With the coronavirus restrictions currently in place, opportunities to get out and enjoy some photography, is currently very limited if not absent altogether. Following Government advice to stay at home, I am however able to explore my garden having set myself a challenge to get snapping.
I took the photos below over a couple of days, capturing images when the sun (or shade) was in the right place and right angle for what I wanted to achieve. Some shots were taken in the morning and some late in the day. This most certainly isn’t a project about gardening by the way, as my knowledge on the subject is very thin to say the least! I will however endeavour to name the plants I am photographing where possible and apologies to those more knowledgeable who know better!
I am in danger here of overusing the word ‘favourite’. This flower however is definitely up there as it gives a striking display every Spring and given that my garden is small, is a good one to have as it grows neatly in a clump. The longish stems allow me to ‘separate’ the flowers from surrounding leaves to maximum effect, making I think, an attractive photo. This was actually my first shot from venturing into the garden and a good place to start.
A contrasting colour and shape was in the adjacent pot; the handsome and bright Bellis, is worth a closer look. I donned my 85mm lens with macro (close-up) capability to go in very close for maximum impact. I composed it off-centre to give a nice balance and allow some contrasting dark green background to show off the colour.
I’d say that the Bleeding Heart is a very photogenic perennial; easy to grow and fun to photograph, either taking in the row of small flowers on a stalk or as an individual, showing the daintiness of the flower.
Especially important here to be able to use a shallow depth of focus (if you have the option) to blur the background. I sometimes place a piece of black card behind, but felt that leaving a more natural backdrop was in order here. I went flat side on to show off the shape to it’s best, which is less easy when snapping a row of flower heads.
The Bleeding Heart shape reminds me very much of one of my favourite flowers, the fuchsia (not sure if they are related), but they appear much later in the year.
A real joy to photograph and a complete contrast to the floral displays is the Royal Fern, that was unfurling ready to give a lovely sight in a shady spot. It looks curiously furry but all that disappears as the leaf opens. I loved the shape in this close-up study.
The strangely named Grape Hyacinth (left) is neither, but does grow from bulbs and is a lovely Spring flower. It’s very small, which you can’t tell from the photo but wonderful for a close-up. Again I used my 85 mm lens and this time making good use of black card behind. I love the colour, which reminds me of the lovely British Bluebell.
A definite garden favourite and often flowering all year round, is the viola. I adore this common bedding plant and my garden has lots. That’s partly because it’s easy to grow, hardy and has many colours to choose from. It’s the artist’s pallet of the garden in my mind. If you’ve never noticed, there’s sometimes a lovely scent to them as well, especially when they are in the sun. In contrast I’m not such a fan of the very similar and larger pansy, which when I grow it often looks straggly as it gets well battered by wind and rain, compared to the viola.
With it’s tiny dark green fleshy leaves, the Australian Mint bush makes a nice contrast in my garden. It produces a strong mint aroma and if I’m lucky, a profusion of small white flowers. A patch of hazy dappled sunlight helped to highlight one sprig for my photograph.
Next door to the mint bush is another bush, who’s name I think might be Hypericum (St John’s Wort), but pleased don’t quote me! It’s bright yellow flowers in late summer are a big attraction to bees. It was the sunlight coming through this fresh new leaf however that caught my eye, as it highlights the leaf”s texture and structure of veins.
Before returning to the subject of flowers, I have one more leafy photo to share. At this time of year my Pieris Japonica shrub leaps to life with it’s leaves giving a display of colours from bright red to pale pink and almost white, before settling on green for the rest of the season.
Not satisfied with colourful leaves however, passing bees are treated to the Pieris’ bunches of tiny white flowers, also worthy of a quick snap.
Who doesn’t love tulips? They may not flower for long but they are glorious when they do. There are only have a few in my garden and most are yellow. It took several attempts to create a pleasing photo in tribute to this garden must and this was my favourite, with this trio. I particularly liked the angle and the glow and shadows created by the afternoon sun.
There’s a lot worth photographing inside a fully opened tulip too, though photographically it can be rather a challenge. This was my effort.
My final flower in this collection to share with you is a common garden one and always a delight. Osteospernum comes in a multitude of striking colours. Occasionally you see it in slightly more unusual pastel shades of the plant I have.
Let’s not forget how it all starts, as we take a peek in my small greenhouse. Making an appearance and no doubt helped by the current warm weather, is an Alyssum seedling. I always have some of these flowers in my garden in the summer. Wonderful in particular the scent.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini tour of my garden. I hope that it has inspired you to look a little closer at the beauty around you. Why not spend some time exploring your garden with your camera? Even if you don’t have a garden, you could even try any flowers or plants you may have indoors or a window box, perhaps.
Stay safe, stay well and more Photographer’s Ramblings coming soon.