Flowers & Gardens. (48 Photos). (15 Flower Quotes).

Photographs and Text ©John P. Walsh

My entire life I have always enjoyed being around flowers and gardens.

I started taking photographs of them in 2012. With so many other people everywhere, I have always enjoyed visiting and walking among the beautiful fragrances of earth’s bountiful and beautiful flora. Dangling, drooping, shooting straight up, bunches, single stem, of endlessly different shapes, sizes and colors—and places and settings—flowers and gardens embody life, creativity, and beauty. One of my earliest memories of gardens was on a childhood vacation to Jefferson’s Monticello and, in that summer’s heat, being surrounded with the scent of the boxwood shrubs. All these perennials and annuals are definitely worthwhile photographic subjects. To stroll (and bend and scrunch) among nature’s orchestra of leaves, branches, and blooms and photograph them is one of life’s pleasures.

The world of flora contains some of the most distinctive creations on the planet.

Fresh blooms are engaging, shy, forthright and protective. In their season, they exist to proffer their fleeting beauty and fragrance for the spectacular end of reproducing themselves.

I have taken photographs of many other subjects but flowers I return to again and again. It’s because flowers don’t disappoint.

Grace Kelly wrote a book on flowers called My Book of Flowers. “I love walking in the woods, on the trails, along the beaches, ” she said. “I love being part of nature…” This is one of the great things about searching for and finding flora to photograph: whether in the wild, semi-wild, in a nursery, or on the front porch or in the garden, the wonder of their presence leads to an experience of nature in its most vital form.

Grace Kelly became interested in flowers and their arrangements only in the last years of her life. It had been suggested to the American princess in the late 1960’s that as part of the festivities for Monaco’s centennial she might host a flower arranging competition, which she did. Though princess Grace admitted she “was the most ignorant garden president going,” her knowledge of flowers and gardening grew and, if only because of their shared passion for these precious blooms, she met many new friends. I too have found that I have made friends from all over the world because of our mutual love for flowers and the garden. One cannot underestimate flower power!

Most of my photographs of flowers and gardens are shot in the Chicago area.

annuals jpwalsh
I am more myself in a garden than anywhere else on earth.
red chair and pots
late summer flowers
desert setting
Chicago. Garfield Park Conservatory. 12/2017
Tulips Jpwalsh
Henri Lebasque (1865-1937), Le Cannet, Madame Lebasque reading in the garden.
garden walk  jpw
Lombard, IL. Lilacia Park. 5/2018
Martha Lever quote
Flowers lift the spirit & refresh the soul–Martha Lever
7.19.17 saratogapinwheel
Daffodils Apr 30 2018 by John P. Walsh
Henri Lebasque (1865-1937), Girl with flowers, 1909.
Bushy lilacs-photo John P. Walsh
Milwaukee,WI. 6/2017
Letters From New York, volume 1, Lydia Maria Child (September 1, 1842).
dianthus 5.17.16 final copy DSC_0026
Dianthus. 5/2016
3. may garden May 28 2016.
mark nepo quote
The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes — Mark Nepo
black magic petunia 5.17.16
Petunia “Black Magic.” 5/2016
green garden 7.24.17
RESIZE alcea 7.7.13
Hollyhock. 7/2013
There are always flowers for those who want to see them–Henri Matisse
Lombard, IL. Double Late Tulip “Dream Touch.” 5/2018
“Frederick Douglass,” multi-petaled cultivar.

Named for Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), American slave, abolitionist leader and author. Developed in 1972 by Richard Americo Fenicchia.

A flower blossoms for its own joy– Oscar Wilde
Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people though you never would–E.V.
Play in the dirt because life is too short to always have clean fingernails
Glen Ellyn, IL. 5/2019
Stop and smell the flowers
Hans Duivenvoorden, FlowerPower II.
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow–Audrey Hepburn
Peony and cicada. 6/2020
Impatiens. 5/2018
Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air–Georges Bernanos
West Dundee, IL. Fox River Walk. 8/2014
Orchids. 5/2018
Chicago. Prairie-style window in a house designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1917. 7/2015
Henri Lebasque, Woman reading with flower bouquet in a glass vase.
Henri Lebasque, By the tree.
All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today–Chinese proverb
Rockford, IL. Anderson Japanese Gardens. 7/2017
lower resolution.
Woodridge, IL. Prairie Coreopsis Coreopsis palmata. 7/2013
West Chicago Prairie. Purple Cornflower Echinacea purpurea. 8/2013
Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, “Gifts” (Second Series, 1844).
Lemont, IL. Orange sulphur butterfly with wild clover. Water Fall Glen. 8/2013
Dekalb, IL. Ellwood House. 9/2016
Richmond, IL. 8/2016
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming–Pablo Neruda
Chicago. State Street. 5/2021
6/2022 7.25mb 99%
In the beauity of flowers there is something sad in their lasciviousness; they do not crave, they do not pursue, they wait in prolonged expectation of they know not what, displaying themselves to order like a child decked out for a holiday, vaguely proud, vaguely uncomfortable, vaguely disappointed – George Santayana
8/2017 7.04mb 95%
9/2017 2.68 mb
4/2021 1mb
10/2016 4.04 mb

4 thoughts on “Flowers & Gardens. (48 Photos). (15 Flower Quotes).

  1. Kathleen Collins Smolinski

    Dear Jack,

    Thank you for sharing your flower and garden photographs. The world of flora, indeed, offers us some of the most distinctive creations on the planet. Yesterday on a long road trip home from vacation, the Master of All Artists, Himself, brought me to the most peaceful, beautiful place of wonder offering me wild flowers on the mountainside and the God light streaming through the heavenly clouds, and I said, “Oh, my God, how beautiful.”

    Thank you.

    1. jwalsh2013

      Thank you Kay for your comments and sharing your recent experience of beautiful earth & sky on your road trip. I’ll be posting more flower & garden photographs soon and hope you have the chance to enjoy them! John


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