Tag Archives: Flowers

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, SA

When I think of Africa, I think big animals, exotic birds, completely different cultures, tribes, etc.  I don’t think of botanical gardens to rival, dare I say it? Kew Gardens in England!!  So Kirstenbosch was a wonderful surprise. Our tour guide told us we would be going to a garden and I thought “ok, sure, it’s nice to see a variety of stuff”, but I don’t think we saw even a quarter of it.  It was great that our guide was a trained conservationist and could tell us about the flora and what the things in the garden represented when we weren’t taking photos.

The gardens sit near enough to the mountains that you can use them as a backdrop, but not so much that they are in the shadow of it. These flowers are a member of the protea family and they really do feel like plastic ones that have come from your local fake flower store, but they are real!

Pretty, plasticky flowers

 

There’s a tiny corner of the garden with a tiny pond that gave perfect reflections….marred only by the grass clippings because they had just finished cutting the grass!!!  Arrghh!!  This is the part I hate about being a tourist – you often don’t have a chance to come back -it’s a now or never type of thing.  So, we shot a corner of the garden with very little grass clippings.

Reeds in the water twice

There were also beds and beds of flowers to help practice your landscape photography…

The colours popped and the lines made it interesting

The colours popped and the lines made it interesting

 

…or your close up depth of field photography.

Just a nice composition

Or your macro photography

In Kirstenboch gardens 2 In Kirstenboch gardens

Hope you enjoyed this splash of colour!


Travel: Kew Gardens Orchids

Allergic to flowers? trees? grass? Doesn’t matter, take an anti-histamine and visit Kew anyway. I can’t remember what got me interested in Kew Gardens. The first time I visited London, I asked my friends if we could go and frankly, I don’t think any of us were that impressed. It had been a dry summer and the lawn just inside the gates was nothing to write home about. However, the glasshouses (greenhouses) blew me away and still do to this day. I don’t think I’d really seen a glasshouse before then. I loved the wrought-iron spiral staircases painted in white amongst the dark palm trees. And the tropical plants reminded me of home (Jamaica, not Canada!) even though I couldn’t quite properly remember them in their natural settings.

When I returned to live in London, I volunteered at Kew and it was wonderful to belong to the team! To wear the t-shirt that said “Kew” and the badge that said “volunteer” and to get the discount in the cafe! Although, when we were first given our uniforms, I was not enthused about wearing trousers that came up to my armpits (slight exaggeration) – it reminded me of the time I tried on men’s jeans by mistake and couldn’t quite understand why it fit so poorly.

I’m not sure what impresses me about Kew more – the size is enormous (travelling tip #456: don’t try to do everything in one day unless you really have all day and blister packs), the magnitude of the flora on the grounds is mind-blowing, the beauty is astounding (travelling tip #23: always have your camera ready) and the volunteer guides are remarkable.

Let me give you one example – the annual display of orchids (in Feb-Mar) is just stunning. I didn’t know that many types of orchids existed and seeing them enmass takes your breath away. These photos are from their 250th anniversary celebration but they do a similar, but smaller display every year.


Pretty Petals – Basic black and white

Well, I got quite a few visits to my Pretty Petals page that I thought you might want to see the black and whites! Note that all of these images were done with film. This was pre-my-getting-a-digital-slr camera era.  I love the graininess of the B&W and the way the black and white interpreted the differences in hues or colour saturations. You could imagine these flowers to be any colour you like! Enjoy!

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Pretty Petals

Quick post today! Let’s face it, it’s the photos that get all the looks and not the words! I love flowers and wanted to do a study on one of my faves – tulips! I especially am fascinated in using photography to capture texture – trying to show visually what the petals feel like.  How did I do?

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