by John P. Walsh.
My entire life I have always enjoyed being around flowers and gardens. Although I wasn’t aware I would be taking photographs of them passionately starting in 2012, I had always looked to visit and, when possible, walk among and photograph earth’s beautiful flora bounty. 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. They are definitely worthwhile photographic subjects and to stroll (and bend and scrunch) in search of them to photograph is certainly one of life’s finer pleasures.
The world of flora contains some of the most distinctive creations on the planet. Fresh blooms especially are engaging, shy, forthright and protective. In their season, they simply 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 flowers 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 15 or so years of her life. It had been suggested to the American princess 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 have been shot in the Chicago area. I have interspersed posts with some of my favorite quotes on the subject of flowers and gardens. As I add photographs to this post, the most recent one will be at the top but in no particular chronological order.
Desert Setting (Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago), December 29, 2017.
Bromeliads: Aechmea Blue Tango (Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago), December 29, 2017.