“Orangeola & Kotoji Abstract” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Today is a very special day full of sweet and happy memories of the past. Many times we spent the day walking through gardens around the areas where we lived. On our adventures, we were always keeping our eyes and mind open to observe the beauty surrounding us, both natural and man-made. We collected ideas on what we could bring home to our own garden.
Other years we would explore various garden centers and purchase new additions for our garden. We couldn’t wait to plant the new acquisitions. Here at Heatherwood, I have been able to draw on these previous experiences to develop a Japanese-influenced garden in part of our property. Strolling through Heatherwood takes me back to prior wonderful memories and stimulates me to enjoy the present and look forward to bright future days.
Heatherwood continues to give up something new and interesting every time we stroll around the garden. Little elements of nature abound at every turn. These gifts are for the taking. I just need to recognize them and add a little creativity.
Spring brings out the energy of emerging new life. The sensitivity of infrared to the bright greens and yellows highlight spring’s energy. Springtime in Heatherwood is the time for me to explore with my infrared photography.
“Impressionistic Variegated Redtwig Dogwood” Heatherwood Spring
As I stroll around Heatherwood, I am constantly on the alert for those little vignettes that catch my eye. For this shaded scene, I first noticed contrasting blue and green colors. Looking closer, the contrasting textures of grasses, the variegated redtwig dogwood, and the background blue spruce add to the interest. Reviewing the image on my computer, I thought that it would be interesting to view it as a painting. I added an impressionistic flair to achieve this image.
The clouds make this infrared image of our neighbor’s pasture. We “borrow” this scene for our lower Heatherwood garden. We are surrounded on three sides (N,E, and W) by hills and look over a valley to the south. In the design of Heatherwood, we have opened up and framed vistas of the surrounding countryside. There is always something interesting to explore with our eyes and imagination.
“Overlooking Heatherwood and the Valley Below” Heatherwood Spring
It was a sunny late afternoon. The lower yard was in bright sunlight and the valley below was covered with clouds. I had not photographed in infrared in over six months, so I decided to grab my IR camera and play with the light and shadows.
Spring is the time to work with infrared photography as all the green emerge from the deciduous trees and the spring grasses. I look forward to experimenting and improving my IR skills as the hills turn green around us.
Nothing is perfect … nothing is permanent … nothing is complete. Wabi-sabi is a characteristic concept of our Heatherwood garden. I find beauty in every aspect of imperfection throughout our garden. This spent rose was a beautiful red flower in its prime. The summer flower’s fleeting beauty transitioned to these stems and rose hips in the fall and winter. In nature the hips would release the seeds to the ground. Its life is incomplete as the seeds create new plants.
I admire the beauty of this rose stalk and hips every day as I sit and read and look out our family room window. They fascinate me. I do not have the heart or desire to prune the winter roses to make them look neat. I just simply enjoy them as they are. There is plenty of time to prune the roses before the spring growth.
This is one of my first infrared images that I created about ten years ago. It is interesting to look back and see how my photography has changed over the years. It is also interesting to notice how my subject interest has remained the same. I am always on the lookout for old structures that cause me to think and reflect on the way life use to be.
This image was created on the way back home from a photography workshop with Tony Sweet in the Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the themes he worked with the group on was infrared photography. Old farm structures were one of the subjects we worked on. Skip forward to today … I am planning a trip to the Palouse this spring to photograph the rolling hills and old farms. This summer I have scheduled a workshop with Tony Sweet focusing again on infrared imaging. How things have changed; how things have remained the same.