Photography is part of my gardening. It is the time when I seek out the beautiful and the enjoyable, a change and a rest from workaday gardening, a time of relaxation, assessment and contemplation, a time of simply looking and seeing.
Photography is also one of the most ruthless yet subtle forms of discrimination as we generally only photograph that which appeals to the eye, that which we consider beautiful or interesting and we ignore all else. Consider the photographs you take when you visit a garden: do you ever take a photograph of a patch of weeds or of the hosepipe left untidily on the path, of the untidy lawn edges or the dying plants. I don’t imagine you do for you are looking for the good photograph, one that will please your eye afterwards. A photo-count might well be a good indication of how you enjoyed a garden – the more photographs you have taken, the more you have found of beauty and interest in the garden and, of course, when few are taken a disappointing visit is indicated.
At home, I take photographs in the garden regularly: I have sixteen albums from May of this year, fourteen from June but only two from July! Numbers are creeping back up again with eight so far for August. July was simply a disaster in the garden with those very high temperatures and unending days of drought. The garden suffered dreadfully and, when the final assessment is made, we will certainly have lost quite a number of shrubs, many with us for twenty years and more so they will leave significant gaps in the garden. There has been some rain at the beginning of August but this morning I noticed that old established hellebore plants are again completely flat on the ground from lack of water.
Photographers may lie but gardeners are more truthful: four ladies visited here last week and left with the comment that it was a consolation to visit and see that other gardens had suffered as much as theirs!
Some plants are picking up again and we will live in hope! Next year will be wonderful – sunny days and rainy nights!