Saxon Holt

Wild in the Eastern Deciduous Forest

Liriodendron tulipifera -, Tulip poplar, Budding with spring leaves emerging

The Eastern United States is an entirely different native ecosystem from California.  Duh. The Central Prairies are different too.  Oh yeah.  And how about the Everglades ?  The desert Southwest ? We live in a vast country with vastly different native plants, yet sometimes when we hear about the importance of gardening with native plants,[...]

Gardening with Native Plants

Well pruned manzanita (Arctostaphylos) shrubs with native grasses by swimming pool in The Melissa Garden, California

I am on the road, photographing California native plants, and just too dang busy to think about anything else.  My post will just be a “best of” selection from a presentation I gave at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. So here is a portfolio selection of great gardens using California natives.  For those of you in[...]

A Magical Photo Workshop

Mary Small - Marin Art & Garden Center Workshop borage

Photography workshops can be magical for both student and instructor. I think I can honestly say every workshop has some magic, there are always those moments when a student suddenly connects with the subject.  It gladdens the heart of the instructor to see the students improve. But rarely does every student improve dramatically in the course of[...]

Finding Photos

Hybrid Monkey Hand Trre flower >>> x Chiranthomontodendron lenzii (aka  Chiranthofremontia); yellow flowering shrub at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

It is a great joy to be hunting for photographs in a garden.  Having a camera in hand (or on a tripod) is an excuse to look carefully, to find a photo that will do justice to the beauty of plants. Finding a photo is a deliberate process and I frequently find myself looking for color[...]

Gardens Here ?

Outdoor stone patio sitting area under Oaks next to modern glass hilltop home with California native plant garden, Santa Barbara,

Here in California, there have been some rumblings about gardens wasting water. Can we afford water for gardens in an era of limited resources? Isn’t our native habitat beautiful enough? Do we want to have gardens here? Well of course, I am biased. I am a gardener.  And yes, we certainly do want to have[...]