The Purpose-Driven Photo

Rosa_Rose_Columbus-OH_LAH_3536Perhaps you want to hang a huge framed photo of your prize roses over the couch. Or maybe you see some striking flowers in someone else’s garden, and you want to grow them at home—but you don’t know what they are. Maybe you simply want to record where you plant your tulips this fall, so you don’t bury them under a new perennial  come spring. I’ve taken photos for all of these reasons and more.

Perhaps the first and most important consideration when it comes to garden photography is to make clear in your mind just why you’re taking a particular photo. If you don’t have a specific goal, it’s very difficult to accomplish it!


Getting to the Root of the Matter

Phalenopsis orchid roots_DBG_LAH_6672We all know what roots are—they’re the part of the plant that’s usually underground. If we have a mental image, it’s probably a mass of wiggly, white strings poking their way through the soil. We should pay more attention to roots. After all, they’re an essential part of a plant (as well as the only part remaining after some hail storms!). Knowing a little about how roots work will make us more successful gardeners.

Before I get any further, I should point out that I’ll be talking about your average, every day root. Life is an amazing phenomena, so diverse that there are always exceptions. So let’s skip the orchids (left) and other epiphytes, and the mangroves and other plants with roots growing in water, and focus on our garden flowers, shrubs, and trees.