Zone 5A of the Midwest.

This shot was taken October 11.  You can see where friend pruned it and all the new growth. He's pretty good at it. There are a few roses in my neighborhood that are still budding and blooming like crazy too.

This one bloom managed to come forth this late fall season since September when I put it in the ground.  That's amazing to me! But it's preparing for Winter so I think this is it. I'll be looking forward to Spring of 2014 hoping it survives a Wisconsin winter. They're already talking snow on the way. May need a cone around it filled with protective mulch (leaves, etc) We've been getting so much rain lately. The ground has not been dry long enough to gather leaves but they're falling. If you're in Zone 5 or 5A would love some advice on how to prepare it for winter. Chime in! Well, just wanted to share that with you because I was just awed.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Beautiful Misplaced Trees Can Kill A Garden

I'm a week late posting this but here it is: Entrance to the garden from the south end or from the street. Only a few years ago the sun would have been shining where there are now tree limbs. Now the trees get the Sun. My garden gets the shade...and bugs... and leaves.

The Sun is almost blocked by none other than a Silver-back Maple (Fastest growing shade tree in the country). Sometimes called a weed tree because of how quickly they grow almost anywhere--like weeds, shooting out limbs and roots in every direction. It's limbs are pushing into that beautiful blue pine making the top lean over.

To the right is an Ash tree (I'm told) a tree highly prized for good reasons, a nuisance here. It also grows and spreads quickly in every direction. Limbs are climbing onto the roof and will dump leaves into the gutter along with a variety of insects.

This was taken from across the street looking into the southern end of the garden. To the left is a Maple. Next to that another Ash. You can imagine the people on the second floor get no light into their windows during the summer. Imagine the number of insects. Also, no grass grows under the trees but does grow towards the street where the sun can hit it. At some point the city will have to step in because of the electrical poles and lines. I won't hold my breath. Unless I make a complaint to the city because of the dangers they impose (Lightning strikes)

I took this pointing the lens up into the ash tree from inside my garden 
with the sun shining behind it. 

What would do well in the plotted garden from here on? Spring bulbs and other Spring blooms that get the sunlight they need to bloom before the trees leaf out. And of course, shade and woodland plants for the rest of the garden season.

Blooms such as roses (which I wanted to grow so badly) but need an abundance of sunlight (6-8 hrs) Won't do well. I'll get less and less blooms each year and finally none. Tree roots will finish the job.

What will continue to do well of what I already have:
1) Hostas
2) Balloon flowers
3) Coneflowers (As long as I can continue getting some hours of sunlight from the east on what is now the rose bed).

What will have to go:
1) Roses (sniff, sniff)
2) Day lilies - maybe (repeat sniffles)
3) Possibly the herb corner (we'll see).

Grass is hardy and shade tolerant. Struggles during periods of drought, but is still growing and filling in well so far.

Future -
1) Experiment with shade plants that have interesting, colorful foliage.
2) Flowering plants that are native to woodlands.

As for my love of roses - There are a few that do thrive in part or light shade. I think a mix of heirlooms and hybrids that can tolerate shade is worth looking into.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why I Chose To Remain At

I decided to stay with after all. After looking into what's out there, it just seemed too much of a hassle to change at this point. I've been on off and on since 2002 or 2003. This blog will be two years old May 2014. I have never kept a blog on any platform beyond 2 yrs. Might be nice to do that since I've finally settled into a subject that I might be interested in with some longevity.  So I'll tell you what I do like about

(1) Google Blogs ( is still completely free and has many features you would have to pay through upgrades to get at other blog platforms.

(2) Blogger has been a consistent service to bloggers (not without issues of course) since it's founding, even after changing hands from Pyra Labs (1999) to Google in 2003. 

(3) I've had ads on other blogs previous to this one. I chose not to for this blog. Ads on your blog are optional. You can choose whether to monetize to draw some income from your blog. To learn more about monetizing a blog there are many out there that can help. If I had to pick one, it would still be--- Darren Rowse @ Pro-blogger. net.

You can use Google AdSense available in your list of widgets. And you can also use other ad platforms to monetize your blog such as, but not limited to, Amazon. If you have individual advertisers supporting your site, you have that option as well. There is one drawback. If your advertiser(s) are considered a Google competitor, that's a no no. So check it out first. And by all means read Google terms of service (TOS)

(4) You can add to your sidebar(s) or footer section: images (art, photos, etc)  and video. All can be re-sized to fit the width and height of the sidebar.

(5) Though and Tumblr do a better job with your photography in terms of quality resolution, editing in Picasa and uploading to Picasa web albums, does improve the quality of the photos published to your blog. All the photos in your albums can be accessed as you're composing a post to insert into the post as you're writing it (I love this feature).

(6) You still have access to your HTML and CSS to change your blog's look or totally re-design it, but there is a serious and maybe frustrating learning curve according to your knowledge of coding, HTML, CSS, etc. Creating a test blog might be the way to go. There are also many bloggers out there who can help with many of the issues you might be having. Just Google the problem and see what you come up with.

Based on the new code since they changed to a Template Designer if you're still new to blogging, I would still experiment by creating a test blog that you can mess up without losing anything of value as well as seek out the many knowledgeable bloggers out there for help.

(7) You can use the Template Designer easily.  Learning curve is minuscule. Choose from many new templates. It took them forever to do this and although I'm not crazy about the new templates because of the difficulty that now exists when you want to DIY, I get that they needed to keep pace with their competitors. Also, the need to adjust the Blogosphere to include mobile devices is really causing an upheaval. But again, that's progress. Nothing you can do about it.

(8) has a reputation for having more and better templates but you can't change fonts and other CSS without upgrading (paying). Blogger's Template Designer allows you to change the layout from a one column (If you have limited text content and are an artist or photographer this is very cool) to 2 or 3 columns with full footer sections to choose from with only a few clicks and adjustments. Fonts, colors, headers etc.

Those are the main features that made me decide to stay with Blogger. The pros outweigh the cons. It's remains free (so far) and the benefit of this is you can spend some time exploring various subject matter until you know what you really want to pursue long term. Then invest in your own domain (dotcom, dotnet., etc.). I've had many blog subjects over the years and on more than one occasion was going to get a dotcom. So glad I didn't. Those subjects and blogs are long gone in terms of continued interest.

Blogger and Tumblr are the only free platforms that allow you to mess around in the back end to change your blog with some freedom and options. But both require some knowledge of HTML. On the other hand, you can learn a lot from the experience. It never hurts to have some knowledge of HTML however limited. I hope this not only explains why I'm still here and will be here for awhile but maybe, help someone out who is also a little frustrated with Blogger. Comments welcome...Always are.

If you're new to blogging or trying to decide what platform to use, below is a link to a site that has a pretty helpful article sharing some primary insights into the most popular blog platforms available to date.
Top Free Blogging Platforms
(A note: which was acquired by Twitter and is in the list is no longer available as of April 30th 2013).

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Chapter From The Patio Border Garden

I'm still here! And I will update my decision to stay with Blogger in my next post. But my garden season is coming to a close and I want to give you a visual of the border garden off the patio, standing at the south entrance looking north.  The Northern most end receives the most shade sun up to sun down and is  where the Hostas are located. This part of the garden reminds me to persevere (This blog is included in that reminder). It is interesting how even in a very small space like this each area or plot has to be considered, having their own unique needs.

I remember what it looked like only a few years ago. It may not look like much to you but oh my, it was once desolate and neglected. The soil in this border has been amended. It's becoming wonderful stuff to plant in now. It took a lot of work and prayer.  In this post I will tell you why that mid section is barren. It's one of many challenges in my inner city small space garden.

In the forefront of there I left most of the main bed out of the photo. Beyond that is the patio border of which I have not had much to say this year. It begins with stones I've collected. Then the Balloon flower bed under the post. The plants barely visible because some of the mint from the herb corner has grown out of the pot hovering over the stones. That my friends is why it's in a pot.

Balloon flowers grow well in Sun, but are partial shade loving plants. This variety which I purchased potted, will grow 8-12 inches in height and spread in width to about 12 inches.  I'm planning to collect seed this year for next season. I have them in a half moon shaped bed hugging the patio foundation under the support post. I painted the posts fig leaf green. The color blends in with nature's main color and allow blooms to show off.

Next to that is a troubled area and another half moon shaped bed under a support post where I was going to plant more balloon flowers after maintenance claimed to have repaired the gutter. But it still leaks. It's full of leaves and so nothing can be planted below it. It's a mini flood zone when we have heavy rainfall. So I've had to leave it barren for now.

I thought to lay stones or pavers along the area but that attracts ants and other insects who like to live and breed under them. They wander onto the patio and can get into the apartment through the patio door. When a garden is very close to the inside of your house or on a porch use caution. You want to enjoy sitting out there during the warm months. So I'm careful about what I plant. If the garden area were further away from the patio and house, I would throw all caution to the wind.

The whole area you're viewing use to flood quite easily until I put sod in. Then I re-seeded bare spots the next year. Tree roots took it's toll. The only fertilizer on the grass is Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts) broadcast into the grass before rain is predicted (which I prefer) or before I water during dry periods. I only do that once a month or less. It really helps and the grass really greens up.

I cut back some limbs from the Arborvitae trees because some of the leaves turn brown every year and fall during late Autumn onto the grass. I've had to rake during the Fall and every Spring to remove the leaves so the Sun can get to the grass. Those leaves smother soil and grass. After removing some of the limbs very little of those leaves fall onto the grass now. Limbs also had to be removed because heavy, deep snowfall bends them toward the building and to the ground, blocking exit from the back of the house in the winter.

The grassy area now absorbs water better during the growing season and doesn't flood as it once did unless there is a really heavy or extended rainfall. My neighbor sowed grass seed last fall on his side and that has helped to absorb rain water from his side running over into my grass.

Drainage has improved a lot.  The soil is more aerated and earth worms as well as other natural organisms are living in the soil and over time continue to help create a better soil environment.

The grassy area is filling in nicely on it's own now. It will probably never be a gorgeous lawn but it is so much better than the hard compacted dirt when I first moved here that would dry up and blow dust around during the summer and turn to mud after it rained. I'm an advocate for grass for many reasons beyond the aesthetic value it provides. But that's another post for another day Are these "another post for another day" subjects piling up?

This is the northern most end of the patio border. Only Hostas here. They are tough and in their native environment--shade. I love Hostas. They can thrive in many soil conditions and are still high on my list of gorgeous ground covers. They endure brief periods of drought well but love the shade and a woodland environment. The leaves of the variegated - Minute man Plantain lily (this variety has white edges) is more susceptible to slugs than the larger ones next to it and the flowers do not have a scent like the others-- but it's beautiful nonetheless.  I haven't seen the slugs, but something has been chomping into it and making holes. The first few seasons it was bad. But this year there is less damage.

The gutter at this end does not leak as much. They removed some of the leaves and whatever else had been in the gutter for years and they replaced the downspout. They are are thriving. I amended the soil in the border garden and it is very soft and pliable now. I have a post planned about the Hostas but just wanted you to see the north edge of the border garden. They have become huge even after moving them to another spot and then returning them here, where they are happiest.

The first photo showed the border garden beginning with the Balloon flower bed. The second photo the Hostas growing at the very north end of the border. in between them, if you look at the first photo there is nothing. This final photo shows you why.

I captured this through the patio door a few days ago during a thunderstorm. Not a good photo but it shows the rain falling where nothing is planted. Usually heavy rainfalls and storms happen at night. This one came during the day for a change so I could shoot this photo.

The gutter should be capturing the rain from the roof, then run along the gutter to the downspouts and out onto the ground north and south of the border garden. Instead, because they did not re-attach the gutter properly to the eaves, the rain runs off the roof straight down to my border garden.

This fall more leaves from the trees will fill the gutter (They claimed to have cleaned it out thoroughly) making it overflow onto the border garden. Insects also gather in the gutter if it's not cleaned out periodically. When it rains it's stuffed with leaves blocking the water from flowing through the downspouts. Insects would fall onto anything planted here along with the water.

If they maintained the trees at the south end (pruning, cutting back tree limbs) and then repaired or replaced the gutter, a laundry list of problems would be solved. So it goes with renting a space. On the other hand, the expense and responsibility to make repairs is the owner's. Isn't that one of the benefits of renting?

Trees planted in urban areas and inner city neighborhoods without thought of their growth, spread and maintenance is careless. I'm a lover of trees. Wouldn't want to live anywhere void of trees, but when the wrong trees are planted and, in the wrong places, no one can really enjoy them as they mature. In urban areas they can become an expensive problem on many levels.

I've taken pictures of the trees and will post them within the next few days. It's because of the trees, that what was once the plot for a sun filled garden has changed to a woodland, native and cottage type plot that I unfortunately--didn't plot for.  But their is a reason for everything.

In a perfect world the property owner would maintain the trees and address the issues rather than oppose the solutions. Hmmmm...does that make him the human antagonist in the plotted garden? In a fiction novel, he would fit the description.

noun: antagonist
a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary.
On the other hand...
Adversity is a severe instructor, set over us by one who knows us better than we do ourselves, as he loves us better too. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. --Edmond Burke
 If we will be quiet and ready enough, we will find compensation in every disappointment -- Henry David Thoreau
 I love quotes. But I like my Father's promises best...
...For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith YAH, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end... -- Jeremiah 29:11
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