More Pictures For Dreaming

Harlow Carr roses in front of Harlow Carr Library
Harlow Carr Library

HeyJude’s challenge for June has been depth of field and so far I’ve been missing in action… or perhaps that should be missing in inaction. Notable only by my absence. That kind of thing. I’m not going to make excuses.

In my first scene, Harlow Carr Library has lovely rooflines against a clear blue sky. Lots of pink Rosa ‘Harlow Carr’ are proudly displayed on one side of a path leading to the building with purple accents provided by nepeta, lavender and salvia. Continue reading “More Pictures For Dreaming”

Trilliums At Harlow Carr Garden (Mainly)

Large flowered trillium
Trillium chloropetalum var. giganteum with erythroniums and an emerging fern

These trilliums are from RHS Harlow Carr’s beautiful Spring woodland garden on the hillside behind the stone building used for exhibitions. It’s a little out of the way and I wonder how many visitors have discovered it – I only stumbled on it by mistake. It struck me as being fairly newly planted but if so, they’ve done a great job.

RHS gardens are rightly closed to help protect us, but of all the gardens that are out of reach, this is the one that calls me most plaintively.  Continue reading “Trilliums At Harlow Carr Garden (Mainly)”

Flower Fantasia

Bright tulips with white daffodils and blossom
A layer cake of flowers: tulips, daffodils and blossom

You might claim this is just on the edge of too much – too bright, too packed, too flowery, if there is such a thing.

It’s the latest in my series of pictures for dreaming. You may need to rein in your imaginations to prevent your senses overloading, especially if you were thinking of adding in bees hovering and humming and birds flying overhead. Continue reading “Flower Fantasia”

Pink Climbing Rose: An Exercise

HeyJude is running a photo challenge during 2020 on her Travel Words blog designed to get us thinking about the techniques of taking pictures. You can find out the details and monthly topics here. January’s topic is Composition and Framing. These crops are inspired by some of Jude’s instructions – I’ve added them in italics, so you know the intention.

Pink climbing rose at Harlow Carr

Clearly identify your subject. Not as easy as it might seem. The rose is my main interest, but the setting is worthy of attention too (around an oval opening on the curved outside fence of Diarmuid Gavin’s garden at RHS Harlow Carr), so I was slightly torn, wanting to give a glimpse of the inside.

It was an overcast summer evening. The curve of the wall and habit of the rose meant shooting into the light, creating a bright glare. The original picture has a few more inches of haze at the top, and bright light always draws the eye away from the subject. I’ve removed some of it with the effect that the crop is neither landscape, portrait or square. I like to keep the traditional proportions if I can, but throwing aside the rules and cropping any way the subject demands is often the difference between a poor picture and a decent one.

Move in closer to your subject, but not too close. While the flowers in the first picture were blobs, more of their character comes out here. Continue reading “Pink Climbing Rose: An Exercise”

From The Alpine House at Harlow Carr Gardens: Ten Tiny Treasures

A small primula covered in a mound of flowers
Primula allionii

The northernmost of the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens, Harlow Carr, has so much to see that most repeat visitors must feel torn about where to go first. Not me – the Alpine House draws me in like a magnet. It’s show time there, whatever stage of the year. The gardeners tend a stock of plants behind the scenes, picking out tiny treasures when they are at, or around, their best for their turn in the Alpine house spotlight. This week our treats included several primulas, some flowering so madly that their leaves were hidden, others wearing their leaves with pride.

Lavender coloured primula with toothed, mealy leaves
Primula ‘Tantallon’

Some of the plants in the Alpine greenhouse are inside because they need protection from cold, wind or rain; others would grow outside just fine. Common species plants are treated as carefully as rare or special cultivars, all raised up on broad, sweeping benches so we can admire them at close quarters. Plants are grown in traditional clay pots, sunk into a mixture of sand and sharp grit to help keep the roots cool and stop them drying out too quickly. Continue reading “From The Alpine House at Harlow Carr Gardens: Ten Tiny Treasures”

Sunlight Attack II

Experimental picture taken looking up into a rose

The last few days, we’ve had enough rain to kickstart the process of re-greening the North of England’s meadows, and I started to feel a little celebration of sunshine might not go amiss. Isn’t that the way it always is?

My first is a decidedly strange (for me) shot of roses growing overhead – so high, they ruled out the little dead-heading needed for a conventional shot. At the time I took it, I was half-imagining some form of caption in the top left: a concise one like Dog Days or Wine & Roses. As the end result captures more of their spirit than I expected, I’m leaving it alone. For now.  Continue reading “Sunlight Attack II”