I get asked occasionally where all the flower pictures come from. Are they all in my garden? Are they clients? Do you just go find them? Yes and no. When I do a monthly flower post I try to include photos from everywhere – my yard, my clients’ yards, parks, downtown, walks and random wildflowers. So, to break it up a bit, here’s my personal garden in bloom for July (everything else will be posted shortly) along with some personal insights into being a photographer who gardens.
My Garden, July 2012, A. Espetveidt, Quadrophonic Image
Sweet Peas: One of my fave things to grow are old fashioned awesome sweet peas. They grow in a small foot deep garden along my south facing fence and boy do they get attention. I’ve been planting them for four seasons and every spring people stop to ask if they’ve gone in yet or if they’re coming. I don’t think the community would ever allow me to stop planting them. People screech to a halt driving past. People stop to smell them. One man wanted to buy them to eat and I couldn’t explain to him that they are poisonous and are not the peas you consume. They smell amazing. They love it where I plant them. And they are great to photograph, with their veins and tendrils and bright colours. This year we’ve gone a bit different with our selection and have planted a bunch of wild types and heirloom varieties (along with the normal chaos). They’re smaller, not as showy, but still some pretty. And the best part, they need to be cut regularly to keep them blooming so we have fresh cut bouquets all season.
Food: I love to eat what I grow. This year we have nasturtium, carrots (like four different kinds), peas (blue, pink and white blooming and asparagus peas), tomatoes (heirloom varieties and cherry), peppers (hot and bell), onions (for pickles), potatoes (blue and fingerling), spinach, pumpkins, watermelons, zucchini, spinach, beets, turnip, strawberries (baskets and in ground), raspberries (more varieties than I can name), blueberries, josta berries, red currants, goji berries, strawberry spinach, romeo cherries, crab apples (three different kinds), rhubarb and dill (for pickles). Not to bad considering we don’t have a veggie garden plot. We have taken two concrete pads and put pots and pallets up for a massive container garden. Other bits are placed in between flowers and the back of the house is the berry patch. And then there’s the flowers that are edibles like Holyhocks and Viola. Some things work and some don’t but so far this year I have had lots of salads made from picking what was ready, raspberries till my stomach explodes, ONE cherry that wasn’t killed by the hail, some tomatoes (more every day), and the pallet garden has filled in, started to bloom and has some tomatoes growing. I love that I can go out for lunch to my yard.
Random Seed Garden: One part of my fence is sweet peas, the other is the random seed garden. This is how it works. Gather as much seeds from wildflowers and around the garden (annuals, perennials, whatever), mix with a few seed packs, plant each spring, deadhead and harvest seeds, save and plant the next spring. It’s surprising and random and spastic and beautiful. You never know what you’re going to get. GREAT for shooting and exploring with the camera. Just be sure you stay on top of deadheading or else you might lose your lawn to flowers. The only problem I have found with the randomness of it is when people ask you what something is, you often have no flipping clue. But it’s pretty.
Lily Garden: I have an addiction to planting lilies and have a dense little patch of every kind, every colour, I could smoosh in there. I also have daylilies over top of other daylilies. And toad lilies (which keep get eaten). And lily trees that haven’t opened yet. They’re just so pretty to look at and such a challenge to photograph, they have such depth.