Archive | Art and Sculpture

for gardeners interested in art. Sculpture to enhance the garden

A Garden Jim but not as we know it

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Fiona Weir, has been supported by the Freedom board and was invited to take the creation – a traditional black cab festooned with hundreds of colourful bee-friendly plants to the fringe festival at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.

I regularly fill the boot of my car with large bulky garden waste that would take more than 2 years to rot down. I have never tried using under the bonnet for extra space but console myself with rear seats that lay flat hatchback style. If I still had my chipper it may be a different story. I would still have my chipper it it didn’t clog or rust! Perhaps Santa can beam me up to an intergalactic compost heap that will do away with roots, weed seeds and compost undesirables.

Hull had a bee in it’s bonnet for the City of Culture 2017

The photo of the Black Cab garden by Adele an artist and designer who was helped by Fiona Weir. Fiona is a  landscape architect and bee specialist from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust work together ‘to plant temporary beelines and insect friendly gardens in the most unexpected scenarios’.

Other Garden Sculptures

 Memorial Garden Bradford City Fire Disaster 1985

Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow there’s Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow – not quite Klingon language.



Floral Language

This curious 19th century craze which engaged the hearts and fancies of the Victorians had no historical or mythological basis but became the fertile sand on which a folklore was built. Using images from the Lindley Library this intriguing display tells the story of popular 19th century code used by lovers to exchange messages.The snowdrop signified friendship and forget-me-nots meant true love, but a gift of a pumpkin or a gourd was considered the height of bad manners – find out why … and discover much more by visiting the display at RHS Harlow Carr Library

‘The Artistic Language of Flowers’, 1880, published by Meissner & Buch, Leipzig © RHS Library Collections Digitised version from Amazon


Photographs from Our 2000 Posts

This is Gardeners Tips 2,000 extant post since April 2008. I have lost count how many photographs and images have been included but here are just a few repeats.


In addition to our own images we would like to thank creative commons and other organisations that helped with contributions as we were starting out.
Around 100 books have been recommended to highlight a subject such as The Garden Photography Workshop by Andrea Jones below.

Book CoverWe would also like to thank the million plus visitors to our website and hope the tips and humour demonstrate how gardening can have a lighter side.


Garden Sky and Colour Effects

What colour is the sky? A strange question too a gardener perhaps but there are good gardening reasons for asking.

  • The standard answer from a young child would probably blue and that is what we want in summer as a sign of good weather. In winter it may indicate a spell of sharp frosty days. The sky takes on a deeper blue hue that saturates colours from mid morning to late afternoon.
  • Harsh mid day light produces high contrast between light and shadow. This depend on weather condition, because on a cloudy day the light is diffused.
  • An overcast sky is a result of no direct sunlight moisture in the atmosphere or air pollution that causes haze and the sky to appears to be pale blue or even milky white.
  • In the early morning or at sunset your sky can be red, orange, purple and/or yellow  but where I live, too often it seems  to be grey. These colour  arise from the absorption or not of various parts of the  spectrum. This also has a profound effect on how you see the colour of flowers.
  • Blue and white colours are called cool temperatures that tend to recede in a picture. The warm colours of yellow through to red come forward to the viewer.
  • Clouds are seldom if ever white, have a very close look and you will see lots of shades. Grey may predominate but the variety of shades will be multitudinous.
  • Colour temperature is measured in Kelvins

Other Sky and Plant Pictures Continue Reading →


Beat Garden Blues and Bee Happy

Rumour that Bees are in terminal decline is not borne out in my garden this year. The Bees seem very happy on the blue flowers and I am happy as it gives me an excuse to show some more blue photographs (of flowers!).

It is hard to be ‘blue’ when your senses are fully engaged.

  • Creating a buzz provides a new sensory experience in the garden and it make a change from the sound of wind and the patter of rain.
  • On the other hand I have just felt the pain from pruning a very prickly leaved Berberis that will now have fewer blue berries for the blackbirds later this year.
  • The Californian Lilac below is exuding its share of perfume to scent the nostrils.
  • I can barely wait for the Blueberry and Bilberry season to deliver the taste of my favourite fruit. I can’t think of a blue vegetable unless you count purple sprouting broccoli but if I have missed your favourite let me know.
  • ‘Seeing red’ as a phrase could be replaced with ‘seeing blue’ when you consider some of the great blue flowering plants.

Continue Reading →


Photography Tips For Gardeners

Think before you Click

  • It may seem obvious but think why you are taking a photo in the first place. Is it a documentary record, a social occasion, a personal pleasure or a potential item for publication and wider use.
  • Plan your viewpoint and composition using important features and eliminating unwanted items. Framing subjects and using items, even those behind you, may improve the image.
  • Do not be tempted to cram in too much detail that causes conflict or unneeded complexity.
  • Think about texture, shape, patterns and perspective in addition to the all important colour.
  • Check the light and how various shadows will fall. My shadow features in too many photographs

Close up Tips

  • Getting close and personal can reveal details of plants not normally inspected such as shapes patterns and colour contrasts. Small sections of a bigger subject can be very interesting.
  • It may be necessary to use a tripod to keep the camera still
  • Also consider wind breaks as shelter or supporting methods to hold plants still.
  • Macro facilities on a digital camera or extension tubes on SLR’s help get really close.
  • Use small apertures to get a depth of field. Hold the camera parallel to the most important feature of the photograph.
  • Take several shots and be patient

Other Gardeners Photo Tips

  • Use low view points.
  • Highlight contrasting colours
  • Try   unusual compositions and repetitions repeatedly.
  • Droplets of water on flowers may improve and freshen up the image. Spray drops of glycerine if you are very keen.
  • I need to practice what I preach by keeping a record of what, where and when an image was taken and published.





Artistic Gardeners Meadow Vista


Fritillary, Buttercups, Bluebells, Tulips and Narcissus all in the same shot, what more could you ask.

Well the star of this show is probably the grass. The grass is understated and not throttling the flowers. The sunshine is highlighting a grassy area near where the photographer has chosen to stand. The grass stops the mixture of colours and shapes from fighting one another bringing some harmony.

Artistic Comment

The photographer has found  a relatively low position to capture the flowers at the front of the photo. The dark trees provide a suitable back drop and contrast. Overall the composition works despite the complexity and variety of the flora. The depth of field allows enough focus highlighting the tulips. The eye of the curious looker is drawn around the image.

The garden designer has composed the image mixing blues, yellows and purples with the spring-fresh greens.The maintenance gardener has enabled the themes to work.

Not quite a meadow more a wild patch created with tlc.


Grewelthorpe Himalayan Garden Images

The Himalayan Garden at Grewlthorpe continues to mature and develop. It is great to see a wide range of trees allowed to grow their natural size without undue lopping or arbo work.
A new arboretum will open at the end of May 2017 and the next autumn season will be worth a special visit.

As ever the sculptures are excellently located and seem to breed in number every time I visit.

Rhododendrons are the key feature for me that makes return spring visits a must.

Landscape views from the many well located paths are set to delight.


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