What a frustration it is to be a professional garden photographer that must make the vain attempt to find gardens at their “peak”. I am working on a meadow book and visited Nan’s garden this summer.
(Ondra meadow July 28, 2007)
Surely her meadow garden is as lovely now as then. A strong argument can be made, looking at her own photos (‘In The Field’ post below), that the garden is showier now than then. In the spirit on Nan’s comment “why bother” about spending so much time and energy in planning and maintaining a garden when the wild meadow astounds her, “why bother” being a garden photographer when you can not possible do any but one’s own garden proper justice ?
Garden publishers may glory in peak moments but gardeners know there is no one best time. Garden photographers, at least those who are gardeners themselves, are caught in a dilemma as what to illustrate. When we travel, we too often fall into the trap of the peak moment knowing we perpetuate a mythical time. When DO gardens look their best???
I will be joining this crew at gardening gone wild and hope to offer a bit of insight on gardens through garden photography. Twenty seven years ago when I apprenticed myself to a master commercial photographer I learned the very first day: “The camera always lies – that truth is how photographer’s make a living”
There is no truth in talking about gardening, only truth in gardening itself. So, knowing that I will allow this blog as a forum to explore and explode garden truths. My new meadow book is co-authored by John Greenlee, “The Grass Man”. John knows more about grasses than anyone I know (even Nan), is a brilliant and creative designer. Want to know the truth about John’s own garden ? Let’s begin here …
Greenlee garden Feb. 1, 2007
I opened my morning newspaper (yes, dating me…) and felt sick. Not because of global wars, ebola, climate change, or because the Giants had lost to the Dodgers.
The full page ad on the back of Section A is from NBCUniversal and Comcast, my local cable giant, proudly announcing they are “bringing media and technology together to connect you in more places than you ever thought possible”. To kids camping in a tent ?! [continue reading…]
I was all set yesterday morning to begin my post on drought tolerant plants, seeing as how we in California are in the midst of a really dry winter. Then at breakfast my wife brought me a single Camellia from the garden, set in a clever stone vase.
My day changed. I am so easily distracted. [continue reading…]
For a garden photographer there is nothing quite like a landscape architect who knows how to use plants. Gary Ratway not only knows plants as well as any horticulturist I have met, he designs landscapes to show them off.
His own garden in Mendocino, California is a showcase for garden design as landscape architecture, a landscape that has been designed to accommodate his many garden rooms where he plays with plants. Many plant lovers know his nursery, Digging Dog, which Gary began with his wife Deborah Wigham because he could not find sources for the exquisite plants he uses. [continue reading…]
The display of winter squash at the National Heirloom Expo is daunting for a photographer – soooo many potential subjects. This year I decided to photograph all the pumpkins.
Grown by Durst Organic Growers, the main exhibit hall was filled with hundreds of fantastical gourds laid out in small groups on large rows of tables.
But indoors ? on white table cloths? how was I to make interesting photos ?