Growing Color Where We Live

First of all, I am older, that’s a given I guess.  Secondly, (but who’s counting) I am a little slower and suffer from a generous amount of the additional laziness disease.  No, I won’t be going into those bits and pieces of useless information, but just charge on.

I will be getting to the “picture” part and to brag a little about our camera.  It’s in that “lower affordable” category, but takes excellent pictures. The camera could be a great back-up for the commercial photographer, but then of course we run into “the personal preference”.


Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Digital Camera

(My opinion, you don’t have to have a camera with a 2 foot long lens to get great pictures.)

 The past few years we haven’t raised any vegetables, especially in our raised garden, but this year we did decide to put some stuff in pots along the back door and the carport – a great position where we can look out the kitchen or dining room window and see what’s happening.  Let me explain.

We have had a lot of trouble trying to grow the basics, namely green beans, tomatoes and other foods.  Apparently there are just not enough bees to pollinate, at least that’s what I’ve been told. I have my own opinion, but ok – I’ll skip it and take the blame myself – I’m no farmer.  Anyhow, we decided not to put anything in the raised garden for a couple years.  One thing is I have to take the top foot out of it and put it somewhere – that’s a big problem.  Secondly, we will have to put about 6 inches of some kind of good soil in to replace the stuff we took out.

 Where we live, there is only a minimum of color (other than brown) most of the year.  I know all of the arguments, but fact is fact.  No color other than brown.  We decided that we needed something alive with a display of color, and with very little upkeep and certainly a sharp eye on the checkbook.  We felt that we had to be creative so, considering everything.  This shows our effort to try.


Tukana scarlet     –    Pink Pentas

One of the things we did was to take a 2’x4’ pot to show these beautiful red flowers open and glowing and dancing in the breeze and sunlight while sharing their space with some rather delicate pink beauties.  They are technically a ground cover but we decided to mix our own soil and confine them to the existing container.

Arizona soil is a little difficult to grow things (without a lot of supplemental materials) and it also seems to require a little more water than normal, (whatever normal is supposed to be).  That’s ok I guess, but having water is a constant problem and we do have to be very careful.  Where we live, we have no grass (other than wild) and we just don’t want a lawn.  Besides the water problem, having a green lawn is a royal pain to take care of, so we left that one behind when we moved here.  We considered the Begonia plant, the Geranium and the Petunia plants, but decided to get what we have.  As seen by the photos, we have color, and that was the intention.


Anyway, we also have a sweet potato plant in a large tub – (as a kid, we called those tubs a bath-tub).  This year the bath tub is serving in another capacity and we are looking forward to getting a few sweet potatoes from it.  Sweet potatoes taste great when they’re baked or made into baked cut fries, something like French fries but baked.  We love them when they are cut and baked, and besides, they are a lot healthier over being fried, and I’d rather not have the kind that are cooked into a mush with an equal amount of white puffy marshmallows – too sweet and no taste other than sweet mush.  Oh, I know — that’s just my opinion!


This picture could have been a little better, but it is in a position that’s hard to reach, and I have already confessed that I am terminally lazy.  It’s A Beautiful little flower showing its radiant beauty.  This is a gift from visitors last year, so it becomes pretty special.  Notice the date in the bottom right, I did get that and, yes, it was intentional.

We did not want a large garden for more than one reason.  Water had to be the primary reason, but the care and expense involved was a consideration.  Then too, if we went somewhere, who would do the watering and other care while we were gone?  We have friends and family that could do it for us, but we decided we would not ask folks to tend our problems for us, and put them out.  Thanks, anyway.

We do have onions in one pot, another has red potatoes and still another one holds a tomato plant.  We had a little destruction of the plants in the pots this year.  We’ve had a worm with suicidal tendencies but we helped him along by moving his timetable up a bit.  (So far, we have had a total of 5 worms that have committed suicide.)  I’ve done some reading and found I think they’re a “tomato” worm, but we know that they love potato plants as well.  I guess the best thing is to check each plant every day, and just be very aware.  We have already lost a tomato plant and a potato plant from them – (sure hungry little buggers !!!)

Taking pictures of the progress of the plant life is good, but it’s made much better with a camera and a little common sense with just a touch of creativity for variation.  Like the one below, I took it about 2 feet up and away, but used the telephoto to get in nice and close.  This is very possible for almost any camera made in the last 10 years, even the little flat “carry in your pocket” type.  With those, you do have to be careful, or you will get lots of photos of your finger half over the lens.  Otherwise, they make good photos for memories.  Depends on your point of view I guess, maybe a picture of grandpa’s little finger ain’t so bad.


 Early Sweet Pea, 2nd day out of the ground.

Taken 2 feet away, used the zoom lens and fine clipped.  No change in color, brightness, or contrast.  This is exactly what the camera saw.

See why We like our Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Digital Camera ?


About royandsherry

Roy is retired military as a radar controller, both Airborne and Ground. Spent 9 years as a Radio Announcer and retired from the corporate world after 14 years as an information analysist, working with classified information for a computer chip manufacturer. Roy is a commercial pilot (ASEL) and has a degree in Interstate Commerce Commission law. Sherry worked as an aircraft parts inventory specialist as a government employee, later as a scheduler and coordinator for a large flight school and retired from the corporate world as a legal administrative assistant for a very large computer chip manufacturer.
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