For the first time in my adult life, I have a backyard. And with it, a newly ignited passion for gardening.
This passion is a return to my roots, really. Growing up, my parents kept the most beautiful backyard. My dad sculpted the land, creating cascading stone walls and paths that my mother filled with the most beautiful flowers and sculptures made from rocks and driftwood. Most early mornings in the summer I could find my mama outside, drinking her coffee and tending to her gardens.
FlowerwebI'm not the only one tending to my garden...
I see now, what called her outside morning after morning. It is an almost meditative practice- centering and simple. In gardening, you give to yourself as equally as you give to the plants. Your effort returns to you as beauty and it feels GLORIOUS. You get your feet wet and your hands dirty and holy shit there is something so satisfying about getting dirt under your fingernails.
As a photographer, all of this speaks to my soul. In the planting of flowers I've given myself an abundance of material to play with. When I first started really getting into digital photography, it was because I felt a desire to do close-ups of plant life. My first major lens purchase was an 85mm macro and my fondness for photographing flowers spilled over into insects and then nature photography.
Eventually people caught the attention of my lens as well and as photography became my occupation, nature photography became more of a hobby. But with life absolutely teeming all around my home and my gardens having my attention every morning, it has been easy to pull out my trusty 85mm and tend to all the little beauties in my backyard. I water my plants, ask them how they're feeling. I find out if they're happy with their place in life or if their next door neighbor is being a total bitch and hogging all the sunlight. In return they give a happy artist something beautiful to be enthralled about.
Green Bottle FlyThey come for my compost bins! While absolutely beautifully colored, they are attracted to decay of any kind. I can't say I'm crazy about these little pigs hanging out on my strawberry plants.
So there it is. I've become a crazy plant lady. I'm absolutely cool with that.
And so is my camera.