Meadow by the Lake

– Posted in: Garden Design, Garden Photography

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

I absolutely love the sense of discovery that comes with exploring a garden with a camera.  I have learned to take it slow, to relish and be watchful, as every step changes how I see.  Every step could be a new picture.  Every step changes how the elements compose themselves.

So a recent visit to see gardens designed by Larry Weiner was an exhilarating experience.  I have admired his work making meadows for years, and still regret I did not know him when I did The American Meadow Garden.  But now I was totally primed to see when I met him in Lakeville, Connecticut to visit a couple of mature, thriving meadows.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

I have never photographed gardens in Connecticut.  My eyes went into high alert. Whenever I travel, and get out of the “routine” of working in California, everything seems fresh and I get particularly energized.

Gardens in the East are SO different.  It rains in the summer.  Wow.  Everything is green.  The native perennial wildflowers burst into bloom with no effort.

There are extensive meadows around this home on the lake and I waited until the last hour of daylight to explore the lakeside meadow, as I wanted to include the very reflective lake in the photos and needed the light to be very soft.

Follow along on my shoot, as the photos unfold.

I see chairs.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

Chairs are a great focal points in any garden, but in a meadow garden, which often has no hardscape or formal design, any sort of structure offers opportunities.  I explored the little garden room, created by simply mowing.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

But the stronger photo is looking over the flowers, past the chairs to the lake.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

And turning my back on the lake the same flowers offer an entirely different view from almost the exact same spot.  So many possibilities.  Everything is so different from summer-dry California.

Monarda didyma (crimson beebalm, scarlet beebalm, scarlet monarda, Oswego tea, or bergamot), red flowering perennial wildflower in Connecticut meadow garden with native plants; Larry Weiner Design

Now to explore the strip of meadow that buffers the lake.  Using a tree to frame the composition, I am able to  get a point of view that creates a sense of a true meadow, those that often exist as clearings in the woods.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

But this is lakeside meadow, and I am beginning to see an extraordinary opportunity to create a photo that uses the lake as a background.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

One idea is to use the dock as a background, evoking a leisurely summer scene.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

But what I really wanted to work with was using the lake as a pure background to the strip of flowers and grasses which stood up in front of it.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

What fun.  I see some calendar images for some lucky publisher.

Connecticut meadow garden with native wildflowers; Larry Weiner Design

Saxon Holt
Saxon Holt is the owner of PhotoBotanic.com, a garden picture resource for photographs, on-line workshops, and garden photography stories. An award winning photojournalist and Fellow of The Garden Writers Association with more than 25 garden books, he lives and gardens in Northern California. PhotoBotanic - Garden Photography online at www.photobotanic.com. https://photobotanic.com
Saxon Holt

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10 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Jayne July 25, 2015, 7:32 am

CT is a garden wonderland- especially during the Summer months.

Saxon Holt July 25, 2015, 8:52 am

Thanks for stopping by Jane – and I hope to have future excuses to get back there.

Patterson Webster July 26, 2015, 8:42 am

The flowers with the lake in the background make a beautiful image. Any calendar will be lucky!

Anna July 28, 2015, 2:29 pm

What a gorgeous and serene setting. Thanks for sharing these beautiful images!

Saxon Holt July 29, 2015, 10:42 am

Pretty nice spot, eh ? Hard *not* to find beautiful images. —-Saxon

Cathy July 30, 2015, 1:16 pm

I so miss gardening in New England for the very reasons you found it intriguing to photograph there. As a recent California transplant, I am suffering a severe case of transplant shock that has nothing to do with the social norms, clothing, casual living, vineyards, or camellias. Homesickness washed over me as I scrolled through your amazing photographs. They capture the essence of a true New England meadow. How I miss our Massachusetts garden!

Cute Bianca July 31, 2015, 5:47 am

Oh my god, this looks so amazing! Love the flowers and the whole place in general. I just feel so happy when i see these pictures. 🙂

Saxon Holt August 9, 2015, 9:19 pm

Cathy – I confess to still having some East Coast envy myself, when I see how effortlessly one can have green meadows. Then I take a hike in California summer and realize how very different is the California aesthetic and how wonderful a summer-dry climate is. Neither is “better”, but for someone who likes to be outdoors all the time, California is an awfully appealing….

Saxon Holt August 9, 2015, 9:21 pm

Thanks Bianca – Doesn’t everyone love flowers ?

Rebecca February 14, 2017, 5:04 am

Gorgeous photos! They look amazing together!

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