Lechenaultia Biloba “Big Blue” is a fabulous little wildflower with vivid blue flowers. It is indigenous to Western Australia. I really love this flower when the sun hits it’s petals, they really just light up and sparkle.
I have had good success growing this species and other species of Lechenaultia in my current garden, in other gardens they didn’t fair so well, which could be due to the higher level of fertiliser in the soil.
I am not going to tell you where I took this photo, whether it was indoors or out, nor am I going to tell you my camera settings or how I processed this image. If I tell you any of these things, it will stop you from learning the hard way – like I did, and also from experimenting with different lighting and camera techniques, settings etc. I feel that with the learning process, if you copy others, it is less rewarding and you may move on too fast without really learning or taking in anything. What I will say is I used a macro lens which I use 99% percent of the time with flower photography, a tripod and a shutter release cable.
I really like the natural blue colour of this flower, but with this image I changed the colour a fair bit and did a fair bit of editing in camera raw to get it just the way I wanted it. I took this image a fair while back, and after a heavy prune and prune again this straggly little plant looks like it might be going to flower soon, when I say scraggly it really is in my garden as it’s planted in sand. I really think it would do a lot better in a medium other than sand. I also have two Lechenaultia Formosa shrubs growing in much better soil conditions and they are so bushy and flower more prolifically.
My Australian Native Plant Garden is purely experimental. I really enjoyed experimenting with plants in this garden and placed the plants where I thought they might have a good chance of growing with a little help from me. So far I really have had only three losses, that being the Waratah, a Kangaroo Paw, and the Woolly Bush over the drought and then the heavy down pours we have recently had. The garden has pockets of heavy potter’s clay which I dug out and removed as much as I could, I then dug in native plant potting mix, which I also dug into the pockets of sand that were spread though out the garden. It has had layers of Euchi Mulch and wood chip and it’s final layer was pebbles and a variety of different sizes of sandstone. This final layer helps to preserve moisture. The plants roots can seek shelter, coolness and moisture underneath the larger pieces of rock.
I really didn’t want to put too much effort into this garden, I wanted it to be cost effective, and labour effective as my arthritis is pretty bad these days.
It has taken the majority of my life as a Gardener – I will be 60 this year, to learn to respect the soil you have and work with it without adding too much fertiliser or other additives, and soil etc. Of course there are always exceptions and you also adjust to those. My experience in growing a large variety of plants in gardens of my own, include Conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs, perennials, annuals, flowering plants of a large range of species, foliage plants and a large variety of our very own, Australian Native Plants. I use the botanical names instead of the common names when I talk plants as do most serious gardeners. Sometimes I will use the common name so people know which plant I am talking about.
Again my plant knowledge has taken almost all of my life time to learn. I have studied and read books, but most importantly I have put this knowledge into practice. It is not by reading that you learn the most, it is by practice, by experimentation.
If you are a Gardener, a Photographer or an Artist of any type,
It will take you almost a lifetime to learn your craft,
And even then, you are still learning.
If I don’t get around to writing another post before Easter starts, which is tomorrow, Good Friday for us over here, I wish you all a very happy and safe Easter Holiday.