Spring Vignettes

As my interest in and experimentation with photography evolves, I find that I am engrossed in the process of photography in macro mode.  It’s the profile of the bee in flight with clearly defined grains of pollen and fine hairs on which that pollen attaches or the intricacies of the parts of flowers–pistil, anther, pollen, petal, taken in a wisp of breeze, that rivet and challenge me these days. Bee_cropped_3414x2746..new

I am a novice and have a lot to learn. I harbor no ambitions beyond improving this new hobby and skill.  I don’t currently own a macro lens and don’t know that I’ll invest in one. However, I accept every photo session as a tutorial in translating what I see, or think I see, to the still and silent screen.


Regardless of my current focus on photography (and ceramics, but that’s another conversation), I am, first and always, a gardener.  My garden reflects an avid interest and deep affection for plants and their animal partners, as well as a sense of personal space and expression. My garden is an established one–I’ve gardened in this allotment for well over 20 years.  Whew! That’s a long time.  That space isn’t static though–not one bit.  I wish I had better visual records of my garden through the years, but alas, I don’t.  You’ll just have to trust me when I say that my garden, like any is alive and breathing, has evolved and adapted over the years in response to changing conditions, plant preferences, gardener whimsy and sometimes, gardener impatience.

Because of my passion for plants and their workings, in short, a plant geekiness, I don’t often take photos of my gardens in full shots. I favor selection of subject, not always the full palette. But this bountiful spring, I see my garden with its perennials abloom and mementos in place, not differently, but in its entirety: lush, growing, and life-sustaining.   Come and take a virtual walk with me this lovely spring day to see a garden created by someone who loves her plants-n-critters.  Mine is an attempt to heal a small part of the world by primarily working with what belongs here: a collaborative-effort garden between the gardener and her surroundings.

The back garden,

















...and the front garden, where I rarely take photos.





It’s not a stylish or designed garden.  It’s just a garden.


But it’s my garden.


18 thoughts on “Spring Vignettes

  1. Seeing your spaces more in toto is inspiring. Your gardens are beguiling and your color choices, especially when taken in combinations, reveal your artist’s eye. The blue of those mahonia berries against the orange of the Mexican honeysuckle…the yellow of the columbine echoed in the chairs and against the purple iris. Places to sit and ponder, paths leading you in and on – all wonderful reminders that going native isn’t limiting so much as it is liberating.

    I avoid posting wider shots of my spaces because they reveal areas I know still need work . I get defensive, thinking “nobody wants to see that!”. I suspect my garden taken in as more of a whole will not be as impressive as one particular specimen at the height of its seasonal display, or even one area that I’ve recently worked on. I still have so much to learn (and do!) and I suppose I’m reluctant to “show my work” and have it also accidentally show I’m in over my head.


    • Do I have color choices? I just let’m rip–I like color! All color. I have a number of spaces in which to “sit and ponder” and swat mosquitoes. Grrrrr.

      I don’t like to take the full shots because what I get in a pic is never what I see in real time–the colors aren’t as vibrant or noticeable, the forms not as present. I suspect that’s me and my ineptitude at photography, but it’s frustrating nonetheless. My “butterfly garden” in the front yard has culinary sage and lavender fronting it, with a blackberry behind–all in full bloom. I cannot, for the life of me, get a photo that translates its beauty to the screen. Annoying, to say the least.

      I always, ALWAYS, have spots in my garden I’m not happy with–it’s the gardener’s bane. I know what you mean about fretting that “no one wants to see that”–I almost didn’t post today because I have so much going on in my life right now, some good, some not so good, that blogging is not a priority, but post I did because I don’t want to disappear at the moment. I couldn’t write anymore, or augment or retake photos, because there wasn’t time to do so. But, the bottom line is that I like to see others’ gardens–they are inspiring and confirming that I’m not alone in my passion and I flatter myself in hoping that I might do the same for someone else, just starting out. Maybe.


  2. So much spring-time beauty! I bet it is quite lovely to sit in your lawn chairs with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and admire all the beauty that surrounds you, not to mention the peace that comes with knowing you are providing a welcoming home to many different species of wildlife. Thanks for taking us for a tour around your garden!


    • You are more than welcome, Rebecca–glad you liked the tour!

      As you’re well aware, spring in Austin has been fabulous this year. It’s always pretty, but the wildflower/garden gods are definitely in top form at the moment. I’ve made concerted efforts over the last few years to put in plants that feed SOMETHING–birds, pollinators, whatever. I’m taking to heart Doug Tallamy’s crusade of “Bringing Nature Home”. And toward that end, making decisions to increase biodiversity of the ecosystem of my plot of the Earth.


  3. Your garden is so inviting and makes me want to wander through it! Looks like a pollinators paradise. Such a nice big space full of diverse and interesting plants! I enjoy your photographs up close and with perspective. I love the plant in the first one that is gray with orange flowers, wow!


  4. I love the way you have your garden arranged…yet random at the same time. And your variety of plants is just amazing. I know you must really enjoy wandering through it on a daily basis! Is that yellow columbine I see in one photo? So pretty. Everything looks so lush. Enjoy!


  5. Thank you for the tour of your garden Tina, it is so beautiful. I wish I could wander through in real life, pausing to look at everything on the way. Then I would like to sit down on one of your seats and drink it all in.


  6. Tina, you have a really beautiful garden that looks loved and cherished, I am very sure if I was a one of your wildlife visitors I’d find somewhere very welcome to visit. As a person, your garden looks really inviting too. 🙂


    • I find that often, the automatic is fine and in fact, shoots a better, more realistic photo than messing around with other modes. I have to use the macro for the insects and other tiny things in the garden. It’s a learning curve and I must say that I’m much more appreciative of the art of photography than when I began this blogging adventure.


      • Sometimes I can not get fine detail with close-ups and they turn out blurry. I have used a magnifying glass in front of the lens, which does help sometimes… I am going to try the micro mode maybe tomorrow.


      • I think using the close up macro mode takes some practice, as everything does in photography-practice and experimentation. Good luck with it!


  7. Wow. Just wow. That is what a space looks like with 20 years of loving. The beauty squeezed my heart. I love how gardens change from moment to moment and over the seasons.


    • It is a garden that I love. When I contemplate leaving it…well, it’s a sad thing to me. I agree with you that gardens change–really, almost constantly and I love that there are surprises and change all the time.


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