18 Apr 2011

Garden abstracts

We had another lovely sunny spring weekend and whilst the warm weather makes it feel summery – it’s still rather too early to plant summer annuals. Consequently, whilst I’m out in the garden working on it and getting some much needed fresh air and sunshine, there still isn’t that much to see – and certainly not much colour – and it looks a tad barren at the moment. I do however grow quite a lot of greenery to keep it looking interesting even without flowers, so I decided to enjoy that for what it was and not worry about the lack of flowers.

Please click on any of the photographs to see a larger view.

I have one spectacular potted hosta that has lovely variegated leaves and it is just opening up – the bits that the snails haven’t already consumed are opening in lovely tight spirals.

I kept coming back to the same leaves as the light changed, totally besotted with the lovely shapes and lines.

The textures of the greenery do tend to give rise to some lovely abstracts and textures and that was what I focused on for my garden photography this weekend.

Newly opening ivy leaves which are seemingly quite hairy as they uncurl.

I often do this when out on my lunchtime walk or if the weather isn’t good – I pick a theme or subject and concentrate on looking for images to fit that theme – it’s good for making you look at things differently and even in limited locations (i.e. my postage stamp sized garden or the familiar walk to the next village) and poor weather, means there’s much more to see that you initially think – once you attune your eyes to seeing them.

Not all my foliage is green – my Japanese maple opens with these scrawny thin red leaves that gradually fill out – red at first, turning green as they mature.

I might pick a theme like shadows, reflections, texture etc. and only take photographs that fit this theme – on other occasions I might limit myself to a particular fixed focal length lens or camera mode. It’s very liberating to work this way – and good for finding something interesting when in a creative funk like I am at present. Who needs flowers with all this lovely texture and interest in the foliage.

A long growing tendril from my honeysuckle – it’s an evergreen, but like everything else in the garden, it starts growing again with gusto once we get some sunshine and longer days.

I like variegated foliage for additional interest.

Some new opening foliage on alpine strawberry plants – making a lovely carpet of texture.

This bud will open out into tiny red and white candy-striped flowers.

The only thing this monkey puzzle is good for is taking photos of – if you lean against it or brush past it it slices you like a razor blade, falling leaves get totally ensnared in the spikes and need removing with surgical precision and protective gear.