Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Photographer's Garden

There are several reasons why I have planted my garden around my house the way I have. First, I've placed a lot of perennials, so that each year they'll come back, and spread. They don't need a lot of attention, so when I'm traveling, and neglecting them, they'll still survive and thrive. Gradually, some of the sculptures will get filled in and shrouded by plants and flowers: a gradual process of change.

Second, I want to always have some sort of flower in bloom, from spring through autumn. One of the aspects of living in California that I most loved was that there was always something in bloom, year-round; we were never without flowers, and botanical color, of some shape or variety; never a gap in the blooming and greening. I expect to plant more perennials this season, perhaps even another rose bush or two; there are some inherited ornamental shrubs that are pretty ugly, which I expect to remove later this year, to make that entire bed available for flowers and vegetables mixed together.

Third, I have planted lots of vibrant colors that give me something to photograph: to enjoy in all phases of blooming, but also as variety of color and shape on which to practice my photography, and constantly be able to make new images. So my garden isn't just for my pleasure, and enjoyment; it also supports my work as a photographer and artist. That's also why I've made some stone-garden and land art sculptures elements in my garden. Even in winter, the stone patterns are alive in the garden, while the plants rest, dormant.

As the season progresses, I find myself spending as much time in my garden with my camera as on my knees with my trowel. A garden can take several seasons to develop and bring to peak fruition. This is only my second full season here, and already I have more color and variety than before. This early hot weather, alternating with rain, is producing an early flurry of color and light that is endlessly fascinating to watch, to be a part of, to wander through and make photos of.

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