This card shows a dahlia in a large garden of dahlias
Bright red begonias with a quote by William Penn, founder of the state of Pennsylvania.
I’ve got a new edition of Happiness Cards with some new images along with old favorites. I’ll be showing all 30 over the next month. Here’s the first:
They’re my favorite flowers today because I’ve been photographing them every weekend, but probably it will be begonias next. I’m fickle when it comes to flower favorites.
Did you know that these beautiful flowers are the national flower of Mexico and the City Flower of Seattle? The ancient Aztecs used the tubers as food and the stems as siphons and straws. In fact, the Aztec name for dahlias translates to “water cane.”
“If you’re lucky enough to have them growing in your garden, Sunset Western Garden Book recommends cutting them for indoor enjoyment early in the morning or evening. Placing them into into 2″ to 3″ of hot water and leaving them there until the water cools will prolong their life.
Dahlias most need good soil, adequate space (depending on variety), low nitrogen fertilizer and staking. But if you have them growing in your garden in the Northern Hemisphere it will soon be time to prepare the tubers for winter.
Some dahlia trees have been found that are 20 feet high! There is some dispute as to who named the plant, but no argument about its being named after Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist who studied with Carl Lineaus.
These photographs were taken at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and more can be seen on my website, www.happinesscards.net. Copyright Connie Fledderjohann, 2015
There are enough Happiness Cards out in the world that everyone in Hajduboszormeny, Hungary could have one, or Pudsey, England, or Alice Springs, Australia. In fact, everyone living on the Mendocino Coast, where I make my home, could have 3 cards, even the kids. Amazingly, I’ve sold and given away more than 29,000 and just took delivery on 9,000 more. A dozen are new photos and quotations: Here are four of the new ones:
I was blown away when I added up the numbers. There are 24,000 Happiness Cards somewhere out in the world spreading happiness. It all began 15 months ago with a wish to share my flower photographs with more people.
The first cards were 2″x3″ photos that I printed on my trusty Canon printer with an inspiring quotations that I glued to the back of each picture. I gave them away one at a time or left them around town for people to pick up. They were a hit.
A friend who saw them encouraged me to box them up so they could be sold and others could join me, so I did just that. If only 10% of the 24,000 cards have added to happiness in the world, my mission has been accomplished, but I’m not stopping there.
Last week I placed a new order for 8,700 cards, and thought you might like a sneak preview of some of the new ones:
You’ve heard of March Madness. Now there’s Magnolia Madness. I’ve taken numerous shots of these beautiful and ancient flowers recently and present them here for your enjoyment. If you’re interested in their history and botanic information Wikipedia has a good article about them.
Those of you who know me, or are familiar with my photographs, know that one of my favorite flowers is the calla or more commonly known as the calla lily. (Botanical name is Zantedeschia) It’s not actually a lily which is why they are often referred to as “callas.”
I’ve been drawn to the elegance of these flowers for some time and have shot many photos of them. Here are a few of my calla photographs:
I hadn’t dragged out my light box in a long time. Finally on Sunday I admitted to myself that my work was getting stale, and I was taking the same photograph over and over. Hmm…why not try my light box again? It lives in a corner in my garage, and takes a bit of effort to set it up, I somehow summoned the energy to bring it inside, cut some fast-fading begonias, and came up with a few good shots.
Flowers are love embodied. Look deeply at the color. Feel the vibrancy. Put your nose a little closer. Look deeply. Fall inside. Start your life over right here, right now, inside a flower.” ~ Lao Tzu
Of all the extravagant beauty on our earth nothing is as colorful, varied, ubiquitous and downright flamboyant as flowers. They are not only lovely to look at, but our very lives depend on them. Most of our food comes from plants that flower, are pollinated and grow into fruits, vegetables and grains. Often the grains are fed to animals many people eat.
For a photographer flowers are perfect subjects. They can be shot on location or brought into the studio. They pose endlessly, don’t move around and need no breaks. Each blossom has its own distinctive characteristics. Their varied forms allow me to emphasize detail in a macro photograph, delineate abstract features in black and white, or portray a group of blossoms in all their brilliant color.
Luther Burbank, well-known botanist, wrote, “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful’ they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” How true!