From the very first peek of glossy green in early spring....the Boston Ivy captivates me.
Aside from my children, I tend to shoot a few things over and over. The first is a beautiful Japanese Maple in my backyard. The second is a Lady Banks Rose that climbs over my pergola. And last but definitely not least is the Boston Ivy that I planted a few years ago to cover my chimney. It has not only grown, but it has flourished and now mingles with the Lady Banks Rose atop my pergola and gracefully arches from the eaves of my house and spreads into the flower bed over the Oklahoma moss boulders.
I don't know about you, but as a working mom I don't have a lot of free time to go out and explore various locales. On any given evening I can usually be found in my backyard trying my best to find different ways to showcase the same things over and over. My playlist of Shasta Daisies, Hamelin Grass, Japanese Maples, Nandinas, Virginia Creepers, Crape Myrtles and this Boston Ivy are on repeat. I didn't even realize that I had photos of this ivy from all four seasons until I started putting together this post. I have documented it's life as though it was a child not necessarily intentionally, but mostly because I photography in my backyard for most of my nature shots. My husband tends to make fun of me because I talk about plants as though they are people. But he has to understand that as a landscape designer, I am trained to give careful thought and consideration when selecting plants for specific locations. That is why people pay me the big bucks (yeah right!) I try various varieties at my own house watching them through a full four seasons before deciding if that plant will make the cut onto my preferred plant list. My Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata...and yes, I am showing off) has definitely made it to the top of that preferred palette. It's year round interest has caught my eye not only as a designer, but also as a photographer. Let me show you why.
ONE- it's young bright green leaves have a very simple immature shape that will change as it grows.
TWO- it has beautifully shaped mature leaves that gracefully arch out from whatever it's growing on creating a living wall.
THREE-I love the way one plant can spread throughout the garden and give an "always been here" feel to even a newly planted landscape.
FOUR-I'm a girl and I love ruffles. The ivy leaves create ruffles and waves on it's supporting structure. One of my favorite views is to look up from below to accentuate the ruffles.
FIVE-even in the heat of summer as most everything is either dormant or dead it still shows character and life even with the crispy leaf margins.
SIX-I can't talk about Boston Ivy without mentioning the stunning, jaw dropping fall color. No words really even needed here.
SEVEN- And when the color has faded, the leaves are long gone and the chill of winter settles in, it's still stunning with graceful branches that create a natural sculpture in the landscape.
Towards the end of winter I find myself keeping a close eye on the Boston for it's first buds and signs of life so I can capture it's annual cycle again. So what are you waiting for? go get yourself a Boston Ivy and be sure and show me your photos!
Do you ever find yourself drawn back to the same subject matter over and over? What creates that pull that draws you in? Be sure to play along with our theme of the month Sunshine and Shadow. I hope to include my Boston Ivy in this months theme. Be sure and post your photos in our Flickr group for a chance to be featured for our INFOCUS feature!