These flowers are blooming on my back deck. I mounted the Nikon D200 (equipped with the 50 mm lens) on a tripod and set the ISO at 800. The top photo of the trailing verbena was shot at 1/500 of a second at f/2.2. Do you like the blurring of the flower petals? The bottom one was shot at 1/30 of a second at f/8.
The crown of thorns (on the right) was shot at 1/15 of a second at f/8. I bought this plant because I needed a two-petal flower for my upcoming book, Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature (Boyds Mills Press 2010). To my great delight, it is thriving on my deck. I love the contrast of the leaves with the stems and thorns. I love the flowers, too. After I showed her a preview of my book, a friend told me she has had her mother’s crown of thorns for more than 20 years and it continues to thrive.