Swenson Gardens

Monthly Archive: July 2016

Intersectional hybrid peonies macro photography


‘Bartzella’, perhaps my current all-time favorite intersectional hybrid peonies to photograph and grow is seen in this macro photograph during its final bloom phase. Its hard to see ‘Bart’ end the last of its blooms for the season, but with a macro lens, a completely different appreciation is shown in this photo. Even with the crazy growing season this year, the Bartzella’s in the field bloomed for 23 days. Not to be redundant, but if you do not grow Bartzella in your garden, this intersectional hybrid peony will astound you in person and through a macro lens!

portrait photo of garden peonies using a macro lens


As the peonies are in their summer ‘green’ coloration and with way too hot temps outside for this mere mortal, thought I would catch up on the blog with some end of season pictures and ramblings. Becky and a friend were busy arranging peonies and taking photos for her Facebook and Instagram Swenson Gardens sites so I asked her if she wouldn’t mind me taking a few pics for us bloggers. Notice I said ‘a few pics’ versus ‘yes dear I’d be happy to photograph all your Facebook and Instagram photos’. After taking 6000+ photos this season I was getting to the end of my peony photographs. As you can see by the lapse in time from my last post, this was a very busy year for me and a much needed break was in store. Most of my spare time during the bloom season was spent photographing and inventorying all our Roger Anderson’s seedlings. With a few hundred new 3-year old intersectional hybrid and garden peonies, I don’t know how many miles I walked up and down the fields during rain, cloudy and sunny days photographing and record keeping. I guess my passion (and OCD) to make sure all are correct and then some, came out.

So at the end of our 2016 bloom season, it was time to have fun with a different lens vs my go to lens for photographing peonies. The macro lens that was used for this portrait shot is the Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di. Tamron has come out with a new Dii model but that will be in my bag next year. I know for those of you who have followed my blog over the years, Candy Stripe is still my favorite garden peony to shoot…and grow. Becky and a friend arranged this Candy Stripe bouquet and I just had to shoot it. Her friend Theresa is an unbelievable floral arranger so check Swenson Gardens Facebook and Instagram site for some amazing floral arrangements of our peonies.


The dog days of a peonies summer?


Thankfully all the peonies growth is now underneath the ground versus what we are experiencing above the ground now! We are not use to 100+ degrees heat index up here in Minnesota over the next couple of days. Though Redd lives in our insulated garage, he doesn’t want to leave his new temporary home in our back entry. Could it be the air conditioning? He thinks so as he contently naps during this heat wave. As for the peonies in the field, this burst of extremes are nothing unusual for them!