I find it hard to believe but it’s true, today marks the 200th day of the Garden Photo Challenge! Which means I am over half-way through the year. They say time flies when you are enjoying yourself, and that is certainly true of the way I have felt as I have shared a photo from my Garden each day on Instagram
Why the Garden Photo Challenge began
If you are not familiar with the Garden Photo Challenge, let me explain. In April 2017 I set myself the task of photographing something interesting from my garden here at Dovewood in Dorset everyday for a year. You can read about the Garden, the website and the Garden Photo Challenge in this post
Why? To prove that even a relatively small garden can be interesting all year round.
So what is the criteria for interesting? Any plant, leaf, flower or structure, within the garden, that catches my eye. Anything that is….er..well..interesting! For example, some plants may flower for months on end but there are some days, sometimes just one day, when the light catches it in a particular way and it really stands out from the crowd. Or perhaps the foliage of an evergreen sits quietly biding its time until the colour within its foliage brightens my day. The seasons play their part too, whether it is the sunlight of a sunshiny summers day or as we have seen more recently, the colours of Autumn lighting up the garden in a new way.
What the Garden Photo Challenge has achieved
One result of undertaking this Garden Photo Challenge has been the way I now look at the garden. Having always looked at the bigger picture as a painting or composition, I now look at the individual plants and their special qualities. I look for the details I might not have seen before. When selecting new plants, I choose more carefully as I consider what it will contribute to the garden. I think especially about it in relation to what might be considered the duller months of Winter. And what I can add to the garden to increase the interest.
The Result of the Garden Photo Challenge so far
I have received some lovely comments from those that have been following my endeavour. I admit not all the photos have been of the highest quality but the photographic imagery wasn’t not the point of the exercise. At times I have squashed my perfectionism in the need to show you what is in the garden.
The photo that has caused the biggest response from followers and viewers so far was a group of Conifers. I wrote the comment underneath it ” Not all greens are boring”! (See Day 145 on Instagram)
Some plants have appeared more than once as they have continued to give pleasure. Whilst others have not appeared at all because it has been impossible to get a decent picture that really conveys the beauty and interest of the plant. And this is probably where I have felt the restriction of a small garden the most. It is difficult to plant a sizeable swathe of some without compromising the room for variety
So what next?
As we head towards the end of the year and what we tend to think of as the duller months, I expect to find my daily photo subjects tending more towards the structural framework of the garden, the play of low winter sunlight, the effect of frost and maybe even snow. And then the hunt will be on for signs of new growth. The gradual reawakening of many plants as we head towards Spring, and as the Garden Photo Challenge draws to a close.
The BIG question
…is can I do it? Can I actually find something of interest to photograph each day in this plot of just 400 square feet – of which the garden takes up about 3/5ths? Follow me to find out.
And I round up the photos of each week into a collage.
If you would like to know more about how to create a Garden, why not sign up for the Quick Start Guide to Designing Your Garden, you will also receive two Bonus help sheets, and find out what I did to get my ideas off paper and into the garden!