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Category: photos and garden photography

Some of our favourite plant and garden photographs not featuring in other gardeners tips. tips for your own garden photography.

Mixed May Month

Mixed May Month

I love Iris as much as Iris love sunshine so we are both happy with this May’s weather. The Thuja occidentalis conifer offers a cool photographic backdrop after coming through a frosty patch of weather in early spring

Lupins are not just for Christmas in fact they are not even for Christmas. They are definitely one of our families favorite hardy perennials for use in a mixed border.

How I regret not remembering the name of this bulb that I planted several years ago. Now it is maturing nicely with many flowering stems and is becoming a distinctive feature plant.

A hardy stand by Ceanothus that I propagate from cuttings. The only draw back for me is that other growth habits, including prostrate  and tree forms cannot be propagated from this one plant. (Clone is as colnes does). Ceanothus is also called or known asbuckbrush, California lilac or soap bush,

Azaleas in this gloomy corner have survived for several years and I keep promising myself that I will add some other varieties when can I find a place to plant them.

My wife would see the back of this Mahonia to make the space I crave for Azaleas (they both like slightly acidic soil). The sharp leaves ‘needle’ her but I like the all year round interest the plant provides.

The slabs of paving provide a path through a short Japanese section of the garden which utilises bark chippings rather than a gravel mulch.

Rabbits breed harmlessly in this part of the ornamental garden. A new acquisition last Christmas was the door as an entrance to the gnomes homes (221b Baker Street elementary my dear watsonnia – is that freudian or the name of my bulb in the third photo)

Having a Good Lilac Season 2020

Having a Good Lilac Season 2020


Sorry if this post is a bit repetitive from one at the beginning of May but my mind is socially distanced from my memory. My garden lilac has never smelt so good but I am sure the colour has been stronger in previous years.

The white lilac has been OK but lacks pizzaz despite the blue skies and strong sunshine. Perhaps it is a lack of focus and I should polish my photography skills.


The best varieties have been the darker purples which I have spotted on my lockdown compliant walks around the village. Ten years ago the gardens looked very different.

Ideas for Better Garden Photographs

Ideas for Better Garden Photographs

Compose your photo shot with care to get the image you want and only that image. In this photo the moss and drainpipe do not add anything to the desired result so they need to be cropped out for the next image where ‘Carols’ bucket takes center stage. If the original has been taken with high resolution the cropped image will not suffer. The spade could have been aligned better to show the handle.

Know your cameras capabilities and take several shots until you find an image you like. Be self-critical of your work and regular practice will help to get better results next time

Despite standing on the low wall to look down on the garden only the crazy paving benefited and I should consign this to the compost (I mean the recycle bin). The aim was to have a foreground that didn’t compromise the key middle ground and then a background that didn’t distract. Shame that this photo failed on all aims with the neighboring houses standing out and catching the eye and the key middle ground achieving nothing much.

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How a dark background can show white flowers at their best

How a dark background can show white flowers at their best

The cast in order of appearance: Cactus Dahlia; Rosa Rugosa; Lenten Rose Helleborus orientalis; Moth Orchid Phalaenopsis; Water Lily Nymphaea alba; etc.

Organic forms have been popular art subjects not least those inspired during the Art Nouveau period. This selection of flowers will not be easy to replicate in drawings or paintings as the contrast between dark greens and bright whites does not leave many half tones to balance the picture. Probably your efforts will prove me wrong.

Black Arts of Painting White Flowers

  • It is all in the shadows hence the phrase ‘black arts’ or should that be grey?
  • A grey for shadows can be made with Prussian blue, Alizarin crimson and cadmium pale yellow but I use dilute versions of manufactured grey.
  • Take care with the colour, depth and tone of your grey for shadows.
  • Do not be tempted to surround flowers with leaves as an easy way out.
  • Focus generally falls on the area of greatest tonal contrast.
  • Shadows on a vase look better if composed in a way that it can be placed on the side nearest the edge of the canvas. It avoids halving the picture.
  • Try painting on coloured paper or paint a dark background.

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Round Tuits

Round Tuits

When I was younger owned a disc of wood taken from the thick branch of an old tree. It was engraved ‘Round Tuit’.  It was designed to prevent procrastination and putting off the evil day. Creative avoidance is still a part of my routine and even today I find myself saying ‘I will do it when I get round to it!’.

The title is just an excuse to show a couple of tree photographs that have made me smile in the past. These pleached hornbeams at Harewood House need someone to regularly get round to trimming and pruning to keep them in good order.

The multi stems on this conifer could have made a large number of ’round tuits’ if they were sliced  but I hope no one in this generation will feel the need to chop down this magnificent specimen.

A reminder to get on with some gardening but I will do it after a sit on this adult version or grown up ‘Round Tuit’.

Greening Public Spaces Peel Park Bradford

Greening Public Spaces Peel Park Bradford


Early crocus amongst leaf litter, the only good litter feeding the soil

Wet weather reflects on the tree roots
There is still colour to be found not least on these Rowan berries Sorbus hupehensis
Listers Mill
Listers Mill in the afternoon light with a ring of trees on the horizon and in the foreground.

I believe the willow is beginning to show the first sign of colour so spring will soon be on us.Christmas is long gone but only 311 days to go before the next

Long and Short Gardens

Long and Short Gardens

Begonias look best in groups or where they are given the opportunity to demonstrate their colourful dexterity. (Most of my photos are produced uncropped but in this case I done some editing).

Honeysuckle tends to ramble upward and is not easy to do it justice with a photograph. Here are two attempts.

Long vistas benefit from repetition of planting. These dwarf rhododendrons and primula denticula make the point

Public Green Spaces in Britain’s Floral Resort

Public Green Spaces in Britain’s Floral Resort

As befits a town with the sobriquet ‘Britain’s Floral Resort’ Harrogate is again a picture of vibrant colour in most of its green public spaces. Despite the crown (hotel and garden bed above ) it can not be called Royal Harrogate nor can it usurp Britain’s Floral Resort for it’s exclusive use.

Blood red features strongly at the beginning of August in the Brexit era of 2019. Back in the day 2003/4 Harrogate won a gold medal in the Flowery Alliance of Europe horticultural competition  for excellence in horticultural display. I wonder if that was a bloodless coup?

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